5 Qualities to Look For in a Student Housing Rental

Rental Real Estate Sign in Front of house

Moving off campus and into a student rental is a big step. When you live in dorms, you don’t need to think about things like location, who you want as roommates, and lease terms. However, you shouldn’t let this put you off. Living off campus will give you more freedom, allow you to have your own space, and save you money — not least because there are no meal plans. To find the right place, you just need to look for five key qualities.

1. Affordable Price

Most importantly, the housing needs to be within your budget. Although off-campus apartments do tend to cost less than dorms, it’s certainly possible to find places that are more expensive! You should have a clear budget in mind before you start searching to rule out any apartments you won’t be able to afford. Bear in mind you’ll need to pay a security deposit before you move in, which will add to your upfront expenses.

2. All-Inclusive Rent

It’s more difficult to calculate your budget if you need to pay for utilities separately from your rent. Plus, your bills may change from month to month and will depend on your roommates’ habits as well as your own. To simplify things, it’s ideal if you can find all-inclusive rent.

3. Furnishings

You’ll notice that furnished apartments are more expensive than unfurnished ones, but this can be a worthwhile expense. Needing to buy furniture is not just expensive, you’ll also need to pay to transport it when you move out — and you may have nowhere to put it, especially if you’ll be moving back in with your parents after you graduate. Lastly, there’s the issue of dividing furniture up with your roommates. To avoid these headaches, choose furnished housing.

4. An Individual Lease

Another thing that can become complicated with roommates is making sure everyone pays their share of the rent on time each month. If someone fails to pay, the rest of you could be on the hook for the money. Similarly, you could have issues if a roommate decides to move out before the lease is up. You’ll avoid all these problems by having an individual lease for your room.

5. A Welcoming Neighbourhood

Your housing should be located in a safe neighbourhood not too far from campus — within walking or biking distance is ideal. If you look farther afield, rent prices may be slightly lower, but your expenses will increase if you need your own means of transportation. Plus, the neighbourhood may be less suitable for students, which will mean your living situation will be less comfortable.

You can end your search for McMaster student rentals now: there’s a home for you at West Village Suites. You’ll be within walking distance of campus in a fully-furnished suite that you’ll share with two to four other students — these can be your friends or we can match you with roommates. Our individual leases are all inclusive, meaning they cover all your utilities and WiFi. Apply for a floor plan that suits your budget.

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