Most of us college students are searching for a new place to live for the next year. The question is – how do we know which one is right? After doing a ton of house and apartment hunting, I have come up with a must-have list of questions to ask to make it easier for all of you!
1. Are utilities included?
This is a huge part! For houses, you often have to use separate utility companies, like Xfinity for Wi-Fi. Apartments usually have added utilities and a base rate for each month! These are usually around $30 for a fully stocked apartment. Also, ask if utilities are split or individual or how they are paid for.
2. Is there a deposit and if so, what is it?
You might have to put down a safety deposit before you move in, this will keep you liable for anything that might happen to the place you are living in.
3. If you have roommates, is the lease individual or joint?
Some houses have joint leases that you go onto a portal and pay for parts of it! Apartments are usually an individual lease that you pay for through their website.
4. When do you move in and out?
If you are doing sorority recruitment, this should be one of your first questions! So many girls stay in hotels because their move in date was later than when they needed to be back in Tuscaloosa. If you are staying during the summer, you need to look for a place that can accompany that!
If you have a car, you need to know the parking situation! There might be a fee added or a certain place to park. Also ask about guest parking!
6. Do they allow pets?
If you are bringing or getting a pet at school, you need to live somewhere where they are allowed and welcome. You might have to pay a monthly fee so be prepared!
7. If you live in a house, how is the yard taken care of?
A lot of people don’t know how to take care of a lawn, like how to mow it and weed it! Your rental company might take care of it for you, or you might have to do it yourself.
8. Does it come furnished?
This is especially good to ask if you are from out of state and do not have furniture at home to bring! It might also save you some money if it comes furnished. If it doesn’t, take a look at Facebook Marketplace for cheap options.
9. What happens if you are late paying rent or miss a deadline?
This is super important because accidents happen! You might miss a rental payment date and be fined for it. It’s good to know what happens in the worst-case scenarios, so you can be prepared for anything.
10. Are there washers and dryers included?
You always need to do laundry! Most places have it included, so do not worry too much about this. It is still a good question to ask though because nothing is worse than finding out it did not come included.
Those are most of the important questions to ask! Depending on where you live, there could be more. Make sure to do a ton of research and not jump on anything too quick — but remember when you know you know! Happy hunting and good luck!