Are you a college student who is staying at home and taking online classes in the pandemic? As a student, moving out is hard enough. Renting an apartment in the midst of a pandemic can add to the challenge. You may wonder, do you need credit to rent an apartment? How do you even begin searching for apartments for rent without being able to see them in person?

University life in the States means looking forward to a path of learning and networking while also having fun and making memories. Unfortunately, this year we have attended more virtual meetings than ever recorded. This means that studying and working from home has become the new norm, but once school ends, you might be itching to fly the nest and find a place of your own.

Roomi offers some tips to find yourself the perfect cozy apartments for rent.

Renting an apartment: How to start your search!

The coronavirus pandemic has had a shifting effect on apartments for rent. For example, cities like Los Angeles, Miami, Seattle, and Houston have observed a decrease in rent compared to New York City, New Orleans, and Phoenix. The ideal time to begin your search for your apartment is at the end of the month before the target move month. Make sure you check for things like, do you need credit to rent an apartment in a specific area?

This might seem very last minute, but most renters have leases that terminate at the end of a month or within the first few days of the following month. It’s a great idea to connect with your classmates and find out if they’re looking for a place to rent near your campus, and you can start the search together.

Related: How Has Coronavirus Affected The Rental Market In New York?

Decide if you want roommates when renting an apartment

Having a roommate can be a blessing, especially now that we’re limited to very little social interaction. Think about asking your friends from college to help you out here. Who knows? You might just find the Rachel to your Monica!

Related: Top 5 Things To Consider When Choosing A Roommate

Check at least 2 or 3 places before you finalize a decision

One common mistake most people make is settling way too early. You need to weigh up your options before you decide on a place. There are so many factors to consider before you sign the lease.

Related : 20 Super Important Questions To Ask Your Landlord Before Moving In

Considering the pandemic, your first visit will probably be a virtual one. You can set up a video call with the homeowner and get an online tour. Scan for places in your desired neighborhood within the same price range – it’s always good to have backup options.

Work with a checklist

Make a checklist of the things to look for before viewing places. You may wonder things like, do you need credit to rent an apartment? This will help you to be thorough, so you can make your decision confidently. Some items that you will need on your checklist include:

  • The location of the home and how long it will take to reach class in traffic (if and when classes resume)
  • Where exactly will you place your furniture in the rental, especially if you have a roommate?
  • Is the rental cost inclusive of any utilities?
  • Can you take along your pet dog or cat? Is there an additional fee?
  • Is the security deposit fully refundable? How much is the security deposit?
  • Is there an application fee?
  • Is the neighborhood known for a high crime rate?
  • How quiet is the area?

Keep your security deposit ready

Since competition is fierce, it’s wise to get your security deposit ready within 24 to 48 hours of acceptance. This way you will not lose out on your perfect home just because you did not make your security deposit in time.

Related: 5 Of The Most Common Questions About Renters’ Rights

Read thoroughly before signing anything

Before making any commitment, it is categorically essential that both you and your co-signer thoroughly read the entire rental agreement. Normally, rental agreements are like an adhesion document in the ‘take it or leave it’ style where the landlord has terms and conditions that are non-negotiable.

Therefore, it is fundamental that you grasp the legal terms and language in the contract. Pay attention to when the rent is due, maintenance of the grounds, and the section on penalties, in case you are late for rent.

D’you know what else Roomi does outside of helping its readers with renting an apartment that fits their needs? With our ever-increasing lists of rooms and roommates across the world, we help you find your perfect match! Download the app here and hop on the easiest ride home, ever!