Guide for new renters

Katelynn Mccollough

There is a certain excitement that comes with renting an apartment for the first time, but with that excitement can also be lots of questions and a whole new set of things to learn.

Renting an apartment while attending school can be an amazing experience, or, in some cases, a nightmare.

To keep your off campus living experience be the best it can be just remember these key points.

Protect Yourself

 When you first move in to your new home on August 1, chances are you will be given a condition report to fill out for your landlord. 

As you fill out this paper on the current condition of the apartment be as specific and detailed as possible. Any damages or issues with your residences that you do not record in the report may end up coming out of your deposit when you leave the lease.

An easy way to protect yourself on the condition of your place on move in day is to take photos of each room before bringing in your own items. This helps prove the apartments condition from when you moved in to when you move out.

Designate a folder or box where you can keep a copy of these photos, lease agreements and any other important documents that deal with your lease. This way you always know where they are and have them in case a situation or question arises.

Communicate with your landlord

 The minute that you are having a maintenance or possible lease issue, contact your landlord immediately.

Reporting a maintenance issue quickly and getting it fixed will keep the apartment in a good condition.

If a roommate has decided to leave the lease before the end of the contract let your landlord know so they can inform you of your options and possibly help in finding a sublease.

Choose roommates carefully

Most leases in Ames are on a 12 month basis. This means that you will be with whoever you choose to live with for that entire month, so choose wisely.

Moving in with a boyfriend or girlfriend can be a particularly difficult option. No matter what the status of your relationship over that time period, you will both continue to be liable on the lease.

Unlike the dorm, if you are having issues with a roommate there is no switching rooms or a CA to help you. All problems must be solved amongst you and your roommates or it will be one long year.

Think long term

Have an idea of where you want to be in the next year. 

Don’t sign into a lease if you don’t think you’ll be still living in Ames a few months from now. If you don’t like your apartment or the people you are living with then make sure that you do not resign the lease for next year.