For most college students, their apartment search is their first foray into real estate. It’s the first time in their lives that they have been taxed with finding an affordable place to live. This experience teaches them how to deal with a landlord, inspect rental contracts, and find sub-leasers when needed. Unfortunately for college students, they are bound to make mistakes in renting their first apartment. Here are some things to to do in order to limit these mistakes.
One of the main reasons landlords rent to college students is because of their relative inexperience. Landlords can easily take advantage of a young student’s lack of experience in real estate. Some landlords will even blame a previous deformity in the house on the new tenant. The tenant then has no way to prove the property was already damaged before he or she moved in. To combat this, make sure to take pictures of the property before you move in. Get every single part of the property. It may seem like a lot of work but it is sure to protect you in the long run. Even if your landlord isn’t trying to take advantage of you, taking pictures ensures there will be no conflict regarding physical damage to the house. Avoiding a lawsuit for an hour of work is a great trade off.
As a college student you probably want to have a thriving social life. If that’s the case you’ll be inviting guests over to your new apartment. These guests can be fun, but in social gatherings they can also be a hazard. In the event that someone breaks something in the house or vandalizes it, you need to be covered. You can accomplish this by buying Renter’s Insurance. Renter’s insurance is relatively cheap. You can purchase a $50,000 coverage policy for around $350 a year. Unfortunately, though your landlord might have insurance, most landlords’ policies don’t cover your personal belongings. Renter’s insurance covers you in the case of theft, fire, or vandalism. Purchasing renter’s insurance ensures that you can sleep easy at night knowing your valuables are covered.
One of the most disregarded clauses in a contract is the venue for a potential lawsuit. Chances are you don’t permanently live in the town you go to school in. In the event of a lawsuit between you and your landlord the venue can be a huge factor in the case. If you go to school in the west coast and you live on the other side of the country you would have to fly back for a lawsuit. This takes away your time and your money. In the rental contract you can specify the location where you want the potential lawsuit to be taken care of. Choose somewhere you know is accessible to you. This is part of the contract is often overlooked. The majority of young people doubt they’ll be involved in a lawsuit. However, anything can happen so it’s best to be safe rather than sorry.
Renting your first property as a college student is a huge ordeal. You come in inexperienced. Landlords can take advantage of this with obscure language in contracts. It is important to thoroughly read the contracts and look for any oddities. By taking pictures of property beforehand, purchasing renter’s insurance, and choosing a venue for a potential lawsuit you can limit the difficulties you could potentially undergo as a first time renter.