General Information About Renting Accommodations
Things to remember when choosing accommodations:
- A reasonable damage deposit is legal and may be requested by the landlord. Be sure to get a receipt.
- You are required to give notice (usually one month) before leaving. It is best to give this notice in writing and keep a copy; otherwise, a landlord may claim notice was not given and keep the damage deposit as compensation.
- Make certain that all details of the arrangements are clear and understood by both parties. Take special note of things like extra charges for laundry, etc.; any curfew that the landlord may impose; rules regarding visitors; and any damage that is evident before you move in.
- Be aware that failure to fulfill your end of the agreement (e.g. non-payment of rent) can result in civil action being taken against you by the landlord.
- You are entitled to privacy in your rented facilities; that means landlords may not enter your rented rooms or apartment without prior notice, except in certain circumstances.
- Get a receipt for your rent payments.
- Any damage done to the property by you or your visitors is your responsibility. Report it to your landlord immediately.
- Choose a roommate carefully, avoid problems by clarifying who pays for what, and the handling of visitors and noise. Household chores should be delegated as well.
- A signed lease is a legal document and leasing should not be entered into lightly. Even if the landlord evicts you for cause (e.g. making too much noise), you are responsible for the rent until the apartment is re-rented.
- If you have complaints about your accommodations, report them to the owner of the building in writing. Keep a copy of the letter.
Identifying the right rental option
There are a few decisions you will need to make before you start hunting for a place to live while you are in college:
- Which type of accommodation do you want: apartment, room with kitchen privileges, or room and board?
- If you are planning to rent an apartment, do you want roommates? A large apartment or house can be cost shared.
- What is your price range? Don’t forget utilities such as electricity, telephone, cable, and travel costs if you will not be able to walk to the college.
Start your search early and be prepared to spend time looking for a place to live. We receive new listings regularly, so check our list frequently. It may take longer than you expect to find a place to live so be sure to make arrangements for temporary accommodation (e.g. friends, relatives or parents’ friends).
We recommend that you check the local newspapers for more places to rent, especially if you are searching for an apartment. We may be able to provide you with more detailed information on the accommodations listed and will do our best to answer and address any questions or concerns you may have.
Ask lots of questions. Check out the premises thoroughly. After all, it will be your home during your time at Holland College.
Do not be afraid to ask questions! The landlord should be more than willing to answer your queries. Any inadequacies with a property should be discussed with the landlord before a binding agreement is reached. Find out your rights and obligations as a tenant on the website for the Office of the Director of Residential Rental Property
Make sure you know which of the following are included in the rental:
- First/last month’s rent
- Damage deposit
- Utility hookups
Check the condition of the property before you commit to renting it:
- Are the appliances functioning?
- Are the screens and storm windows in good condition?
- Do the doors and windows lock?
- Do the windows open and close?
- Are there any signs of rodents or bugs?
- Are the rooms warm enough?
- Does the apartment or room has a smoke detector?
- Are there any cracks or holes in the walls?
- Is there a fire extinguisher nearby?
- Are the faucets and toilets working?
- Are there at least two exits?
- Is the water pressure good?
- Are there light fixtures in the rooms?
- Is it clean and habitable?
- Are there enough electrical outlets?
- Is there enough closet space?
- Is the apartment soundproof?
- Will the landlord make any repairs that are required?
Other things to consider:
- Does the landlord want you to sign a lease?
- Is there a grocery store nearby?
- Are children and pets allowed?
- Is the accommodation close to the college?
- Is there a bank nearby?
- Are there any restrictions you should be a aware of?