Apartments, Off-Campus Independent Living
If you have decided you would prefer to live in an apartment while studying abroad, TALK students will have different options available to them. Apartment independent living provides many great benefits for students traveling to their host country and really encourages students the opportunity to mature, to become independent, and become adaptable as they learn how to live in a new culture. Here is a guide to finding off campus apartments if that is the accommodation option that most appeals to you.
- Take your time: Before you choose your apartment make sure you take the time to browse through all the options available to you. Check the rental prices in all the neighborhoods in which you are interested, drive through the neighborhoods and speak with the building manager if you want to inspect a specific apartment. You may also find it useful to talk to the tenants in the building as well.
- Read your lease: Before you sign your lease agreement, make sure you read it carefully so you understand all the requirements and rules that are enforced. If you’re not sure ask questions. Some of the questions many students ask are:
- How much is the rent?
- What is included in the rent?
- When does the rent have to be paid?
- If sharing an apartment who is responsible if one leaves?
- What is the rental period?
- What is the right of entry of the landlord?
- What are the rules concerning recreational facilities, conduct, and pets?
- To lease or not to lease: When renting an apartment you have 2 options to choose from: a month-to-month rental agreement, or a lease agreement. A lease is generally the better option as you are assured you have a home to live in for a longer period of time, and you know exactly what you have to pay each month.
- Deposits: In any lease or rental agreement, a security deposit is required to help ensure any damages that incur while you occupy the property can be paid for once you leave. A landlord can’t expect a non-refundable security deposit. If you leave your apartment at the end of the lease and there are no damages then you will get your security deposit back.
- Apartment sharing: If you are sharing an apartment and one roommate moves into another apartment without paying their share of the rent, the landlord will have the ability to collect the rent needed from the remaining tenant. When you choose a roommate, you should take great care that they will fulfill their obligation. If they don’t, you may be out of pocket.