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    Off-Campus Living Tips

    September 29, 2017

    female student relaxing in her room west village davis

    As a student considering moving into UC Davis apartments for rent, you may be moving into an apartment for the very first time and not know what to expect. Because to be totally honest with you, it’s very easy to end up getting harassed by your landlord, robbed of your security deposit, or even evicted if you aren’t prepared for a potential negative situation.

    For the most part, many students end up having an excellent apartment living experience when they first decide to move off campus. But there are also certain horror stories that you hear from time to time, so we want you prepared and ready to take on the challenge of off-campus living without getting played or taken advantage of by an unscrupulous landlord.

    With that said, we’ll share our favorite off-campus living tips for students moving into an apartment for the very first time. These tips should make it easier than ever for you to navigate the waters of adulthood and successfully rent an apartment for the very first time.

    Look Over Your Apartment Thoroughly before Signing the Lease

    Some young people are so eager to jump into their lives as adults that they fail to thoroughly look over their apartment before signing the lease. This is a big mistake for a number of different reasons. For starters, you want your new apartment to be in excellent condition. If it’s not and your landlord turns out to be a dud, you might go the entire semester having to live with broken features in your apartment.

    Plus, it’s quite possible your landlord will claim that you broke or potentially even stole certain things from the apartment and he or she will end up taking it out of your security deposit unless you bring it to their attention ahead of time. Obviously you’d rather avoid this for a wide range of reasons, but ultimately you don’t want to lose money, don’t want to have to get into a confrontation with your landlord, and would be much better off avoiding an altercation of this magnitude because you could end up in court.

    So, make sure the apartment is in tip top shape before signing a lease. Check for wobbly, creaky or broken stairs and floorboards, make sure the windows could easily open and close, check for mold or water damage, make sure the bathroom fixtures work and aren’t leaking, check to see if the drywall is cracked, the wall paneling is broken, the paint is marred, make sure the appliances work, and make sure that place isn’t infested with bugs. If any of these things are broken, missing, or worse, bring it to the attention of the landlord prior to signing the lease and make sure you aren’t going to be responsible if you do end up taking the apartment.

    Thoroughly Examine the Lease before Signing It

    Now that you’ve determined your apartment is in tip top shape, it’s time to go over your lease with a fine tooth comb to make sure there aren’t any hidden clauses and responsibilities you aren’t aware of prior to signing your John Hancock to the page.

    As an example, there are a few potential areas that the landlord might mention in the lease that you never even thought of. If you’re moving into the apartment with multiple roommates, find out how many roommates are allowed in the lease before signing. If you intend to have five people live in the apartment, but the lease only says three people can live there, then you’ll obviously have to move on and find a different apartment because the lease doesn’t accommodate your needs.

    Are you thinking about subletting the apartment at some point? The landlord might not permit it and it might be expressly stated in your lease. If that’s the case, you’ll have to find another apartment that allows subletting. Are you responsible to clear the snow during the winter? You may not want this responsibility, but the landlord might have it in the lease. If you sign and then ignore your responsibility, you could end up breaking your lease and creating a whole world of trouble for yourself that you’d obviously rather avoid.

    So, before you sign your name to anything, make sure you know what you’re getting into by thoroughly reading over the lease. This is good practice for any contractual obligation so take the time to read it over and have a family member or even your attorney look it over if you do not understand everything in the written contract.

    How to Furnish Your New Apartment Inexpensively

    If you are moving into an apartment that is already furnished, you’ll need to get furniture for your place on the cheap. You obviously do not want to spend top dollar on furniture when living in an off-campus apartment. You don’t intend to take this furniture with you for the rest of your life, so it doesn’t make sense to spend lots of money on something that will eventually be disposable.

    Who can you think of in need of disposing of their furniture quickly and easily? If you answered graduating seniors, then you’re a lot smarter than you look! Find seniors that just graduated and ask them what they plan to do with their furniture once they move on to prepare for their new life. Many will gladly sell you their old furniture for a fraction of what they paid, so you could quickly and easily furnish your entire apartment without having to spend an arm and a leg to get a new bed, couch, chairs, desk, and anything else you might want to put into your new place.

    So do yourself a huge favor and connect with graduating seniors as soon as possible. The faster you find seniors looking to get rid of their furniture quickly, the easier it will be to acquire it, move it, and get it for a low, low price.


    Please take advantage of these off-campus apartment living tips for students. If you do, your life will be a lot easier, more affordable, and certainly more comfortable.