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Apartment Hunting - Things to Look Out For?

Hi all,

So I just got word on the lotter for university housing, and I ended up not getting into the undergraduate apartments, but rather one of the residence halls–a 8-person suite with one bathroom… given how regular I (3…) and at least one of my prospective roommates (2…) is, that’s not really going to fly. Plus, they force us to buy a really not-worth-it meal plan.

Long story short, we started looking at apartments on craigslist about an hour ago, and we were planning on taking a look at prospective apartments tomorrow and no one in our group really has experience in this sort of stuff, so… I was wondering if anyone had any advice/things to look out for when apartment hunting? Any advice would be great.

Thanks

If there was another thread on this, sorry, search function sucks.

1.Be careful slumlords run rampant around colleges/universities. I have heard countless stories and had few problems myself with landlords never returning security deposits, never fixing things and charging people for ridiculous things/damages.

2.Read the contract

3.Understand the contract

4.Make sure your buddies are definitely in and wont be transferring. One of my roommates bailed out at the last second and my other roommate and I had to put out more money until we found someone else.

5.Personally I feel a year to year contract is better than a longer contract. There will always be some unforeseen problem/issue that arises and it is nice not having to forfeit your security deposit+ to get out of a contract.

6.Check out the places thoroughly. Pay close attention to who are your neighbors (older couple who will call the cops every night or drug dealers that get shot in front of the house, yep). Ask questions talk to the neighbors and if the landlord owns other places talk to those tenants about their experience with the landlord.

7.Read the contract.

8.Have your parents read the contract.

9.Do not, I repeat do not buy anything for the house that you don’t mind having broken, burned, stolen, or left behind. I bought a brand new sectional couch to have my 6’3 320lb hairy sweaty roommate lay on all day long while playing PS3. There was an imprint of his body on the couch I kid you not. My other roommate bought a 57 inch rear projection tv that had to be lifted over a porch twice because it did not fit through the back door (GPP anyone?)

10.Read the fucking contract.

Living off campus is fun even though it was a bitch at times. Just be careful who you deal with and do not invest a lot in the house. Spend it on food and good beer. Let me know if you have any other questions. And don’t let your GF peel off the flower wallpaper in the bathroom because a faux finish would look so much better. UGHHH

[quote]PunisherHCK wrote:
1.Be careful slumlords run rampant around colleges/universities. I have heard countless stories and had few problems myself with landlords never returning security deposits, never fixing things and charging people for ridiculous things/damages.

2.Read the contract

3.Understand the contract

4.Make sure your buddies are definitely in and wont be transferring. One of my roommates bailed out at the last second and my other roommate and I had to put out more money until we found someone else.

5.Personally I feel a year to year contract is better than a longer contract. There will always be some unforeseen problem/issue that arises and it is nice not having to forfeit your security deposit+ to get out of a contract.

6.Check out the places thoroughly. Pay close attention to who are your neighbors (older couple who will call the cops every night or drug dealers that get shot in front of the house, yep). Ask questions talk to the neighbors and if the landlord owns other places talk to those tenants about their experience with the landlord.

7.Read the contract.

8.Have your parents read the contract.

9.Do not, I repeat do not buy anything for the house that you don’t mind having broken, burned, stolen, or left behind. I bought a brand new sectional couch to have my 6’3 320lb hairy sweaty roommate lay on all day long while playing PS3. There was an imprint of his body on the couch I kid you not. My other roommate bought a 57 inch rear projection tv that had to be lifted over a porch twice because it did not fit through the back door (GPP anyone?)

10.Read the fucking contract.

Living off campus is fun even though it was a bitch at times. Just be careful who you deal with and do not invest a lot in the house. Spend it on food and good beer. Let me know if you have any other questions. And don’t let your GF peel off the flower wallpaper in the bathroom because a faux finish would look so much better. UGHHH
[/quote]

Read the contract.

Understand the type of tenancy you are agreeing to.

Make sure the security deposit is being held in an interest bearing escrow account and not being mixed with the land lord’s personal funds.

Always make a spare set of keys so that if he fucks you, you can fuck him back.

If he seems shady, find another place (the cheaper places mostly have shady land lords)

Most colleges have some sort of student legal services specifically tailored to getting your money from landlords. I have had a landlord fail to return a deposit, sent the legal team after him and got it. My brother got docked a bunch of money on his deposit, then got it all back.

Washer and dryer are very nice to have and will make your life easier.

Check the thickness of the walls to see how well they damper sound and see what the demographic is in the complex; college kids make it fun to party, but it can get old if its happening every night when you got studying to do and sleep to get.

Females living next door or nearby is something to look for as well.