Tips For Dealing With Your Landlord As A Student

It’s that time again, back to school! Many students are moving in or just moved into their new apartments. Your college apartment is probably your first apartment. So today we’re sharing a few tips on how to have a good and professional relationship with your landlord.

1. Ask Questions

Here is a list of initial questions to ask:

  • What utilities (if any) are covered by the rent? If not ask for an estimate.
  • What are the parking rules? Is your friend going to get towed for parking outside of your unit?
  • What is the refund policy for security deposits?

2. Take a Walkthrough

Before signing any lease you should always conduct a formal walkthrough with your landlord. While viewing the rental property:

  • Make sure your amenities match what is advertised in the listing, and ask questions regarding missing or damaged items.
  • Double check light switches, locks, windows, and other facilities to identify current or potential problems.

3. Review Your Lease

Make sure you read your entire lease. Seriously. You may discover surprising restrictions and procedures.

Things to consider:

  • What are the penalties if you’re forced to break a lease due to work, school, or family responsibilities?
  • What charges are you liable for?
  • Are you allowed to sublet your room?
  • Are there any pet policies or fees?

4. Protect Yourself

Tenant and landlord rights vary based on your specific location, with certain laws governing states, counties, and cities.

Inquire the following:

  • What are your maintenance responsibilities?
  • Under what conditions can you be evicted and what is the legal process?
  • Under what conditions can you legally break your lease without any penalties?
  • Is renter’s insurance required?

Renters Insurance is a cheap and easy way to protect your valuables. Did you know that a leaky ceiling that ruins your laptop is NOT covered by the landlord’s insurance, YOU need renters insurance for that. Check out our Renters Insurance HERE.

Don’t be afraid to be assertive with your landlord from the beginning. Unfortunately, many college students are not well-versed in dealing with landlords, and some landlords try to take advantage.

5. Know How to Identify Scams

Be aware of scammers who advertise fraudulent property listings.

Warning signs include:

  • The price seems too good to be true; If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Excuses for why a rental unit can’t be shown
  • Requests for payment before you see the apartment or sign a lease.
  • No professional online presence or leasing office location

Never use cash, submit payments, or sign a contract before seeing a property.