Renters given advice

By Brenden Walz

Finding an off-campus apartment is a job in itself and it doesn’t begin and end with the signing of the rental contract.

Andrea Rusin, program director of Jubilee Services, said students looking for an apartment should make a checklist of things they are looking for in an apartment.

“Decide what your priorities are and where you’re willing to negotiate,” she said.

Rusin also said a pencil and notepad are helpful items to take along when inspecting new apartments. She said the potential renter can jot down anything they notice during an inspection of a model apartment or to check against their checklist.

When looking at apartments, students should get as much information about the apartment before they move in.

Rick Monas, DeKalb director of Building and Community Services, said students should ask about such things as parking arrangements and the number of electrical outlets available.

“Parking is a big issue,” Monas said.

Other related parking questions might include availability of off-street parking and the distance of bus routes from the apartment complex.

Joyce Williams, manager at Lincolnshire West Apartments, said other things students should check into are which utilities, if any, are included with the rent, what kind of maintenance is offered and the availability of phone jacks.

“They should personally go to the office and see the model apartment,” Williams said.

One manager said students should also check the availability of different rental payment plans.

Chad Thomas, leasing manager for Suburban Apartments and Suburban Estates, said some apartments offer different payment plans, such as installment payment plans instead of a monthly payment or a discount for renters who pre-pay their rent before the beginning of the semester.

In the end, it is up to the individual student to go out and get the information needed to make an informed decision about which apartment to rent. Sources of information include newspapers and bulletin boards.