Here's a list of the top considerations any college student should have while searching for off-campus housing.
1. Affordability & Utilities
The first step when choosing your off-campus housing is figuring out if you can afford the cost of living. To determine the affordability of a rental unit, you will need to consider the following:
- Renters insurance (a must!)
- Books /parking/ food
- Other living expenses (toiletries, clothes, supplies, etc.)
2. Property Location
You should never live where you feel unsafe simply to save money.
- Visit the property during the day, at night and on the weekend
- Talk to the current tenants as well as your friends who are living in the area, and find out what their experience has been with the landlord and/or the area
- Check out crime statistics communitycrimemap.com
*MAKE SURE TO CONTACT LANDLORDS MORE THAN 24-HOURS IN ADVANCE if you want to view potential rental properties, because they're required by Ohio Law to provide current tenants 24-hours’ notice prior to entry.
3. LANDLORD REPUTATION
Talk to the current tenants and ask questions such as:
- Was the place ready to move in at the start of the lease term?
- Does the landlord make repairs in a timely fashion?
- Is the landlord respectful and easy to work with?
- Would you rent again from this landlord?
4. RENTERS INSURANCE
Protect your belongings from fire, flood and theft by purchasing renters insurance. Remember, your landlord’s insurance policy does not cover your personal belongings.
Need someone to take over your lease? Keep in mind, you may still be responsible for the rent and/or potential property damage. Subleasing is a great way to find housing over the summer or for a semester if you're studying abroad!
Before you start the search for your next off campus home, understanding what to consider before moving off campus will make your transition smoother.