NDSU Extension - Sargent County


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Finding and Renting a Place to Live

Finding and Renting a Place to Live  5/22/20




Now that graduation dates are coming and going, commonly without traditional ceremonies and celebrations as we continue to cope with COVID-19, the graduates will soon be starting the next chapter in their lives.  In many cases, that means moving to a new location and renting a house or apartment.  If renting a place to live is in your future, be on top of the details:

  • What are the terms of the lease?  Be sure you understand what is covered or what is not covered by the rental payment.  Be aware of additional fees such as a pet fee.  If utilities such as gas, electricity, water, sewage, garbage, cable, and internet are not included in the rent, you will need to plan for those expenses in your budget in addition to the rent and consider them as part of the total cost of housing.
  • Take additional costs into consideration. Some rental properties might require an application fee upfront. This covers a background check – including your credit score, criminal record and rental history. These fees are usually nonrefundable, even if you’re not approved. If you are approved, you will likely be asked to pay a security deposit. Make sure you’re clear about the conditions under which that deposit is refundable.  The same goes for pet deposits.
  • Protect your possessions by purchasing renter’s insurance.
  • Carefully and thoroughly review the lease before signing. It pays to be thorough when you’re reading a lease. Put a mark next to anything that you have questions about. If there’s something you wish to change in your lease agreement, it never hurts to ask. If there is an issue with the apartment that the landlord agrees to fix before you move in, be sure to get it in writing – including a date by which the repair or repairs will be completed. Fill in all blank spaces, using “N/A” or “-0” if necessary.  Never sign a contract that has blank spaces.

Learn more about finding and renting a place to live, and get an apartment hunting checklist by going online to: https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/adulting/myfirstplace

Photo Source: https://pixabay.com/vectors/for-rent-sign-rental-signboard-148891/ (downloaded 5/27/20)

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