Here are some tips to help you and your college student through the process.
1. Do your homework. Before scheduling an appointment to view the apartment, do your research. Some items to think about are:
- Is there public transportation nearby?
- Is it a residential area or business district?
- Are stores and restaurants within walking distance?
Use the internet to:
- Look for online reviews from previous tenants.
- Check out all the properties that are available.
- Use tools such as Google Maps to check out the property and the neighborhood.
- If something looks too good to be true, it may be a scam; proceed with caution.
2. Visit. Once you've found some apartments you're interested in, take a visit to each one. It really is not a great idea to rent an apartment without seeing it in person. A visit allows you the opportunity to:
- See the actual size (a great opportunity to see if certain furniture items will fit).
- Identify preexisting damages such as holes in the walls or carpet stains, and document them.
- Make sure the toilets/showers are in good working condition.
4. Don’t forget to purchase renters insurance. Many landlords have insurance policies that only cover the cost of the building. This won't cover a tenants items in case of a fire or other emergency. It's a good idea to purchase renters insurance to cover any possible damages.
5. Test their smartphone. Depending on the construction of the building or their phone company, your student’s smartphone may not get great service in the building. This is something that can be easily forgotten about when looking for an apartment, but it can be very important.
6. Make sure the lease is in writing. Signing a lease with a large apartment complex often leads to paperwork that is more thorough. Check everything over to make sure it is exactly what you're looking for.