Ahh. Crack open that new found sense of freedom that comes with living away from home and enjoy a big swig of the college life. The downside? With freedom and power also comes great responsibility. Who doesn't need a little help from a trusted source like mom or dad, the university or even a sidekick? ForRentUniversity.com is here, right by your side, ready to help you blaze your path to independence.
You may have aced juggling class work, a social life and activities before, but college throws a few more curve balls your way. Homework is crammed in between classes, social gatherings, extracurriculars and jobs. Things like searching for an apartment, cooking, cleaning and even laundry need to happen, but the question is, when? With so much coming at you, use ForRentUniversity.com as your guide for living off-campus, dealing with roommates, knowing your rights as a tenant, protecting your safety and more. Search for off-campus housing with ease and free up more time for hanging out with friends, tidying up before impromptu parent visits, catching up on laundry or even studying for that next big exam. See About Us for more information.
In addition to searching for a place equipped with amenities for student life, you can also check out the Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages of the off-campus community you are interested in right on ForRentUniversity.com. Check out the social scene and connect with friends you didn't realize already live at the community of your choice.
Where can I find more information about living off-campus at my school specifically?
Of course ForRentUniversity.com provides you with options and information to help to make a decision, but we also suggest getting to know your off-campus community resources at the university. They are there to help you get the most out of your off-campus living experience and will address your concerns and offer you guidance.
What do I consider when choosing an off-campus student housing option?
Choosing the right place to live for your lifestyle will require you to consider the following: Individual leases, joint leases, co-signer/guarantor requirements, short term leases, furnished apartments, unfurnished apartments, walking distances, shuttles to campus, parking, and pets. Consider all of these before deciding if the place is right for you!
What do I need to know before signing a lease?
Do not take this task lightly. A lease is a binding contract that sometimes requires a co-signer or guarantor such as your parental guardian. Know all of the details, obligations, rules and regulations of your lease agreement before signing. Visit the Student Legal Services Offices at your University for help understanding the lease and your rights as well as your obligations.
What should I be aware of when contacting a potential management company for information and the tour process?
Know your rights! The Fair Housing Act is in place to protect you from any discrimination of any kind. If any landlord refuses to rent to you based on reasons such as your race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or handicap, perhaps even your sexual orientation, you have the right to speak out. Contact your Student Legal Services Offices if you feel you have experienced discrimination in leasing an apartment. Also, each time you visit a property, you will fill out a guest card and be asked how you were referred to that community. If you found the community through ForRentUniversity.com, please indicate that on the guest card.
Now that I'm no longer under my parents' thumbs, what types of rules should I expect when living in an off-campus apartment?
As a resident, you have responsibilities. Make sure you adhere to the housing laws/rules and lease obligations, reach out to your landlord when repairs need to be made, get to know and respect your neighbors, entertain wisely, control the noise level for those around you in the community, keep your apartment clean and have fun living with friends off-campus.
What precautions can I take to stay safe?
Your safety is a priority! Crime has no address, so no matter where you live, it is your responsibility to think about your safety. Always be observant and aware of your surroundings; never walk alone at night; keep windows and doors locked at all times; never open the door without checking first; keep blinds closed and a light on when going out of town; lock your car at all times and never leave valuables inside. Don't announce to the world through social media that you will be away from home for an extended period of time, and don't brag on social media sites about that new iPad or flat screen TV. Most importantly contact the police and your management office promptly to notify them of any suspicious activity.
How do I handle living with roommates?
Roommates don't have to be the enemy; they can become your friend. It's important to have open communication about responsibilities of cleaning, paying rent and shared living spaces. Knowing what each of you expects up front will help in establishing your relationship. It's a good idea to keep your room and valuables locked for privacy, set rules for visitors and study times, and make sure to set aside time to just enjoy being roommates by cooking, watching a movie or playing games. Draft up a list of House Rules!
What are some ways to meet new people outside of the classroom?
In addition to meeting new people, college is a great time to branch out and try new things. Keep a lookout--and an open mind--for announcements about campus activities or organizations you can join. Get connected with the University's social spaces for the latest details. Activities range from intramural sports, fraternities and sororities, major-specific clubs, student government, volunteer organizations, anime, to some schools even having "Quidditch" club teams based on the Harry Potter movies. Check out your school's website to find information on the different organization options and to see when the next upcoming club fair is being held. Also, see if your apartment community has a Facebook page. Try out many different options to see what you like best, and you may even find a new interest along the way.
How do I budget my finances now that I'm living off-campus?
While many schools have prepaid meal plans available, there are still many more everyday expenses that continue to add up (think toilet paper). If you need help budgeting wisely, you have some easy and more importantly, free options. The free online budgeting tool, Mint.com can also be downloaded as an app for an iPhone or Android when you're on the go. Simply set up an account and watch as the website keeps track of where your money is going and allows you to set budgets of your own. If keeping track of your finances yourself works better for you--and it certainly can't hurt your future job skills by practicing Excel--download a free Microsoft Excel budget template like these and fill in your expenses for each month. Don't forget to put away some money in a savings account any chance you get; you will thank us later, and having it out of your more accessible checking account may help in not spending it right away. Finally, if you have a paying job, it is not too soon to think about retirement. An IRA through work or a Roth IRA is a smart and adult decision . The magic of compounding will work wonders for your future.
How can I personalize and decorate my space within the restrictions of the apartment community?
Every off-campus housing property is different, but many have restrictions on what kind of decorating you can do in your apartment. Review your community's rules before coming up with your design plans. If decorating restrictions are getting you down, don't worry because there are still options to make your place feel like more of your own. If painting or putting up wallpaper are a big no-no, then look into putting up some vinyl wall decals or a patterned fabric in the place of wallpaper. Avoid holes in the walls from nails by instead hanging decorations with a wide-range of inexpensive and damage-free adhesive products. For keeping all your decorating ideas in one place, or if you are still looking for inspiration, be sure to visit Pinterest and get to "pinning.".Our DIY Under $50 Pinterest Board is great for college students to get crafty and have fun, even with a low budget. Your friends can sign up too and help decorate and give feedback. For the finishing touch of any room away from home, putting up your favorite photos of family and friends can brighten both the room and your mood. Check out all of our suggestions and gain some creative inspiration on Apartment Living, a For Rent Media Solutions® blog.
You may encounter two different types of leases in your student housing search. A "joint lease" is the traditional lease that you're probably most familiar with. Some properties offer an "individual lease". The type of lease properties on For Rent University offer are clearly marked by color and icon, as illustrated below.
Individual Lease: The lease terms and conditions are set per person. You will share common living areas with roommates, but you are only respnsible for your personal lease agreement. Typical of roommate matching.
Joint Lease: The lease terms and conditions are joint and several liability. This is when two or more parties are equally responsible for the lease terms and conditions. All roommates are equally obligated to the lease agreement. Typical where you have your own roommates.
If you select 1 bedroom apartment +, you will receive search results that show one bedroom apartments and up.
Enter the maximum monthly amount you want to spend on an apartment. If you enter $400, your search will return apartments that are $400 a month and below.
Enter the distance in miles (anywhere from 0-15 miles) you want to be from campus.