Moving to college is a huge transition, but moving out of the dorms and into the big, bad world of off-campus housing can be even scarier. Though it may seem like everyone from the local landlords to your own roommate is out to get you, there are a couple of ways to get out of this process happily housed for a successful semester. The key to achieving this seemingly distant goal is knowledge, so here are three questions to ask your potential landlord when searching for an apartment off-campus.
1. Tenant Capacity
In some cities, like Boston, for example, there is a strict limit to the number of college students that can live in the same apartment. Though it may seem obvious, some landlords will hide this fact from you until the very last second, and if you're particularly unlucky, this can lead to your name being left off the rent papers. Be sure to find out about local apartment laws and make it crystal clear with your landlord exactly how many students will be living in the apartment at a time.
2. Utilities and Parking
While you may not have had a hand in paying for electric, water, and cable bills each month at home, some landlords will have you footing these bills directly, which can increase your living costs dramatically if you're living with only one or two roommates. Additionally, parking can be a big issue for students who insist on keeping multiple cars at a house or apartment off-campus, so knowing the number of parking spots available to you and your roommates will be crucial. On the other hand, if you're allotted more parking spaces than you will need, you can probably offer the spot to a friend for a small monthly fee, as city parking can be an annoying expense for some students.
3. Flexible Move-In Days
Rarely do the terms of your lease exactly line up with the academic calendar, so knowing when exactly you're going to have to move in and out for the semester are very important things to know. If your classes start before your rental period begins, then it will be worth your while to talk to the landlord and/or the current tenants to try to figure out when is best to actually get settled in.
Moving out of the dorms with your friends can be a freeing experience, but only so long as you don't feel chained by a bad lease or a difficult landlord. Asking these three questions will help greatly in making sure that you get a safe, warm roof over your head for the school year
For more information, contact Oxford, Ohio Area Student Apartments or a similar organization.