How to Find the Perfect Off Campus Student Apartment

One Methods:Specific Questions to Ask the Landlord:

As a university or college student, finding an off-campus student apartment can be an extremely exciting, but often overwhelming, experience. Here's a quick checklist of all the things you should look out for while you’re getting the grand tour of your possible new apartment.

Steps

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    Check to see that there three-pronged electrical outlets in every room. More importantly, are there enough outlets for all of your computers / video games / cell phone chargers, laptops / lights / etc.?
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    Check to see if all the apartment appliances work. Remember to check the freezer and whether the elements on the stove heat evenly.
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    Check the locks on the doors. Are they in reasonable condition?
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    Check the plumbing. Test each of the taps and shower heads for hot water and water pressure. Also check the sinks and tubs for cracks, leaks, rust or water damage.
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    Check to see if all of the windows fit properly, or is there a draft? If so, how will your apartment heating costs be affected? Is there proper ventilation? Do all the windows in the unit open? Are there locks on any windows that are at street level?
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    Look to see if there is enough storage space. If there is a locker in the basement, find out who has access to that area and what kind of lock is on the door.
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    Visit the apartment at different times of the day to see what the noise levels are like. A seemingly quiet student apartment during the day could actually be a noisy headache at nights or on weekends.
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    Research how many bus routes run close to the apartment. Check to see if they go where you need to get to.
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    Ask about laundry facilities. If they aren’t provided, where is the nearest laundromat?

Specific Questions to Ask the Landlord:

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    Are there any other students living in the building?
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    Have there been any major repairs or renovations done in the past year? Are any major repairs anticipated in the near future?
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    Who will be responsible for apartment repairs (even small, minor ones) – you or the landlord?
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    Can the landlord or superintendent be reached at any time during the day in case of emergency?
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    How is the rent to be paid – by mail or directly to the landlord? Cash or cheque?
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    Who pays for heat and other apartment utilities?
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    Is a parking space included in the rent, or will it cost extra?
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    Do you have to sign a lease? If so, for how long?
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    Are the washers and dryers shared with any other people?
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    What appliances are included in the apartment rental?
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    Can the apartment building handle cable/Internet?
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    Are you allowed to repaint the walls?
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    Are pets allowed? If so, which types of pets?

Tips

  • Yes, it’s a lot to pay attention to as you’re touring a possible new apartment – especially when you’re focused on the bigger questions such as “how many bedrooms” and “how much rent”. But, if you try to ask most of these questions as you’re looking around, you’ll have all the knowledge you need to make the best decision about which apartment to rent.
  • Print this article and take it with you if you are concerned about forgetting something important.

Sources and Citations

Article Info

Categories: Moving House and Packing | Campus Life