If You’re a Student Renting Your First Apartment, Read This Moving into your first apartment as a student is one of the most exciting rites of passage you’ll experience as a young adult. As you shop around and contact different landlords, keep the following tips in mind to make your choice easier. Keep Your Specific Needs in Mind The first thing to take into account is the specific features and qualities you’ll need in your new living space. Since you’re a student, the location will be one of the main things to look at. Will you have a roommate to save on costs? In that case, you’ll need two bedrooms. If you have a car, you’ll need to make arrangements for parking. Of course, rather than spend too much time worrying about things that may not matter, you should concentrate on getting the important details right.
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Generally, property managers and landlords try to sign full-year leases. This can be at odds with your study period, depending on the academic schedule your school uses. In this case, you’ll want to ask him or her about the possibility of subletting your apartment during the summer months. Naturally, you could also just stay where you are during the summer. In any event, it’s essential that you think about this beforehand. What’s Your Budget? Depending on your income and parents’ support, the monthly rent may be one of the most critical parts of your choice. A common rule of thumb is to make sure your rent is no more than 30% if your income, though this is not always realistic for a student. Finally, remember that there can be secondary costs that you don’t anticipate, such as furnishing or electricity. Therefore, ask the property manager or landlord to break down the rent so you understand precisely what you are paying for. You May Need a Cosigner Since property owners hate to lose money, they often require proof that you will be able to pay your bills. Lots of properties require students to have a cosigner — someone with a proven income who will need to pay your rent if you cannot. The most common candidate for cosigner is one of the student’s parents. Fortunately, a history of paying on time will frequently convince your landlord to drop this requirement. This is a good reason to make sure you are responsible with your money from day one. Pets Can Be Problematic Be up front about any pets you plan to bring along with you when you go to see a place. Certain apartments will allow small pets, while others may ban them altogether. Although this can seem like a lot to think about, do your research thoroughly and you have nothing to worry about.