Living away from home as a college student is a big deal. It’s a life transition that can also be a bit scary. As a parent, you probably worry about the decisions your kid will make and about their academic performance. One way to worry less is to ensure they obtain a quality, comfortable, and safe place to live. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to increase the chances of getting a great space. Take a look at these tips for how to help your student find housing near their university. This information will provide you with ways to get started on the apartment search, along with peace of mind that your child’s living situation will be secure.
Finding off-campus housing can be quite competitive. There are lots of students, and they all want the best rentals at an affordable price. That’s why you need to begin your search as early as possible. Typically, this means you’ll need to get a jump on the search at least the semester before your student is ready to move in. College leases tend to begin in the summer months and are often renewed by current tenants far in advance of the new lease period. You can begin your search online to get a feel for what the market has to offer. Looking for rental signs in the area is also a good way to find hidden gems.
Narrow the Search
It’s a good idea to find a handful of potential listings due to the heavy competition. Try not to get your heart set on just one place, as it’s likely you could miss out on other opportunities by taking this approach. You should always have at least one alternative on the back burner, even if you’ve filled out an apartment rental application. It’s possible the deal could fall through. For example, you might find that you don’t meet the rental qualifications or perhaps someone else may have applied sooner. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Plus, having choices is always a good thing.
You’ll want to prepare ahead of time for touring apartments in person. Think of questions you’d like to ask your potential landlord. In addition, you should have an idea in mind of the type of apartment you’re seeking and the features that are most important to you. Things you’ll want to know about the rental unit are when rent is due, which utilities may be included, whether pets are allowed, what types of decorating are permitted, and if there are any additional fees required. You’ll also wish to know about neighborhood safety, parking logistics, and length of the lease. Be sure you know what’s essential on your list of must-haves such as your preferred neighborhood, your roommate situation, apartment rules like quiet hours, and available amenities.
Be Prepared to Co-Sign
Many college rentals require students to have a co-signer or guarantor when it comes time to sign the lease. That’s because college students typically don’t have the credit history or income necessary to qualify on their own. Parents often serve as co-signors on a student lease; however, it’s also possible to ask another trusted established adult who meets the criteria. Your student may not need a guarantor, but it’s always good to be prepared.
Understand the Rental Agreement
Finally, it’s imperative that you take time to look over and assess the rental agreement before signing. Take a once over to make sure that any specific items you discussed with the management company is included in the terms. Also, make sure you understand and are in agreement with terms such as rental payment, due date, penalties, security deposits, and length of the rental agreement. Ask any questions you may have, no matter how small. You don’t want to discover a discrepancy or problem after you’ve signed.
These are some general tips you’ll need to know when it comes to finding student housing near campus. With some research and preparation, you should have no trouble locating an affordable and safe place for your child to live while they’re away at college. Though it can seem daunting, following these steps will help make the student housing search more manageable.
By Samantha Higgins