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Sunday, April 21
The Indiana Daily Student

campus student life

Here’s what to ask if you’re touring a new place to live

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Looking for a new place to live can be overwhelming, and there’s a lot to keep track of. If you’re feeling lost touring apartments or houses, here are a few questions to ask. 

How much are utilities? Is there laundry? 

You’ve probably asked about rent, but there’s another monthly cost you may have to pay. Some apartments include utilities in the cost of rent, but if not, you’ll be responsible for things like gas, electricity, water and sometimes Wi-Fi. Utilities generally vary based on the season; still, having an estimate can help you better estimate the total cost of living there. 

Laundry is also good to ask about. Where and how you do your laundry will affect your life more than you realize. If laundry isn’t included, you’ll want to see if there’s a laundromat nearby and what they charge.  

How long would the lease be for? Subletting policies? 

Leases in a college town like Bloomington are normally 12-month leases starting in August. If that doesn’t fit your needs, though, there are other options. Some places offer six or ten-month leases, so it’s always good to ask. 

It’s also smart to ask if they’ll allow you to sublet your apartment. Subletting is where someone else would take your place on the lease, which is a great solution if you have a 12-month lease but know you won’t be there for the full year. Some places make it easier than others and some don’t allow it at all, so it’s good to check before you commit somewhere. 

What’s the parking situation? Is there other transportation? 

In my experience, this is one of the most important things to consider when you’re looking for a place to live. You may find the perfect apartment, but you’ll have to register for street parking, or you may think an apartment is in your price range, but you’d have to pay extra rent for a parking spot.  

If that’s the case, or if you don’t have a car, you might want to ask about public transportation. There may be a campus or city bus stop nearby they can point you towards.! Some apartment complexes even have their own shuttle services to campus. 

Is there anything in the lease I need to know? Anything I’m responsible for? 

There are often things in the lease that you’re responsible for that realtors or apartment managers may not mention offhand. There may be policies around when and how realtors can give tours of your place, move-out requirements or when to shovel your driveway.  

Regardless of how they answer, if you have any concerns, IU’s Student Legal Services can look over your lease and point out any legal concerns for free! 

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