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Avoiding Rental Pitfalls: The Student’s Handbook to Stress-Free Housing

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student housing

It’s nearing that time of year when summer is coming to a close, and college life is around the corner. Whether entering the post-secondary world for the first time or continuing your schooling, you might feel that one of the biggest challenges is finding the perfect student housing. In this guide, we’ll walk you through some tips and tricks to help you avoid rental pitfalls and ensure your housing hunt is as stress-free as possible.

Start Early

Four months of summer vacation may seem like a lot of time, but when it comes to finding the best rental for the next school year, it’s essential to start the hunt early. Begin looking at the beginning of summer to scope out ideal locations and put in some inquiries. Give yourself time to explore options, ask questions, and take tours. This way, you won’t feel rushed into making a hasty decision when September rolls around.

Set a Budget (and Stick to It)

Money is often a never-ending challenge for students. Before you even start browsing listings, set a realistic budget. Consider the rent, utilities, groceries, transportation, tuition, loans, and extra expenses, like entertainment. While it may be tempting to opt for a high-class living option, weighing your priorities is crucial to ensure you can still live comfortably during the school year.

Location, Location, Location

When searching for student housing, consider proximity to your classes, campus facilities, and local hangouts. A short walk to class might seem insignificant, but you’ll be grateful for those extra minutes of sleep on a chilly Canadian winter morning.

Roommates: Friends or Strangers?

This is the age-old dilemma. Should you room with your best friend since kindergarten or take a chance on a random roommate? Both options have their merits, but remember that compatibility is key. Living habits, schedules, and cleanliness can make or break the situation. If you’re going the stranger route, don’t hesitate to chat or meet beforehand to ensure you’re on the same page.

Alternatively, if you prefer to live alone, keep in mind that this means you’ll have to shoulder the responsibility for all your bill payments. While the quiet may be nice, ensure you’ll be financially comfortable before taking this on by yourself.

Inspect Prospective Places

So, you’ve found a place that seems to check all your boxes. But before you sign that lease, take the time to inspect the property. Check for any signs of disrepair, pests, or malfunctioning appliances. Document all your findings and ensure your landlord is aware of them before moving in to avoid conflicts down the road. 

Read the Fine Print

When it’s time to finally sign your lease agreement, read the document thoroughly. Ensure you’re clear on your responsibilities and rights and the landlord’s obligations. If something seems off or you’re unsure about a clause or term, clarify this before you make it official.

Student working on her laptop with headphones on.

Finding Your Living Space for Next Semester

With early planning, budgeting, and a keen eye for detail, you’ll be well on your way to securing the perfect student housing without falling into pesky pitfalls like time constraints, poor location, or roommate debacles. Finding the right place might take a little time and effort, but the payoff is a cozy, stress-free haven that lets you focus on what truly matters during your college experience: Your studies, friendships and unforgettable adventures. 

At CLV Group, we have many rental options for students in prime locations near post-secondary institutions in British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec. Explore your possibilities today.