Student Housing and the Leasing Process

When starting your groups’ search for a rental house for “Next Fall”, it is always helpful to be prepared before calling prospective landlords and management companies. Here are a few items we recommend you consider before you get too far in the leasing process.

Location. How close to campus do you need to be? Walking distance? Short car ride away? Don’t care and just want a house close to campus? Most units or houses located inside “the box” will be walking distance to campus and run a higher price per bedroom. Often you see more apartments and less single family houses for students to rent in this area. As you step outside “the box” prices may come down and offer more home, living spaces and larger yards.

Another key point is to know your roommate situation upfront. How many roommates do you have? These are your friends now in November, but will you still want to live with them starting in August knowing what you know about them now? Talk with your potential roommates ahead of time and figure out what your budget is before you start viewing houses. You may have a budget of $800 per bedroom but a roommate in your group may only have $600. Be on the same page with all parties in your group when talking price. Student housing is a competitive market in Tuscaloosa and most leases are awarded on a first come first serve basis, so long as their applications check out. Many management companies will often require a security deposit of up to one months rent before or at the time of the lease signing. This is typical in our market so do not be afraid.