Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Things to do before Signing a Student Apartment Lease

Finding the perfect apartment when in college can be a bit nerve-wracking. Most students fear the house hunting process and rush into signing a lease whenever the place looks fine at first glance. Take your time before signing a lease and ensure the place works for you. Here are 7 things you need to do before signing that apartment lease.

1.      Discuss modifications and improvements

If you have already inspected the apartment and there are potential issues, make sure you discuss them with the landlord before signing the lease. It’s important for you to know whether the issues will be resolved before or after you move in. If the property owner is not in a position to resolve those issues then that may not be an ideal fit for you to move in.

2.      Document pre-existing damage

It’s very important for you to take note of any issues that the landlord did not agree to fix before you move in. They can be minor issues such as stained carpeting or missing tiles. Make sure you document this and protect yourself from any additional charges when you want to move out. Your security deposited may be used to make such repairs when you move out if you were not careful enough to document them.

3.      Understand what’s included in monthly rental cost

It’s important to clarify what utilities are included, if any, in your rental cost. Things like cable and parking may be paid for separately depending on the management of that apartment. There are even areas that offer public transportation and many other opportunities to save you money. Make sure you discuss with your landlord what is included in the monthly rent rate before you sign that lease.

4.      Can you customize the apartment?

Some apartments have very strict rules as to the kind of customizations that are permitted. Sometimes even installing your own lighting can result to your lease being terminated. Make sure you ask about any customizations you are planning to do before signing the lease.

5.      Do they allow pets?

It’s important to understand the apartment’s pet policies before signing the lease. Most apartments that are designed for students normally do not allow pets but you have to confirm this with the management. Find out what pets are allowed and if you will have to pay an additional rate for this.

6.      How about lease renewal?

What are the steps you need to take if you want to renew your lease? Some apartments do not allow students to renew their lease when certain conditions are not met. You must have this information before signing the lease.

7.      Ensure everything you agreed on is in writing

Most importantly, go through the entire lease document and ensure everything you agreed on is in writing. Read every word and make sure you understand. Whenever there is anything you don’t understand, ask the property owner or management to clarify. This lease document is very important and protects you in case of any eventualities.

Posted by: Melbourne Commons  http://melbournecommons.com/

Friday, March 18, 2016

Student Housing- Factors to Consider When Viewing Potential Houses

So you’ve finally been accepted to college. The next important step is to find the perfect accommodation in your student community. Most students will rush and sign up for the first house they see only to get disappointed later on. You need to be smart and make an informed decision as to where you’ll stay while pursuing your studies. Here are a few factors to consider when viewing student accommodation.

1.      Moisture problems
Always look out for mold and severe dampness in the property you are viewing. Some student houses are poorly maintained and dampness is a common sign of moisture issues. Living in a damp house may not only cause health problems due to low quality air but also ruin your items such as clothes. Check the walls and ceilings for signs of moisture problems. Take note of a musky smell, the appearance of peeling paint and mold patches on the walls. Look behind the wardrobes as well for signs of dampness.

2.      Signs of pest infestation
Houses that are invaded by pests like cockroaches, rats, mice and even slugs can be a nightmare. The reality is that students can be very messy and the habit of leaving food lying around for days can slowly attract household pests. You should check out for signs of mice droppings and slug trails on the floor. If there are signs that the house is infested, it’s best to stay away.

3.      Location is key
Always consider the location of your apartment whenever you go for viewing. Find out whether the apartment or house is close to your campus, retail centers and other places like bus stops if you will be using public transport. You may opt for a location that has fewer students housing in order to stay away from the noisy house parties that are common in student communities. Ask about the security of the area.

4.      Check the electrical system
Before you pay for an apartment and move in, check whether it has a reliable electrical system. Ask whether they provide electrical appliances you’ll need to meet your needs. If you notice hanging plug sockets and loose cables, it could be a sign that there is a problem with the electrical system. Make sure they are willing to do the necessary repairs before you agree to move in.

5.      A reliable water supply
If you’ll be living with a group of friends, you need to ensure that the water supply can accommodate all your needs. Check the water volume and pressure and ensure the bathrooms are in good condition. Make sure you also look out for signs of leakage and dampness in the bathroom.

6.      Ensure there’s proper insulation

The cost of energy bills can escalate when the house is poorly insulated. Make sure that any house you intend to stay in while studying is adequately insulated. Double glazed windows, a good HVAC system and properly secured doors are evidence of good insulation.   

Posted By: Melbourne Commons  http://melbournecommons.com

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Money Saving Hacks For Students Living Outside Campus

Being in college is a great learning experience. Not only while in school but also while living outside campus and learning the ropes of adult life. There are various student-housing units that provide accommodation for students near most college campuses. Most of these housing units provide furnished apartments for students to share. Living outside campus comes with a lot of responsibilities, especially when it comes to spending money. Here are a few money saving tips to live comfortably.

Mental tricks

You can play some mental tricks to avoid excessive spending when living outside campus. There are a few surefire tricks that will fool you into spending less money. For instance, you should always pay with cash when possible as it makes spending more real than using credit cards. Also carry large bills since they are more painful to spend than small bills. When leaving home, take only the cash you need and leave your wallet to prevent impulse spending.

Budgeting for entertainment

Entertainment is a huge part of student life so it should be included in your budget. Set aside a small portion of your budget for entertainment and stick to it to avoid spending too much. You can consider watching DVDs and videos online instead of watching cable TV, which is more costly. Be an outdoor person and take advantage of the park and other outdoor activities that prevent you from spending too much. You can also go for happy ours in most restaurants where you get cheap food or go for free tours in factories for entertainment. Finally, house parties is where refreshments are free and in plenty.

Food and shopping

Your budget should have a list of "must haves" and "want to haves". The must haves are your usual needs such as groceries and toiletries. Wants are things that you desire to have but can do without. You should put this in a separate list and revisit them after thirty days to see if you still need them. When shopping for items look around for the best price, share items that you don't need with others people and trade them for things you need. Always buy in bulk if you tend to buy a lot of a certain item and cook at home to save money on food expenses.

Stay healthy

You should also keep your health bills to a minimum and you should do this by staying as healthy as possible. Make sure to exercise regularly, go jogging and use the campus pool to stay fit. You should also maintain a healthy diet and quit vices such as cigarette smoking, alcohol and drugs.


Using a car can be very expensive. You have to budget for gas money, insurance, parking and maintenance. Using mass transit can help you save a lot of money. Riding a bicycle is a great way to combine the exercise and money saving. Most campuses usually have free campus shuttles and you don't have to spend anything.
Melbourne Commons is a Melbourne Florida student living community. Melbourne student housing, Melbourne off campus living. http://melbournecommons.com/