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Summer is coming!
Whether you're going on vacation or going to summer school, you'll need a place to live. Do you pay for expensive on campus housing? Do you sublet from a friend? Are you from out of state, and are not familiar with the area?
Here are three things students should do before renting summer housing:
Are the people promising to sublet their apartment to you even allowed to do so?
Sometimes landlords don't allow their tenants to sublet. You do not want to get into the middle of that fight. Save yourself the headache. Ask the person renting the apartment if they're a tenant or the actual owner. If you're planning on subletting, you may want to check with the landlord to see if it's ok.
Beware of any listing that sounds too good to be true. Some scammers are listing homes and apartments for rent, but they don't even own the place!
To spot rental scams, look out for these signs:
Are you from out of town or out of state? Do you know the area you're renting in? Is it a safe neighborhood, or is there a lot of crime to look out for?
Background check the neighborhood before you commit to live there for the next three months. Most states will have sex offender registries. Check to see if any are living in your area. Also, check the crime rate for your neighborhood. Websites like www.familywatchdog.us and www.crimemapping.com make this easy to do.
Do you have a car? Check the parking regulations in your area before you settle on a place.
Is there street sweeping on certain days? Are you only allowed to park in a certain spot for a certain amount of time? Do you need a permit to park on a particular street? Is it hard to find parking? Are you going to find yourself walking three blocks alone at night because you couldn't find closer parking?
These may sound like petty first world worries, but if you're not careful, the amount you pay for parking tickets may exceed your rent. It can happen.
If you do run into legal issues with your summer student housing, an experienced landlord-tenant attorney will be able to help.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.