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A Guide to Renting Near a College Campus

Young woman who is renting near a college campus
There are upsides to renting near a college campus, but do your homework first.

If you’re in college, renting near a college campus is a no-brainer. But if you’re not a college student, all of those rentals in one spot may still seem like a great place to rent. But is it? When renting near a college campus, there are several factors to consider. Here are some of the pros and cons of living near campus and important questions to ask the landlord before signing a lease.

Pros of Living Near Campus

Renting near a college campus offers a variety of perks. Even if you’re not a student, colleges often have job opportunities, so you could be near campus employment opportunities. You could get to work quickly and save money by avoiding a long commute.

Another perk of renting near campus is the community and neighborhood atmosphere. College towns are lively, full of motion, and often close-knit communities. If you’re young and enjoy a social atmosphere, renting near a college campus allows you to experience a lot of social activities. Plus, fellow renters may be in a similar phase of life, allowing you to make new friends and build relationships with your neighbors.

Also, you can find plenty of restaurants, bars, businesses, and grocery stores nearby. If you’re looking for a location with some action, living near a college campus is a smart choice.

Cons of Living Near Campus

If you’re not looking for an action-packed neighborhood, you might be in the wrong spot. You may not find a quiet place to live renting near a college campus. Apartment complexes that house students may be full of distractions.

Also, when you’re searching for a rental space in a college town, keep in mind that some college students aren’t as conscientious about taking care of their rental as they might be later in life. As such, the apartments may have more visible wear and tear compared to rentals that are further away from a college campus.

Lastly, if you rent near a college campus, you could struggle to find parking because of the influx of people frequently coming to and from campus.

Questions to Ask Before Signing a Lease

To avoid some of the negative and hassles of living near a college campus, ask the landlord or leasing agency these questions before moving in.

  • What is living here like?

    The neighborhood atmosphere can make or break your housing experience. Before renting an apartment, ask your future landlord if they have a sense for how busy or quiet the area typically is. You can check in with the city to find out how frequently noise complaints are filed at certain addresses. Even better: Spend a little time in the neighborhood at the key times of day to scope it out. You could drive through a few times, or set-up shop in a local cafe or someplace similar to get a sense of whether the neighborhood has a boisterous nightlife or tucks in early.

  • How responsive are you for problems and emergencies?

    No matter where you rent, you’ll want to ask the landlord how responsive they are in case of an apartment problem or emergency. If something breaks or goes wrong with the apartment, what’s the expected wait time before you’ll see the problem fixed? Landlords who typically rent to college students may be less likely to fix things quickly because they expect college students to have more wear and tear. You’ll want a clear understanding of the landlord’s communication style and timetable.

  • What are the lease terms?

    Apartments near a college campus are often geared towards students and their schedules, which means the leasing terms may be more flexible and in sync with a school calendar year than your needs. Ask the landlord if the lease is month-to-month or for a set term (e.g, three months, six months, or a year). If you’re looking for a flexible leasing schedule, renting near a college campus means landlords are likely more flexible and cater to their younger student demographic.

  • What is the cost of the apartment and utilities?

    Lastly, talk to your landlord and get a clear understanding of the rental costs and fees. Apartments or rentals near campus can be significantly more expensive. Make sure you know the average cost of utilities and rent so you can understand if you’re getting a good deal or not.

Ready to find that rental—off-campus or on? See what’s available, here on Trulia.