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College Housing: Tips On How To Cut On Your Rent



When you’re a college student, it’s hard to manage your finances and balance your budget. This is especially true if you’re paying a rent monthly on your college housing.


For some students, rent can be a big expense, most particularly for students living far from their home and handling their money for the first time. Fortunately, there are some ways to cut on your rent. Whether you’re renting an on-campus or off-campus college housing, below are some of the tips on how to cut down on your rent:

  1. Learn To Negotiate Your Rent

When looking for quality but affordable apartments like in for your college housing needs, one of the ways to cut on your rent is to learn how to negotiate with your landlord. Your track record plays an important role when negotiating your rent. If it’s your first time renting, odds are you won’t have much luck negotiating a more affordable rent. However, this may change once you pay your rent in advance.


There are several landlords who offer a reduction on rents by a few dollars every month once you agree to pay rent several months in advance. If you can’t pay your rent in advance, you may negotiate with your landlord to reduce the monthly rental cost by paying a big upfront payment. When negotiating terms that are different than usual, see to it that you get a lease, which reflects such terms.

  1. Look For Roommates

One of the simplest and possibly fun ways to cut back on your rent is to live with roommates. By looking for roommates, you’ll be able to divide your rent and cost of utilities while saving everybody money. Even some bills like streaming subscriptions and internet will be lessened if you’re sharing them with your roommates.


Once you decide to live with other people, your monthly rent doesn’t only cover the use of a room, it also accounts for the fact that you’ll be using the kitchen and bathroom as well as some shared living spaces. With this in mind, the more people you live with, the lower your monthly shares will be. Usually, a 3-bed property is cheaper compared to 2-bed properties.


Although finding roommates can benefit you, it has some potential pitfalls. One of these is that not all people can be your roommates. So, it’s essential to look for the right roommates and someone you’re comfortable living with. If you have friends, ask them if they can be your roommates. But, make sure to assess yourself first if you can handle sharing a room with some people.


Another thing to consider when looking for roommates is to ask how they can pay the rent or if they have some financial problems. Knowing the financial status of your roommates will save you from headaches in the future. Moreover, you can be assured that the monthly rent for your room will be paid on time.

  1. Change Your Location

Real estate properties close or on the campus are quite expensive. If you have extra time to commute, living further from your campus can be a good way to cut down your rent.


Check the different neighborhoods around your campus and compare the rental fees of every available college housing. Once you have a list of possible properties to rent, filter it and visit the property one by one to know which can suit your needs.


Choosing a property near a grocery store, has a parking space, and access to public transportation is the best choice. Aside from accessibility and transportation, checking how safe the neighborhood is also crucial. This is especially true if you’re studying abroad and you’re still not familiar with the areas near you.

  1. Rent Long-Term

For many landlords, finding reliable tenants isn’t easy, but if you’re a good tenant, there is a good chance for you to cut on your rent. Paying a long-term lease can help you pay less on your monthly rent. A long-term commitment may make your landlord agree to a lower rental rate. Just make sure to provide some references. These can be anybody who could vouch for your reliability. They can be your former roommates or landlords.

  1. Lower Your Rent Through Work Exchange

Another good way to cut your rent is through work exchange. Becoming an RA or resident advisor in your dorms often includes full board and room. This is being offered for students who are living on campus and the position’s requirements typically include living in the dorm for a year or so. Therefore, if you choose on-campus housing, you may get hired as a resident advisor and get free housing for the remaining years of college.


You may also take advantage of work exchange to lessen rent when living off campus. But, the opportunities are quite less formalized and you should use your negotiation skills. Just ask if your landlords need assistance and what skills you may offer to help them in exchange for cutting your rental fees.


For instance, you may ask your landlord to lower your monthly rent by making an arrangement to mow the lawn, perform some maintenance tasks or shovel snow. If you’re living in a big apartment, you can reach out to the property management company to know if they can accept a work exchange to lessen your rent.

  1. Reduce Your Living Costs

If your utilities such as electricity, gas or water aren’t included in your monthly rent, it can be a great idea to start reducing your living expenses.


