Choosing an Apartment
Living off campus can be fun and rewarding experience. However, there are many hidden and unexpected costs associated with renting an apartment.
Before looking for an apartment, create a budget that is suitable to your financial means. In addition to your monthly rental fee be sure to include the cost for: food, heat, cable/ internet, parking, electricity, phone, laundry, household items/ decor, entertainment, and transportation. Once you have created your monthly budget it is important to stay within it as you search for your apartment. Apartment monthly rental fees tend to depend on:
- Size of apartment
- Condition of the apartment
- Location relative to campus
- Which utilities are included
There is a six-hour parking ban in Providence between 1:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. It is important that suitable parking can be obtained. If parking is available from the landlord, it must be written into the lease.
Choose roommates carefully! (Consider study habits, social habits, lifestyle and living expectations, and responsibilities) Clearly define what responsibilities will be incurred if one party decides to move out before the term of the lease is up. Most important, be honest about what you can and cannot live with in terms of cleaning, cooking, noise, guests, etc. The people you live with can have a profound effect on your enjoyment of off-campus living.
Things to look at/ for when viewing an apartment
Consider the following when looking at an apartment to rent and be sure to look at and note the condition of the entire apartment. If you find something in need of repair, put it in writing to the landlord prior to signing the lease and agree on the timeline for the repair.
- Living room size?
- Bathroom with tub? Shower?
- Number of bedrooms?
- Kitchen? Appliances?
- Yard or porch?
- Sidewalks and steps in good repair?
- Who is responsible for snow removal?
- Walls, ceilings, and floors in sound condition? Windows and doors open and close easily?
- Leaking faucets?
- Sinks, tub, shower drain properly?
- Toilets flush properly?
- Adequate water pressure?
- Storm windows?
- Age of heating system?
- Cost per year?
- Heat in each room?
- Consistent provision of hot and cold water?
- Pests kept under control?
- Regular garbage collection?
- No peeling paint or plaster?
- Adequate ventilation?
- At least two exits?
- Fire escapes in good repair?
- Wiring: adequate amount of plugs?
- Stairways and halls clear, well-lit?
- Appliances in good working order?
- Smoke and Carbon monoxide detectors?
- Locks on doors and windows?