Renting Your First Apartment For College? Know Your Rights

Real Estate Blog

Moving away from home for college can be a very exciting time. However, it brings with it a new set of responsibilities. If you are planning to live off campus in an apartment, you'll need to know what your rights will be as the tenant living in an apartment building. While your agreement with your landlord is unique, there are basic tenant rights that will always remain no matter where you live. Here is what you need to know to prepare yourself for apartment living.

Your Rights

Be aware that the apartment you are renting is a space that belongs to you, even though someone else owns it. You do have rights to privacy while living there, meaning you don't have to let other people into the unit without notice, including the actual landlord. However, if you are given notice in advance, typically a 24-hour window, you need to let them in the unit. This can be necessary for a repair, an inspection, or even verifying the current condition of your rental unit occasionally.

As the renter, you also should be guaranteed that the energy supplies going to the unit have been installed properly by a professional, like electricity and gas. Your landlord should be able to supply certification, if requested. The landlord should provide safety measures to protect you in case of a fire, such as smoke alarms. The landlord should also take steps to ensure that the apartment is safe, which means making sure that the unit is up to code for electrical work and that the roof is in good shape.

Your Responsibilities

You are responsible for paying your rent on time each month. That said, be sure to keep receipts of any transactions, such as cashed checks or bank withdrawal statements. You must also keep the unit in good shape and fix damage, even if it is unintentional. You are not allowed to make alterations to a property without approval from your landlord, which may even include painting the walls. You will also be responsible for minor repairs, like changing burned out light bulbs and smoke detector batteries.

You're also responsible for preventing fire hazards within your unit, which means keeping the exits clear and clutter free. You should also be letting your landlord know of problems immediately, such as pipes that are leaking, to prevent significant damage from being done.

When in doubt about the terms of your lease, reach out to your landlord for clarification.

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30 May 2018

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