Living on Your Own: Tenancy Strategies for Students

Whether you’re a freshman moving out of your parent’s home for the first time or a returning student looking to move out of the dorms, renting your own place is an exciting endeavor. It gives you a taste of the freedom that comes with adulthood. It also teaches you essential lessons on how you manage a household. Prepare yourself for this next step in your life to understand the challenges you will face.

How to be a Good Tenant

Living on your own entails a lot of responsibilities, from finding the right place to assigning chores between you and your roommate. By learning more about these, you can reduce your stress during your tenancy.

Consider all options before settling on a place.

These days, there are several apartments and condos near universities. But this doesn’t mean all of them are the same. Finding the right place means doing plenty of research about the area, the property, and even the landlord. Use the information you’ve gathered to narrow down your choices and to make a decision. Visit the properties you’re looking at to compare it with its photos online. Be discerning during your visit; look for damage (both superficial and structural), check noise levels, and inspect the furnishings that come with the property.

Choose the right housemates.

Most students share accommodations to reduce monthly expenses. This is particularly common in share house arrangements and for large, multi-room condos. Since you will be living together, it’s vital that you’re comfortable and you feel safe with them.

  • Look for a housemate whose lifestyle and class schedule is similar to yours.
  • Ask about their finances to determine if they can keep up with household expenses.
  • Get housemate recommendations from people you trust.

Make sure you have the right budget.

Living on your own can be expensive, even with your parents’ help. Before settling on a place, make sure you can meet the long-term financial responsibilities of this arrangement. Making a down payment is easy, but other expenses (e.g., school requirements) can make it harder to pay for the household’s monthly fees. When determining your budget, take rent, utilities, groceries, and social activities into account to know how much you will need. This also allows you to practice for when you live on your own after graduation.

Familiarize yourself with the necessary paperwork.

As you move into a new place, you’ll be faced with different documents you will have to accomplish. These include the application form, the property lease, the condition report, and the bond statement.

  • Carefully go over these documents to get a better understanding of them. Ask your parents for help if there are things you don’t understand.
  • Ask the landlord for clarifications before signing anything to make sure your rights as a tenant are protected.
  • Keep the signed copies of these documents somewhere safe but accessible so that you can review them.

Make sure your first time living on your own goes as smoothly as possible. Prepare yourself accordingly to prevent problems that will make this arrangement difficult.

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