Helpful Blogs From 2014 By  The Best Student Tips

Friday, January 30, 2015

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2014 marked the 11th year in business for, as well as one year of weekly blogging about the student housing industry!

To summarize the highlights for students, we’ve compiled a list of tips and information from various blogs posted throughout the year. For more details, click on the subtitles to view each full article.


1. Getting Your Security Deposit Back
Across North America, it’s a fairly standard practice for landlords to request tenants to provide a security deposit before moving into a rental unit. One of the most common reasons for withholding a security deposit is when a landlord states that damage was done to the property beyond normal wear and tear. It is recommended that tenants document the condition of the rental before moving in and take pictures or a video walk-through of each room.


2. Choosing a Roommate: Should I Live With My Best Friend?
Living with a best friend can be a great experience, but it’s best to consider all of the pros and cons before moving in together. Someone may be a great best friend, but not necessarily the best roommate. There are several pros and cons to consider before rooming with a best friend.


  • Top Pro:  You already know a lot about your best friend.
  • Top Con:  In the event of a roommate conflict, you may jeopardize your (best) friendship.


3. Tips for Advertising a Student Sublet

When it comes to subletting, timing is everything. The most important piece of information to know is when students begin searching for accommodations. If a student is looking for a subletter for summer months, it’s wise to figure out the approximate date of when students will be registering for summer classes. Second to timing is pricing. While many students will simply ask the rental rate they are currently paying, other students will price their sublets more competitively.


4. 10 Must-Check Things for Students: While Viewing Rental Accommodations

Students generally tend to be inexperienced and naïve renters, due mostly to their lack of rental history and knowledge. Here are a few crucial things to check that don’t necessarily come to mind when hunting for rental accommodations.


  • Cellphone Reception.  It should come as no surprise that students are always on their phone - so cellphone reception is incredibly important! Students should walk around the entire rental unit and make sure there is a strong cellphone signal throughout. This is especially important in basement apartments, where reception may be poor.
  • Read the other 9 must-check things here


5. Renting a Place Without Seeing It In Person

A fundamental rule in apartment hunting is never rent a place without actually seeing it in person. In certain instances though, this rule must be broken. Some extenuating circumstances make it physically impossible for a potential renter to see a place in person. So how can these students make an educated decision on what place to rent? The solution is research, research and more research!

6. First Time Renters: 10 Things Nobody Tells You

First-time renters listen up! Here’s some extremely valuable advice that you may not have been told.


  • Research your rights as a tenant.  As a first-time renter, it’s wise to learn some of the landlord and tenant laws in the city you’ll be residing in. In the event that you experience issues with a landlord, it’s extremely helpful to have a general understanding of the applicable laws.  Most regions have a Landlord and Tenant Board that can help first-time renters understand their rights as a tenant.
  • Read the other 9 things here


7. Potential Problems for Students As First-Time Renters

The following are some common problems first-time renters might run into.


  • A landlord/property manager requests references, but I’m a first-time renter and don’t have any.
    Don’t fret!  There are ways around not having any previous landlord references. Often landlords or apartment community managers will simply require a larger security deposit as an alternative, or perhaps a guarantor to sign the lease as well. Alternative references may also be requested, such as an employer or character reference.
  • Read the other 5 potential problems here


8. Understanding Common Lease Provisions & Clauses – For a First Time Tenant

Two of the most common and important provisions found in leases are the notice and termination provisions.


  • The notice provision will specify how much notice a tenant must provide the landlord before they end a lease. In most cases, tenants will be required to provide anywhere between 30-90 days of notice to their landlord.
  • The termination provision will often tell you if a lease automatically terminates at the end of the period, or if it automatically renews. This section may also include information about the consequences of terminating a lease before it’s agreed upon end date.
  • Read other common lease provisions and clauses here


9. Your Lease Isn’t Like a Software Licensing Agreement – Read It!

Your lease isn’t like a software licensing agreement where many of us click “Accept” at the bottom, without actually reading the contents of the legal agreement. Before you sign your name on the dotted line, you should read your lease very carefully.  Then read it again to be sure you didn’t miss anything the first time. Within your lease, you will find information that is extremely important to know. Sometimes tenants break a lease agreement without even knowing it, simply because they didn’t read it thoroughly.


10. What Students Need To Know About Subletting a Place

Students who are interested in living off-campus might get lucky and find an 8 to 9 month lease; but in most cases, students get locked into a 12 month lease. Before trying to find someone to sublet your place, consider a few important things:


Does your lease allow for sublets?

  • Don’t just assume you can sublet because it’s a common practice; read the fine print of your lease and find out. Some leases will have clauses that prevent tenants from subletting. If a tenant sublets a place without authorization, it could be considered a violation of the lease agreement.
  • Read the other 7 considerations here



The Team