Tips & Considerations For Renting
It’s always best to begin with your ideal situation and then be flexible to find the right fit. Some things you are going to want to have in mind prior to starting your search include:
- Location: Especially in Greeley, do you want or need to live close to campus? Do you want to live near shopping, K-12 schools, or recreation? Does the neighborhood fit your lifestyle (student or children-friendly)?
- Cost: Are confident with your monthly budget and what can you spend on rent? Have you considered “hidden” costs that may or may not be included in the lease terms (utilities, cable/internet, renter’s insurance, water, garbage service)?
- Amenities & Size: What size apartment do you want (bedrooms and bathrooms) and what amenities do you want in the space (washer/dryer, A/C, dishwasher, furnishings, etc.)?
- Condition of Unit/Complex/Neighborhood: Have you toured the complex, unit, or spent time in the neighborhood to see “what’s around"?
- Do not rent a place that you have only looked at online or in the paper. Make sure you actually tour the property and scrutinize the space by taking notes on everything you see wrong (windows, plumbing, exterior and grounds, lighting, parking, etc.).
- Ask yourself if you would you want to live in this residence. Do you feel safe? Would you be comfortable with the residence in its current condition? Are you comfortable with the landlord? If not, then say no to renting the space.
- Do a formal “walk through” with landlord before you move in. This means that all of you walk through the entire home and agree to its satisfactory condition. Take photos or videos of the home during the walk through.
- Carefully review all of the conditions of the lease before you sign. If there’s something you don’t understand, seek advice from UNC Student Legal Services or educate yourself.
- Get everything in writing to avoid disputes or misunderstandings with your landlord. Keep copies of all correspondence and follow up oral agreements with a letter, like when requesting repairs.
- Choose roommates carefully, especially if the lease includes Joint and Several Liability (if one roommate does not pay rent, you’re all responsible). Money is the most common cause of conflict, so make sure you work out your budget and how bills will be paid.
- Purchase rental insurance to protect your belongings from damage or theft and protect yourself from having to pay thousands of dollars if you accidentally cause property damage (because of a fire or water damage). It’s super cheap (typically less than $150 a year) and you can likely purchase it through the same company that provides you with car insurance.
- Don't let your deposit go easily. By law, landlords must return your deposit or prove the exact cost of every deduction. You can dispute deposit charges, but make sure you speak with UNC Student Legal Services for advice on how to best proceed if this happens.
- You can avoid scams by being vigilant and protecting your private information. Never wire or send money, especially before you see the property. Always meet the landlord in-person and at the property, and take a friend with you for safety. If it seems too good to be true, then chances are it’s a scam.