Renting during college is one of the most exciting aspects of the whole experience! It is a declaration of independence from the rules and regulations of the dorm life and a further extension of independence from one’s parents. This being said, the renting life is fun and exciting. However, there are a few common mistakes that plague college renters. Make sure to not let these happen to you!
Finding the right roommates sometimes isn’t easy, but it is worth the effort. Make sure to start looking for potential roommates as soon as possible; this is something that cannot wait till last minute—like an online quiz. At the bare minimum, make sure potential roommates are at least financially stable. After that, try to find people who seem like they are a good match for your group and would be a positive renting partner.
2. Not reading the entire lease
Not reading the lease is a mistake that can happen from time to time. Sometimes it can even be worth it to hire someone—like a campus provided legal services— to read one’s lease for him or her. It could be the difference from having direct TV or cable, to having a cat or a $200 penalty. Always be thorough when reading a lease and establish clear expectations with the landlord. Having a clear understanding of what is expected will eliminate most problems one can encounter with a lease.
3. Not establishing clear house duties
Nobody wants to be seen as the mom of the house, but having clear duties for each individual is important. One has to do what it takes to get everyone involved equally with house chores and duties. Expectations need to be established for everyone. Do what it takes to establish these, have a chore calendar, create individual to do lists, or go to extremes and conduct a blood oath. Whatever it may be, do it right away, perhaps even bring it up before signing a lease.
Avoiding these common mistakes will only make your renting experience better. Remember, renting is one of the most exciting things to do with friends in college and the memories made will be life-long!
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