Living near a college campus has its pros and cons. If you're an undergraduate, graduate student, or work on campus, living near campus is convenient. But depending on your age, personality, and temperament, living near campus can have its downfalls too: Parking may be scarce, petty crime may be common, businesses may cater to a younger audience and remain open late, undergrads and young adult students may throw noisy parties, and finding full-service grocery stores or similar businesses may be harder than in other neighborhoods.
If you rent near a college campus and attend or work for the campus, chances are you can locate a rental by sleuthing the school intranet or bulletin boards on campus targeting students or campus workers. Some landlords may cater to undergraduates and group housing situations, while others will prefer older students, professors, and professionals. When researching your rental options, ask landlords who their unit or building tends to attract, but keep in mind that landlords may not be able to control how your neighbors behave. Make sure to visit buildings and units in person, as some landlords do a bare minimum, aesthetically speaking, to units frequently rented to undergrads who may exert more wear-and-tear on a property than older tenants.
Also ask about lease terms. Near most campuses, landlords who regularly rent to students may offer nine-month/three-month leases, with the nine-month period catering to the school year and the three-month leases catering to summer students, summer campus program attendees, etc. If you're in the market for a full-year lease, you may make a more appealing tenant candidate to a landlord. If you're just moving to a new city and want a three-month lease while you get the lay of the land, then living near a university may make sense.
One benefit of living near a campus is that if you want to sublet, landlords may show more flexibilityâ€”as long as you adhere to their rules on subletting such as disclosing the names of all subletters on the lease, etc.. But a downside to near-campus renting is that many landlords are absentee, meaning they're investors who live in other states. While some investor landlords hire a local management company to rent their units and provide upkeep, others try to manage upkeep remotelyâ€”enlisting a list of local pals to help with plumbing, whitewashing walls in between rentals, fixing the washing machine if it goes kaput. In the latter case, you may have to wait longer for help if anything goes wrong in the building. Ask if your landlord or a maintenance team is on-call and local, or whether you'll need to work through a list of contacts to get help in emergencies. Also ask about parking, since it's typically in high demand in university neighborhoods.