First-time renting can and should be enjoyable, but it can also be challenging, and you may need help understanding how it works. Before looking for a place to call home for the upcoming academic year, read our 2023 student guide to renting. It’s always beneficial to obtain advice from experts!
Many students enter the rental market for the first time when they move to college, and it can be overwhelming to start looking for the right place to live. Our student guide to renting explains how much rent you should be paying, your rights and obligations as a tenant, and what you should pay before you move in. So, if you’re wondering about the best 1 bedroom apartments Los Angeles has to offer or don’t even know where to begin your search, this guide is for you.
What to do when renting a property
Here is a list of things you want to consider as a student when renting a property.
Set a budget – Find out how much of your monthly income you can spend on renting before anything else. While your monthly rent will be your primary expense, remember to account for your deposit and utilities. Some landlords charge you monthly rent and let you figure out the rest. In contrast, others charge a flat, all-inclusive amount that includes rent, utilities, internet, and other costs. Ensure you understand what the listed rent includes while looking at apartments. Once you decide on a spending limit, you may begin browsing for your new residence.
Check deposit clauses – You must ensure that your deposit is secure. After receiving your deposit, landlords have 30 days to enroll it in a tenancy deposit protection program. This is where it stays in case of a dispute when you leave. You may be entitled to up to four times the sum back if they don’t do this, but you’d have to file a lawsuit in small claims court.
Check the contract – Everyone who occupies the property must be listed on the tenancy agreement for all names to be deemed “jointly liable” by the landlord or rental agency. In other words, you’re still responsible for the rent even if one of you leaves midway through the term.
Additionally, parents are usually requested to assume legal and financial responsibility and serve as guarantors. Contracts for student housing are often for 12 months, with no opportunity for a break before that. However, requesting the duration of the contract you desire is advisable. Suppose you can obtain a break provision added to the lease. In that case, you can use it as a cunning strategy to acquire a lease corresponding to the academic year.
Negotiate – Most tenants believe the rent is fixed; however, this is only sometimes the case. Various criteria determine the initial rental price; occasionally, it is possible to bargain and significantly lower it. Rent negotiations naturally result in lower monthly rent payments. You can save money, which is advantageous when you take other expenses like utility bills and other recurring monthly payments into account. Make sure whatever offer you make is reasonable and realistic. Asking the letting agency might help you understand what they would accept.
Inspect the property – When moving in, you must be given a thorough inventory of all the furnishings and their conditions. Look over this thoroughly. Raise your problem as soon as possible if you disagree with the state of a particular item. It might assist in preventing further deposit conflicts.
Check energy performance certificates – The landlord or agent should have gone through these before signing your lease to show you how energy-efficient your home is. Your energy bills may be significantly affected by this.
The don’ts of renting a property
Don’t dive in without researching – The rental market changes based on the area and the season. Many students will move out after graduation as they pursue employment prospects outside their campus communities, which will likely increase the number of openings. If you intend to live and work close to the institution throughout the summer, this could be a fantastic chance to reserve a place for the upcoming academic year. On the other hand, as students return to school in the month before the autumn term, housing alternatives can become more limited. Waiting until the last few weeks of summer to begin your search can make finding an appropriate apartment or home challenging.
Don’t share unless you are sure – Living with your best friends may sound like the dream, but there are some essential things to consider before moving in. For example, does this individual enjoy playing loud music at odd hours of the night? Are you okay with your roommate’s partner staying with you for free more than three nights a week? You will have to endure their potentially unpleasant habits for the entire year, including exam season, so it’s critical to know whether you and your possible flatmates get along. Think twice before sharing with a group to avoid destroying friendships by housing disputes.
Don’t forget to compromise – Before starting your search, deciding what you’re prepared to give up is critical because you might not be able to buy all you want. For example, although it may initially be significant to you, an apartment close to fantastic restaurants or entertainment centers will frequently be more expensive than one farther away. So, you must ask: Is it worth the additional expense? Can you pay the extra cost? Or do you need to look at something more reasonably priced farther away?
Take note of all these important considerations before settling on your new home!