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
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)