Leasing an apartment entails responsibility

Janae Turner is tired of dealing with dorm life.

“The sloppy roommates, resident assistants and curfew have driven me to finding alternative living arrangements,” said the 20-year-old junior sports management student from Miami.

Jackie Flowers, manager of University Commons, said that housing is a big issue for most college students.

“There are many factors when it comes to looking for alternative housing,” she said.

“Location, price and space are only a few. Many students complain about dorm life. The fear of roommates and the sharing of bathrooms are issues that students dread.”

There are many pros and cons to renting a house vs. an apartment.

Many students choose to rent an apartment.

“Leasing an apartment is perfect for college students because we offer great package deals,” said Sean Hilliard, a leasing coordinator for Capstone Properties.

Hilliard explained that most apartments come with a utility package or a furnished package for students to choose from. Apartments are preferred, he said, “because renters don’t have to take care of a yard, on the other hand if something breaks, there is a maintenance person to fix the problem.”

A house is usually the next step after an apartment.

“With apartments come neighbors, so the amount of privacy is limited,” Flowers said.

“Everyone in an apartment is susceptible to loud noise and neighbors because apartments are so close together. It [a house] offers more room and personal space.”

More students are choosing to rent homes because privacy is a big deal. Students don’t want to deal with towing, fines and noise complaints that most renters face.

Michael Hall, 24, said that renting a home is more than just a big responsibility, it’s a commitment.

“Maintenance of the house and lawn are some of the responsibilities that students may not want to deal with,” said a graphic design graduate student from Panama City.

Mary N. Harrison of Cooperative Extension Service said that homes also have higher utility expenses.

“Heating and cooling your home uses more energy and takes up more money than any other system in your home,” she said.

Hall said that some students may choose renting an apartment over a home because homes don’t come with amenities and packages that are included with most apartments.

In renting a home or an apartment, make sure to choose wisely.

“Always inspect an apartment or house before signing a lease and moving in,” Harrison said. “If there are problems make sure they are corrected before moving in or that the problems are listed on your inspection list so that you will not be held responsible for them.”

Nkechi Okpala can be reached at kechi1503@yahoo.com.