Find a place you can call home.

*Please note rent doesn’t cover utilities.* Sounds strange, right?

Searching for student rentals can be a hassle, especially if you don’t know where to start. Chances are you might find the “perfect” rental, but there’s a catch. The rent is too expensive. Or, it’s too far from campus.

Ready to find that perfect home away from home for your student life? Say no more because we’ve got your back with our fabulous, fail-proof guide to snag the student rental of your dreams!

Figure out your budget

A guy dressed in a grey shirt is asking "is that in the budget?"
via Giphy

Do you have a budget? Are you trying to spend under $800? Getting a clear idea of your budget before diving into the student housing hunt is important.

Why you ask? Well, it helps you zoom in on the suitable options without breaking the bank. No one wants to drown in a sea of financial stress.

Start your search immediately

Will Smith is looking through a magnifying glass. (student rental)
via Giphy

It’s best to start as early as possible. So, don’t wait until the last minute to begin your search.

Also, if you plan to move in for the Fall semester, start searching in May. That way, you can weigh your options and make a decision. Plus, more listings are available during this time.

And other students are looking for housing too! So there’s a lot of competition out there! Do yourself a favour and avoid stress headaches weeks before the new semester by starting your search early. Some sites you should visit include Places4students and Kijiji.

Read the landlord’s terms

SpongeBob is wearing glasses and flipping through the pages of a book. (student rental)
via Giphy

Can you move in with your pet? What is the duration of the lease?

It’s essential that you carefully read the landlord’s terms. That way, you don’t miss any vital information. The landlord’s terms are usually available in the listing description section and outlines the rules you must follow as a tenant.

If you don’t like a specific term, keep looking. There are plenty more rentals to view.

Verify if utilities are included

A cartoon character is telling her friend "I'll tell you all about it in a little bit Helga. But first I've got to go cancel all the utilities."
via Giphy

Don’t you just love it when rent includes utilities? But what if it doesn’t? Picture this: a cozy student rental for $750 that catches your eye. But wait! Utilities aren’t included? Keep the search going, my friend!

Unfortunately, it’s a common practice and you definitely don’t want to be caught off guard with this. So, ensure you verify this information.

Visit the rental beforehand

A doctor dressed in her white jacket is saying "I will come visit you."
via Giphy

You might have seen the “perfect” housing online. But, there’s always a chance it could be different in person.

Guess what? To dodge those sneaky little surprises, make sure you check out your future rental in person. It’s the best way to determine if the rental meets your standards before you proceed with paying your deposit. And if your schedule is too busy, send your trusty friend or family member to scope out the place for you. It’s important to make sure everything’s picture-perfect because you’ll be living there for a while!

Consider the proximity to the campus

A group of students are walking to class.
Via Giphy

Living close to campus is always a win-win situation. So, one of the deciding factors to consider should be the location of the rental. Is it close to campus? Even if you’re an hour away, is it easy to commute?

Finding a student rental can be tricky! You can spend hours glued to the screen looking at listings. But, if you follow these tips, you are on your way to finding the perfect rental. In addition, it’s crucial to communicate frequently with the landlord. That way, you can see if the rental checks off most, if not all, the boxes on your checklist.

Here are 10 ways to avoid roommate horror stories.

Follow IGNITE on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for all things student life.