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Moving into a student apartment is an exciting rite of passage for many University of Central Florida students. Orlando offers a wide variety of options for off campus housing, so it can be difficult to know where to begin, especially for first-time renters. The Station Alafaya has compiled this list of tips so you can find the perfect Orlando student apartment.

Create A Budget

The first step in a student apartment hunt is to create a realistic budget. Most experts recommend that monthly installments should be about 25 percent to 30 percent of your income. To create a budget, subtract all major and recurring expenses from your after-tax income. What you have left is the max amount you can spend on an apartment. Don’t forget about utilities, internet, and anything else that isn’t included in the monthly installment.

It’s also a good idea to create a budget for moving expenses, including truck rentals, movers, and boxes.

Make A List Of What You Need

When searching for the perfect off campus housing, it’s important to weigh what you want against what you need. Students who own cars will need apartments with reliable parking; students without cars will want to live near public transportation or rent apartments near UCF campus. Pet owners should look for housing that welcomes pets, bearing in mind any breed or weight restrictions.

Once you’ve made a list of requirements, think next about amenities, such as a gym or pool, can be the perfect touch to take a student apartment from “good” to “great”.

Tour In Person

Many off campus apartment complexes offer virtual tours for prospective renters, allowing students experience the community before they arrive. This is a useful tool, but nothing beats viewing the apartment in person. An in-person tour allows students to assess repairs that need to be made, measure the rooms to ensure furniture will fit, and test water pressure. If you do notice necessary repairs, ask the landlord or property manager to have them fixed before the move-in date.

Don’t Forget The Little Details

Don’t forget that your off campus apartment is where you’re going to eat, sleep, and study for the foreseeable future, so it’s important you’re comfortable. When touring the apartment, pay attention to little things that might grow into big annoyances over time. Do you have strong cell phone reception? Are the neighbors too loud? How long is your commute?

Understand The Contract

Renters should read housing contracts thoroughly before signing. Review rules, stipulations and policies so you aren’t surprised later.. This means understanding policies for visitors, pets, and noise. Other factors include:

  • Move-in fees
  • Subletting policies
  • Notice of lease termination
  • Miscellaneous fees such as pet deposits and utilities

Consider Renters Insurance

Most student apartments don’t require renters insurance, but it’s still a good idea. Renters insurance covers renters’ property in the case of theft or damage occurs in the apartment. The average renters insurance policy costs between $15 and $30 a month. Once students have chosen a policy, the provider may ask them to retain proof of the items covered in the form of photos and receipts. These documents should be kept separate from the covered items, either in a safety deposit box or in a fireproof safe.

The Station Alafaya offers everything first-time renters need for their first off campus student apartment. Contact us today to schedule a tour!