Renting Rules: Basic tips for renting in Manhattan

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"For Rent" signs can be found all across Manhattan. (Benjamin Voller | Collegian Media Group)

Everyone wants a good deal on a rental, but no one wants to walk into one that looks completely different than it did online after signing a lease. A lot goes into choosing the best housing, whether in a dorm, apartment or house.

The first question you should ask yourself when considering places to live next year is whether you’d like to live on or off-campus. Kansas State housing gives many options from seven dorm facilities, two honors houses with varying sizes and styles and apartment-style dorms like Jardine.

If on-campus living isn’t your thing, you can look for a rental from Facebook groups, Facebook marketplace, housing finder websites and even just seeing signs outside the house and giving the property manager or owners a call.

When looking for a place to live, it is smart to start looking sooner than later, especially if you already know how many people you are planning to live with — if you choose to go the roommate route — and when you will be needing to get out of your current lease.

Questions to ask yourself when preparing for a rental search:

LOCATION:

How far away from campus are you? Are you willing to drive if you are further away? What is around: are you close to the grocery store, Aggieville, busy streets, schools? Which side of campus would you prefer to be closest to? Do you feel safe in the area?

UNIT:

How many people are you okay living with, if any? Also, consider how you’ll divide the bathrooms between the number of people in the house — from personal experience, it’s no fun living in a four-bedroom with only one bathroom. Is there laundry in-unit, or will you have to go somewhere to wash your clothes? Does the place include parking, and if so, what kind? Do the landlords allow pets, and are certain pets off-limits? How can you request maintenance and make sure it is completed if needed?

MONEY:

How much does the rent cost? When is rent due? What, if any, utilities are included in the rent? How much do typical utility bills look like for the current residents? Are there pet fees if you bring or get a pet? Are there any hidden fees that someone should be aware of?

Always ask questions, not only to yourself about expectations, but also current residents and the landlords or property managers giving you a look at the rental space.

A big part of college renting — if you choose the route of living with others — is finding quality roommates. While roommates can be great, they can also be horrid depending on who you rent with. Some live with friends, others live with acquaintances or even random people! No matter what you choose, each comes with its own sets of benefits and battles.

(Benjamin Voller | Collegian Media Group)
(Benjamin Voller | Collegian Media Group)

Try and avoid scams at all costs — if something looks too good to be true, it likely is, so make sure and visit the space and with roommates to ensure security. Also make sure that if you are taking over a sublease, it is legal — go through a rental agency or management group rather than the rental. Keep a copy of your leases in case you need to refer back to them at a later point.

Taking out renters insurance is another highly suggested tip, even if the property doesn’t require it, as this type of insurance can protect the renter’s property in case of theft or fire.

Renting is a learning curve, and many of us take at least one thing away from each lease we sign. Happy renting!

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