When students first think of the idea, it seems perfect: "Lets rent an apartment together. We get along well, and it would be fun to have some parties. Well have quiet when we want to study, and we dont have to put up with (name your irritants)."
By the time logic sets in, the lease is signed.
Iowa City residents know that summer is coming when the sublease ads start to appear in the papers: "DesperateHave job in Chicago now, apartment in I.C. through August. Sublease for $425/mo. Call ."
If you sense that your son or daughter is catching apartment fever, you can get facts to help your student decide whether this is the right move and if it is, to anticipate any problems that might arise and take care of them in advance.
To find an apartment, your son or daughter may use the Housing Clearinghouse, which gives your student a handy place to examine apartment listings. It is located at the Campus Information Center, Terrace Lobby, Iowa Memorial Union, or at www.imuis.uiowa.edu/cic/housing2.html.
The clearinghouse staff will help students interpret the apartment ads. In addition, they offer:
Another source of help is at www.uiowa.edu/~tla, a web site developed by the Tenant-Landlord Association, or in the associations printed Apartment Guide, which it issues with the Housing Clearinghouse. The web site tells both landlords and tenants how to deal with common problems:
A look at the landlords part of the site will tell you the problems they have with tenants, toononpayment or slow payment of rent, damage to the property, noise complaints, unauthorized persons living in an apartment, furniture left in the apartment after a tenant moves, even criminal acts occurring on the landlords premises.
Rent is just the first expense. The cost of food also must be factored in. Apartments must be furnished, which can add a lot to the cost even if the furniture is secondhand. Pots and pans, a television (and a subscription to cable TV), curtains, towels and washcloths, silverware, dishes It can be a major expense to buy these things. For other considerations, check this site.
Its important to make sure you have answers to your questions before the lease is signed. What seems like a minor problem that can be settled easily can mushroom into a lawsuit if issues are not resolved.
Many students do move into apartments and are very happy in their new location. But it takes advance planning to make it work.