Every year I get phone calls from great students who are shocked to find out that their favorite house or apartment of ours is already rented for the following school year. If you are a student in Akron looking to live off campus, you probably already know that there are plenty of dumpy houses with terrible landlords out there, but only a relative few, really great houses or apartments that have landlords that actually care! I want to share with you some tips on exactly how to find a great place to live off campus at The University of Akron.
Step #1 — Get Started Early
Most landlords, like myself, will give their current tenants until Thanksgiving to decide if they are going to renew their lease for the following year. If they are graduating, or moving on and not renewing the lease, then we will begin showing the property for the following school year even earlier, like October! It may seem crazy to begin thinking about houses in October that you won’t be moving into until the next August, but this is the way it works at this university and many others, like Ohio State and Kent State University. Typically, we will be 100% leased for the following school year by the end of March. So, if you are interested in finding a great house, you should be prepared to begin touring houses as soon as possible. If you wait until spring you will be left with very few options.
Step #2 — Get Roommate Commitments
Deciding who your roommates are going to be can be STRESSFUL. It can also be the cause of losing out on a great house or apartment. Houses and apartments near campus rent by the bedroom, so if you have a group of 3 students, you will most likely be looking for a 3 bedroom house or apartment. When you do find that perfect house, all three students must be ready to move forward and sign the lease in order to secure the property. If someone is on the fence, it is best to find this out as early as possible. It is also important that everyone in the group has discussed that they will be looking for a house with their parents. Most companies, including Roo Town Rentals, will require a parent to co-sign the lease. Again, it is best to find out, as soon as possible, if a parent is not willing to do this.
Step #3 –Get Organized
This typically begins with a google search of potential rental companies in Akron that specialize in off campus student houses or apartments. You can view all of our properties right here on our website. You can search by one bedroom, two bedrooms, three bedrooms, four bedrooms, five bedrooms or six bedrooms. Take a drive by the properties you are most interested in and get comfortable with the neighborhood. Take a look at a map and decide which streets would be good and which may be too far. It is also a good idea to look at reviews online of some of the landlords. You will notice some of the larger companies have horrible reviews. This is probably not by coincidence. While you’re at it, don’t forget to check out all our 5 star reviews!
Step #4 –Tour Properties
So, you have your roommates all on board, you have done your online research, and now is the time to start scheduling appointments to tour houses. Most landlords will want to show all the roommates the house at the same time, so get your schedules out and find a time that works for everyone. When you show up to the property you should have two goals. The first is obvious~ Do I like this house? The second is equally important~ Do I like this landlord? Make sure your future landlord is someone you feel comfortable with. If you sense that they don’t take care of the property or care about their tenants, then simply do not rent from them!
Step #5 –Make your Decision
At this point you have found a great house and a great landlord – and hopefully it is Roo Town Rentals! You will want to make your decision quickly so that no other group of students gets the property before you do. Be prepared to quickly complete the application and pay the holding deposit. This should secure the property until all of the paperwork is complete. Keep in mind, this is typically non-refundable, so make sure this is the right place for you!