Student Accommodation in the USA

Student Accommodation in the USA

What is Accommodation?

Youngsters take admissions in colleges pursuing dreams of golden days to come and the life of a free bird that they are about to see in the new world, meet and make friends with students coming in from all walks of life. But before all this they are in need of a place or student accommodations to stay which can be a hostel, dormitory, apartment or a paying guest facility…and also it has to be a reasonable accommodation to suit the financial limitation of the student. These students are supposed to work meticulously to accomplish their assignments and exams; but at times it is been seen that they are not in a position to get what they expected or want in terms of the comfort of a home – which will help them to concentrate on their studies to fulfill their dream of a successful career and life. To the help of students has prescribed some of the key elements for prime consideration while finalizing the ACCOMMODATION facility…

Initiate the search…

A good start to a work is as good as working half finished. Students are to take first few initial steps after reviewing situation and all its aspects carefully…

  1. Provisional accommodation

    Students looking out for accommodation may take up assistance from the admission authorities of the school and colleges they are pursuing for a temporary housing or apartment; while you search for a suitable accommodation. This is truly beneficial as staying at a hotel or a motel might prove to be costly. Approaching the admission authorities well in advance is advisable as there would be a lot of students trying to capitalize this opportunity.

  2. Deciding the type of accommodation

    Accommodations may be available in form of

    • Apartment houses
    • On campus dormitories
    • Off campus dormitories
    • Rooms
    • With families or home stay accommodation
    • University residence halls
    • Private student housing
    • Accommodations for assessment and instruction
    • Society to help Student accommodation in the USA

    More opportunities in terms of meeting new people and communicating and learning new things are available to students taking up accommodation in dormitories whereas private apartments or rooms may prove to be a bit secluded.

  3. Out of Stock

    Students may encounter situations where they find that the housing in residence halls is limited. There is always a shortage of not so costly off campus accommodation facilities. The best way of dealing with this situation is to preplan and start looking for well in advance; even before one plans to initiate the studies.

  4. Location of accommodation

    Students usually look out for places which are close to their campus or good availability of buses. Also the easy access to the following factors also needs to be taken into consideration:

    1. Shopping malls
    2. Food items,
    3. Laundry facilities
  5. Equipments

    Accommodations these days are equipped with furnishings and fittings that suit normal requirements such as beds, chairs, desk and cupboards. However; one is advised to check out on all these before finalizing as taking up these facilities from separate service provider may cost you more as compared to latter.

  6. Cooking

    Hall of residence though best of the places to stay does not allow to cook in the rooms. However it does have a cafeteria meals are provided as stated in the meal plans. Some accommodation might provide with a small cooking space. Students living in apartments have the privilege to buy and cook their own food. Eating out daily might prove to be more expensive and hence cooking your own food and saving on that money would be a better idea.

What are the different types of accommodation?

Students opting to stay away from their house furthering their education have various accommodation options to choose from. A planned move or so called accommodation Strategies are to be formed at least three months in advance - preferably. Options are:

Dormitories (residence halls) are located on or very near to the campus. Meals, cleaning and Linen services are at times given. Easy to meet and make friends as a large number of them stay there. Crowded and noisy atmosphere may make it difficult for studies and privacy.

With Families is a facility that may be offered by some of the campuses especially for those who are married; who can stay with their families but at a low cost.

Apartments are located in a series of similar rental units. A few of them might offer facilities of

  • Group meeting areas
  • Jogging ring
  • Laundry machines
  • Parking facility
  • Swimming pools
  • Tennis courts

Such apartments may be with one, two, three or more bedrooms with bathrooms – kitchen with refrigerators and living rooms with televisions.

Studio apartments are also one of the inexpensive options available to students. The difference between a accommodation and modification for a student can be seen here. Generally small, with combined living and sleeping areas. Such apartments which are located close to the campus are a bit expensive as compared to those away from the campus.

Paying Guest accommodation facilities are the ones where three to four people- depending on the size of the house are allowed to stay together. Utilities costs tend to be more as compared to other options.

How to find accommodation?

Individuals are advised to initiate the search from the student office as that is the place to obtain details with regards to dormitory rooms and apartments. Looking at the campus newspaper and also the local newspaper in the classified segment would enhance your options of getting the correct type of accommodation.

Generally these options are low in cost

  • Furnished
  • Rental to Share
  • Rooms for rent
  • Sublets
  • Unfurnished

Individuals looking for accommodation may even try some of the following:

  • Check “For Rent” ads in school and local newspapers
  • Walk or drive through the locality looking for “to let” or “on rent” signboards
  • Apartment shopper’s guide also might prove helpful; available at grocery stores…
  • Take assistance from apartment referral agency

What is a lease agreement?

An agreement in black and white known as contract between the landlord and the student (in this case) is called a lease agreement. Lease agreement happens to be a legal binding and hence it is advisable to read and understand the contract thoroughly…and then sign it after amendments as agreeable to both the parties; if required.

  • Deposit amount
  • Due date for paying the rent
  • It comprises of details of enlisted:
  • Notice period before vacating the place
  • Payment for which all utilities
  • Rent amount/month.
  • Specified tenure of stay - six months - 12 months
  • Terms and condition of the stay
  • Water – Heat - Electricity expenses
  • Rules regarding keeping pets, Loud Television, Parties, Storage facilities & security
  • Automatic renewal of the lease

Enlisted three things are of utmost importance for students taking up a place as accommodation:

  1. Time Binding…
    • Few houses are on rent on monthly basis
    • Time binding may range for a minimum of 6 months, one year or school tenure
    • First and last month’s rent might need to be paid in advance
  2. Can I have a roommate?

    There are cases where students have someone else live with them under their lease or vice versa- known as sublease or a roommate. Also it is necessary to check the lease agreement whether it is premising you to go for a sub lease or not. The entire responsibility of any damages or things like that rests on the person who has signed the lease agreement.

  3. Time Binding…

    Prior to moving in with a friend, fellow student, family or keeping a roommate please consider:

    • Liabilities distribution of rent and utilities
    • Liabilities of house hold chores each will manage
    • Food supply purchases and cooking – together or separate?
    • Time frame to watch television – have friends and guests
    • Rules about Drinking and Smoking
    • Advance notice period towards each individual before vacating the facility

What is a deposit amount?

Deposit as the name says is the money paid by students (in this case) staying in a rented accommodation; which guarantees against the damage to the building or its property. Houses when vacated without any damage to the building or property the landlord or the apartment manager may be held liable for returning nearly all your deposit amount. 30 days is the tentative timeline when the deposit needs to be returned to the tenant (student in this case).

My landlord isn’t being reasonable…Please help

The stress levels are increasing and the mentalities are changing rapidly due to bad to worse life experiences people have. Landlords might not be fair or reasonable always for certain cases. Here; students are advised to seek assistance from enlisted establishments or authorities who may help students to understand their rights and provide necessary legal guidance.

  • Student legal service
  • Attorney at your school
  • Community Legal Aid Society
  • Tenants union
  • Renters' organization