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9 Pitfalls Students Must Be Aware of When Renting

By Al Twitty | August 3, 2022

While in college, many students quickly get tired of living in a crowded and noisy dorm and decide to move into a rented apartment to have more privacy and freedom. At first glance, renting in college can seem like a good idea, and it really can be. But, at the same time, there are many related pitfalls that you must be aware of.

What are these pitfalls? Read on, and we will tell you about the top nine of them!

Renting Alone Isn’t Cheap

An average college student has to cover a huge number of expenses every year. This includes tuition and fees, academic services like WritePaper, tutors, books, food, and much more. Needless to say, their budgets are rather limited. So, often, young people can’t afford to cover additional expenses, which brings us to the first pitfall students must be aware of when renting - doing this on your own is expensive.

The cost of a dorm room can be anywhere between $8,000 and $13,000 per year. The average one-bedroom apartment rent is $1,129 per month or $13,548 per year, plus an additional $2,000 or so for utilities per year. As a result, the cost of a dorm is somewhat lower.

Finding Someone to Live With Isn’t Easy

While living on your own can be pretty expensive, living with a roommate(s) isn’t all that easy too. First of all, you need to know that finding someone to share your apartment with won’t be a simple task.

Just the fact that you are friends with someone doesn’t mean that they will be good roommates.

In order to find a good candidate to live with, you have to consider a variety of factors, including their lifestyles, financial situation, and how responsible they are. And remember that lease contracts are often being signed at least one year ahead. Thus, if you make a wrong choice, you risk having a pretty tough year.

Proximity to Campus Is Often Compromised

If you are just thinking about renting an apartment as a student, here is one more pitfall you have to keep in mind - the proximity to campus will cost you more. According to statistics, apartments and houses located nearby colleges and universities are more expensive than those located further away.

Respectively, if your budget is limited, which is probably true, the first thing you might need to compromise is the location.

Public Transport Isn’t Available Everywhere

If you live in a dorm or very close to the campus, getting to your lectures and classes is no big deal. But, if you have to compromise the proximity to campus, one more issue you should be prepared for is the unavailability of public transport. Not all neighborhoods (especially cheaper ones) are located close to the subway or other public transport stations.

Due to this reason, many students who are renting have to acquire alternative means of transportation, such as a car or a bicycle. In many cases, this will mean extended time and the cost of transportation to and from the campus.


Renting With Pets Is Tricky

Many college dorms in the US are pet-friendly. That is, students often are allowed to bring their furry friends with them to college or get new pets while already studying. But, if you are renting, the situation is quite the opposite.

First and foremost, finding a suitable apartment is hard. Many landlords don’t allow pets in their properties, and those who do often charge more. Plus, they require additional documents and certificates if there is going to be an animal in the apartment.

If you are already renting and want to get a pet, another pitfall you must know about is that you are obliged to ask the permission of the landlord. In this case, you have to be ready for negotiation and potential refusal.

Damage Requires Repairs

Each tenant has a number of liabilities in front of the landlord. The specific list of your responsibilities and obligations will be determined by the lease contract that you sign. Of course, the rules and terms can vary. But some things remain unchanged in most situations. Namely, if you damage something in the apartment, you will likely be responsible for all associated repairs.

This should sound pretty obvious, but many students still overlook this matter. If you used to be one of them, now you know about this pitfall. So, the key idea is to be very careful with the property you rent and all belongings that are not yours that might be there.

Changes and Upgrades Must Be Negotiated

Speaking about different repairs of the space, here is one more thing you have to be aware of - there are not so many things in a rented apartment that you are allowed to change or upgrade on your own. Most changes must be negotiated with a landlord first.

Therefore, if you suddenly realize that you want to change the walls’ color or put a new picture in a living room, don’t do it without permission. Always check with the property’s owner if it’s okay with them.

Security Issues Are Real

Areas populated by students have always been hotspots for robbers and other criminals. This is true even for on-campus dorms. But, in the case of dorms, there is almost always some kind of on-campus security service that deals with all related issues. And when you are renting on your own, it is you who will be responsible for security issues.

Therefore, if you decide to live off campus, you have to be very thoughtful about your own and your property’s safety. You might need to opt for the right security features to secure your and the landlord’s belongings. And also, you might want to get special tenant insurance for more safety. In any case, you have to know that security issues are real and that you will be the one in charge of solving them.

Beware Noise Complaints

Everyone who’s been in college knows that it’s the time when many young people love noisy get-togethers and parties. In dorms, this is a common practice. But, it is important to note that dorms are located on campus, which means that there are mainly other students who surround you there.

If you are renting, on the contrary, you will be surrounded by neighbors who might have other lifestyles and personal borders than you and your friends. If you organize loud parties, your neighbors have the right to complain about this. 

And, if this happens, you risk facing a variety of issues and even being kicked out of your apartment. Therefore, if you are a fan of loud music and huge parties, possibly, living in a dorm or renting something more isolated from other people is a wiser option.

The Bottom Line

Renting your own apartment while in college can be pretty exciting. It can give you more personal space and freedom and become a unique and memorable experience. However, there are still many issues associated with it.

After reading this article, you know about the biggest pitfalls that might be there. Use it as a guide to be prepared for different possible challenges and overcome them with ease!

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