Back-to-School: Tips for Moving Into Your First College Apartment

Here's what you should know before renting your new place

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I bet there have been times when you’ve watched a daytime courtroom show and  witnessed a loud disagreement between a tenant and landlord.

You, however, can avoid this headache by simply following the points below so that you can have a happy and safe tenancy.

The Better Business Bureau says you should consider the following when searching for your first college apartment:

  • Know your credit history before you shop for a place. If you have a credit history, check your credit score. Know that you are entitled to one free credit report from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus. You can order your report from Annualcreditreport.com. If you have not established any credit yet, keep in mind you will most likely need to find a cosigner for your apartment.
  • Don’t be in a hurry; get the facts and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
  • Always do a walk-through of the unit before signing the lease. Don’t forget to double check items such as the faucets, the refrigerator, stove, and house heater.
  • Ask about noise levels, any past problems with pests/insects, when is trash day, and what do the monthly utilities usually run.
  • Before signing the lease, check out tenant-landlord laws. There are many websites available that can walk you through the specific rental laws for your state. There is a great deal of information on Nolo.com.
  • Always take pictures of the unit before you move in and after you move out.
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