8 Tips for First-Time Renters

Do you go to school in a college town? If you’re like many students, you may be considering renting an apartment or house near campus. Here are eight tips to help you navigate the renting process:

1. Know your budget.

This is probably the most important tip on this list. Before you start looking for a place to rent, sit down and figure out how much you can afford to spend on housing each month. This number should include rent, utilities, and any other monthly expenses associated with your apartment or house (e.g., parking, trash service).

2. Do your research.

Again, this is key. You want to make sure you’re renting from a reputable landlord or property management company. Ask around and see if anyone you know has rented from them before. If not, you can always look up reviews online. Just be sure to take everything you read with a grain of salt – remember, people are more likely to write negative reviews than positive ones.

3. Get everything in writing.

Make sure that any agreement you have with your landlord or property management company is in writing. This includes the lease agreement, as well as any rules or regulations they may have regarding things like noise, guests, and pet policies.

4. Be prepared to pay a security deposit.

Most landlords or property management companies will require you to pay a security deposit when you move in. This is usually equal to one month’s rent, but it may be more or less depending on the landlord/company. The security deposit is typically refundable, but it’s important to read your lease agreement carefully to make sure that’s the case.

5. Familiarize yourself with your rights and responsibilities.

As a renter, you have certain rights and responsibilities under state and federal law. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with these before you move in, so you know what to expect and what’s expected of you.

6. Get renters insurance.

Renters insurance is a must. It’s relatively inexpensive and it will protect your belongings in case of theft, damage, or other mishaps. Most landlords or property management companies will require you to have renters insurance as a condition of your lease agreement, so be sure to get it before you move in.

7. Make sure your apartment/house is up to code.

Before you move into your apartment or house, take a walk around and make sure everything is up to code. This includes things like making sure there are working smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors, that the electrical outlets are not overloaded, and that there are no fire hazards. If you see anything that doesn’t seem right, be sure to bring it up with your landlord or property management company right away.

8. Be a good neighbor.

Last but not least, remember to be a good neighbor. This means things like being respectful of your neighbors’ privacy, keeping the noise down, and picking up after yourself in common areas. Following these simple tips will help ensure that you have a good relationship with your neighbors and make your rental experience a positive one.

By following these tips, you’ll be sure to have a positive rental experience. And if you’re ever in need of off-campus housing, be sure to check out Wharton Rentals! They specialize in helping students find the perfect place to call home. Contact them at 740-273-8470 today and let them help you find your new home!