What to Know When You Rent

If you are headed off to college this fall, there are a lot of exciting things to look forward to. Not only are you going to better your education, you also have the chance to move out on your own! Getting your own place is a very exciting time, but it can also be very challenging. Unfortunately, there are many landlords and roommates out there that will take advantage of a newbie if not careful. When choosing a rental, make sure to follow these simple tips to avoid any possible problems.

Choose Wisely

One mistake that many first-time renters make is that they rent a place that they cannot afford. While the big apartment looks the best, your life will be much easier if you can easily afford your monthly payment. You are at college to learn, not to spend all of your time working to try to pay your rent. If you insist on living in a larger apartment or home, find some roommates to split the cost with you or browse the web for some great deals.

If you do live with roommates, your roommates will have access to all of your mail and private documents. A company like Lifelock can guard your personal information and keep an eye out for any suspicious activity in your info. Keeping all your personal information intact will take a load of stress off when adjusting to college life and your new home life.

Document Everything

When moving into your new rental, it is vital that you document everything. ValleyNewsLive.com even suggests taking pictures of any pre-existing damage just in case the landlord denies it upon move out. You should also do a thorough walk through with the landlord to make sure you are both aware of the condition of the home on your arrival. You do not want to be responsible for damage caused by previous tenants. You need to also get any promises from the landlord in writing. If he says he will fix something for you, have him write it down and sign it. Many landlords will conveniently “forget” many of the promises they made if they are not documented.

Set Rules With Your Roomies

If you do have roommates get everything in writing with them. It does not have to be a formal document, but all details should be written down and signed by each roommate. This document should include what each roommate is expected to pay every month, and how the payments are going to work. Will all of you give your money to one person, and he makes the payments, or will you each be responsible for paying the bills directly to the different companies? By setting out these guidelines ahead of time you will prevent a lot of strain in your living.
When moving out on your own, it is important that your emotions do not get in the way of your common sense. Always take time to make any major decision, such as where to live. Do your research to make sure you are getting the best place your money can buy. And remember, if you document everything you should not run into any problems. What other tips did you find useful when moving out for college?

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