It’s common to live in a dorm when you start university. However, after a couple of semesters at most, you’ll realize how uncomfortable this is — the rooms are cramped, you lack privacy, and you’re stuck with a meal plan. Plus, living in student residence tends to be more expensive than having your own apartment. Moving off campus is the right decision for most students, but it’s a big transition. To make the move as smooth as possible, there are a few things you need to do.
1. Search for an Affordable Apartment
Make sure you have a budget in mind before you begin looking for apartments. This will avoid you wasting time visiting apartments that turn out to be too expensive. Start your search early to increase your chances of finding something close to campus.
2. Check the Lease Carefully
Know what you’re agreeing to before you sign a lease. In particular, check for additional fees for things like maintenance, trash removal, and parking. Also find out what would happen if you want to terminate the lease early.
3. Document the Condition of the Apartment
On move-in day, take photos of any damage you notice the building, appliances, or furnishings have. This will prevent the landlord placing the blame on you and asking you to pay for repairs when you move out.
4. Set Some Ground Rules with Your Roommates
Living off campus means you have much more freedom. However, to avoid conflict with roommates, you need to set your expectations from the start. Come to an agreement about how you’ll divide up bills and chores, etiquette arriving home late, and rules for inviting friends over.
5. Pay Your Bills on Time
Being able to demonstrate that you have always paid your bills on time will be invaluable when finding an apartment after university. Similarly, paying bills for utilities will help you maintain a good credit score, which will have an impact on multiple aspects of your life. Besides, you want to avoid late fees at all costs, as these will only reduce your spending money for the month.
6. Take Out Renters Insurance
An expense that is worthwhile, though, is renters insurance. This will protect you in the case your belongings are lost or damaged due to an event such as a fire, a natural disaster, or theft.
6. Stock Up on Groceries
Eat a balanced diet and avoid spending more than necessary by cooking plenty of your own meals. Stock up on groceries as soon as you move in (including plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables) and learn to cook a variety of meals.
There’s no need for moving off campus to be complicated. THEO provides UOttawa student housing that comes equipped with everything you need. The rent is all inclusive, meaning you don’t have to worry about furniture, appliances, and utilities — plus, you’ll have access to our great onsite amenities. If you choose to live in a shared apartment, we’ll even match you with roommates. Book a visit to meet THEO now.