Our students have had good experiences renting from our local landlords, however you always want to make sure you understand the conditions of the rental agreement you are entering into with the landlord. Below are some important tips to follow when signing a rental agreement.
***ArtCenter provides access to this website as a service to help students find housing in and around the Pasadena area. However, ArtCenter does not verify and does not invesigate the quality or safety of the housing options available on the website, nor does it involve itself in the disputes between landlords and students.
1) AVOID SCAMS, DEAL LOCALLY! DO NOT wire funds (e.g. Western Union), or buy/rent sight unseen.
2) GET IT IN WRITING! When you rent an apartment, room or house, you should always get a written rental agreement or lease that is signed by both you and the landlord. The agreement should outline the length of time the agreement will be in effect, the amount of rent and when it is expected to be paid, and any other agreements made between you and your landlord for repairs or cleaning that need to be done prior to move in. Additionally any expectations your landlord has regarding pets, roommates, etc. should be outlined in the rental agreement.
3) TAKE PICTURES! Before you move any of your belongings into your new home, take pictures (documenting carpet condition, appliances, windows and window cover- ings, etc.). This is a good way to protect yourself when you move out. Provide a set for your landlord and keep one set for yourself.
4) Be sure to ask what utilities are included and which ones will be additional bills. Typically the tenant is responsible for Gas and Electric but some might also ask the tenant to pay water and trash and on occasion the gardening costs.
5) Know what the length of your lease is. If you decide to move out before your lease is up you will likely not receive your deposit back and may be subject to legal action if you breaking the lease.
6) Make sure you keep copies of all your rental documents in a file, you may need them when you decide to move out to ensure you get your full deposit returned to you.
7) If you move in with roommates know who is on the lease and what it means if one of you moves out. In fact it is a good idea to have a written agreement between all of your roommates on issues such as how to return a deposit to someone moving out early, who is responsible if damage happens to the property, etc.
For a Guide to California Residential Tenants’ and Landlords’ Rights and Responsibilities produced by the California Department of Consumer Affairs please click the Rental Tips link.
- Roommate Considerations
Sample Roommate Contract
Sample Roommate Agreement
- Off-Campus Housing Search Checklist
- CORT Student Furniture Rental
- Sample Budget
- California Tenants Rights