Home Away From Home – On or Off Campus

By Maniyah Goodwine

You’ve had your first taste of the real world when you started college. No curfew, no overbearing amount of rules – for most people this was the first time they got to live alone. As college progresses you may become eager to explore your other living options. Maybe you’ve outgrown the dorm lifestyle or you’ve decided that you desire a little more space. An alternative to living in a dorm is renting an apartment. Here’s a guide with helpful things you should know before you decide to take that next step.

Things to Consider Before Moving into an Apartment

  • You should have a steady job that will enable you to pay the expenses of living in an apartment every month in addition to any other financial obligations you may have prior to moving in. In addition to rent, you will be responsible for things like groceries and cleaning supplies. Keep in mind that if you choose to venture off campus, you probably won’t have access to the same amenities as you would on campus.
  • When looking into moving into your apartment, it is crucial that you establish a good relationship with your landlord. You do not have to be friends with them but being cordial will make the process much smoother.
  • Be sure to review your lease before you sign any documents. Ask any questions you may have and carefully inspect the terms of the lease to ensure that the rules are fair and do not conflict with your lifestyle.
  • Be knowledgeable. Read up on what rights you have as a tenant and what rights your landlord has. College students often fall victim to shady landlords because they are unaware of their rights. It is also a good idea to keep a set of records of things like payments, maintenance requests, and photos of the apartment.
  • While a sense of solitude may be the goal when venturing off into apartment life, it is wise to take on the financial aspect of paying for it with roommates. With that being said it is important to move in with people you can trust to uphold the rules and financial responsibility of your new space.
  • Pay your rent on time, all the time. This may seem like a no-brainer but you should always pay your rent on time to prevent arguments and miscommunication between yourself and the landlord.