Tips for Choosing a Place to Live

 Where to Start

When looking for a place to live, consider:

  • What type of housing do you want to rent: apartment, condo, townhome , house, room in a private house, or something else.
  • How much are you able to spend on rent?
  • Do you want to live close to the campus, near transit stops, close to the city center, or is there some other criteria that is important to you?
  • Do you want a roomate to share expenses?

Before signing a lease, paying a deposit, or agreeing to rent anything, check the property carefully. Take the following list of questions with you when you go to preview a rental property. If the landlord refuses to answer your questions, consider renting elsewhere.

  1. What is the monthly rent? When is it due?
  2. What deposit and fees are required?
  3. Is subletting permitted?
  4. Is there a fee for subletting?
  5. Can the rent increase if the number of tenants increases?
  6. Do roommates have to be approved by the landlord?
  7. Can the lease be terminated (by you) for illness, academic failures or other problems?
  8. Does the lease cover vacation periods?
  9. Who pays for utilities?
  10. Who pays or cable TV? Is it mandatory?
  11. Is the place furnished?
  12. Who controls the heat/cooling?
  13. Is a parking space availabel? Is there a cost?
  14. What are the rules on guests and visitors?
  15. Who has right-of-entry to conduct inspections? When?
  16. Are pets allowed? What are the restrictions?
  17. Is there storage space?
  18. Is there enough closet space?
  19. Is there adequate outside lighting?
  20. Are all the locks working?
  21. Are there enough lights and electrical outlets?
  22. Who is responsible for repairs?
  23. Who is responsible for yard care?
  24. Is redecorating allowed? How much?
  25. Are there laundry facilities in or near the building?

Selecting a Place to Live

There are several considerations in the selection of desirable rental property:

  • Reputation and practices of the prospective landlord.
  • Livability of the rental housing.
  • Environment.
  • Health and safety.
  • Services.
  • Recreation.
  • Design characteristics.
  • Utilities.
  • Inspection of the rental unit.

Inspect the inside and outside of the unit thoroughly before renting. If repairs are needed, arrangements should be made in writing with the landlord for these to be done by a specific date. A damage inventory should be made before you move in.