Taking small actions can make a huge difference on your bills, which can help you pay less in your utilities. You may start by turning off your lights when you’re not around. If you have leaky faucets or your toilet isn’t working, inform your landlord immediately to get them fixed.


Another way to reduce your living costs is to avoid leaving your heating system on max if everybody is away during winter break. If you’re not used to doing such things, practice makes perfect. Besides, it can benefit you in the long run and may also have a positive impact on the environment.

  1. Change Your Apartment

If you’re paying an expensive rent in your current apartment, it might be a good time for you to find some better options suited for your budget.


In the event that you like the building you’re in, don’t be shy to ask your landlord if there are cheaper or smaller apartments available and ready for occupancy. If you’re living alone, moving in a multi-bedroom apartment can help you cut your rental cost. As mentioned above, having roommates can help you pay less on your rent.


Even if it’s a step down to move in a shared space or smaller apartments near Tempe, the money that you’ll be saving is worth it.

  1. Try Shared Living

If you’re great with children, then you might be fit in a shared living community. Some families look for part-time nannies and offer free room and board. If you have more free time, it may be a good option for you.


Some elderlies might also require live-in caretakers. Local hostels might even be hiring part-timers, exchanging a room worth of work.


Such options can be a perfect way for you to pay less rent or even get a free room for months or so depending on the agreement between you and your potential employer.

  1. Rent A Part-Furnished Or Unfurnished Property

You’ll save furniture money on renting a furnished property because you don’t need to splash out on wardrobes, sofas, beds, and so on. However, if you want to pay rent at a cheaper rate, an unfurnished property is a perfect alternative and can offer you some serious savings.


There’s nothing wrong with renting an unfurnished property. Even if it feels like you have to buy furniture, it’s still cheaper compared to renting a furnished one. The reason behind it is that you may just bring in your personal belongings by renting a van or a car. Depending on whether or not you have a car or how often you want to go home, you may take your own wardrobe and bed with you.


If it’s not possible, there’s nothing you should worry about because you may get some of your furnishings for free. There are some websites where you may find free furniture. Although the quality of such free items may not be as what you expect them to be, some of them can be fixed or recycled.


If you’re missing some essential furnishings, look for secondhand items instead of purchasing new ones. In this way, you’ll be able to save more on your expenses while getting all your needed furnishings. Just focus first on what furnishings you need the moment you move in and add more items if you have extra money.

  1. Never Be Swayed By Having Bills And Rent Included

Even if it might seem too good to be true that bills are included in your rent, always trust your instincts. Landlords who will offer to include bills in your rent will typically add a condition like fair usage, which may be a red flag.


See to it that your tenancy agreement specifies the overall cost of your rent. It’s also a good idea to make some calculations to determine if you can save more with bills included in your rent. However, it may hinder you from using the utilities round the clock. For instance, you might not be able to use central heating 24/7.


Thus, if your landlord offers you this kind of deal, it’s best to disagree and just consider paying your monthly bills separately. Aside from being a cheaper alternative, it can also let you manage your consumption wisely. Remember that your rental payments are not really flexible since you need to pay the same amount. Whether you stay there for just a few days or you go home during holidays, your rent will stay the same.

  1. Get Your Deposit Back

This may not necessarily help you cut down on your rent, but it may help you save more money when planning to rent a new place. It’s not hard to get your deposit back. You only have to try your best to leave the property just like the first time you moved in.


To ensure that there aren’t some disagreements with your landlord over what’s changed during your stay, be thorough with your inventory once you move in. After this, just try taking care of the property while you’re there.

  1. Choose A Smaller Room

If you’re living with several people in a 3-room or 2-room property, it’d be best to choose a smaller room to cut down your rent. Some of your roommates may be capable of paying more rent every month. In this case, you can ask them to consider a bigger room.


Although a small room may limit your living space, it can make a difference when saving more money from your rent monthly. To make the most of your small room, just bring in some items that are very important for you like a desk and a bed. Having a TV in your room may not be necessary if your mobile devices and laptop are enough for your entertainment needs.

  1. Read The Tenancy Agreement Thoroughly

It may be a tedious thing to read your tenancy agreement, but if you neglect it, you might regret it later. Make sure that your tenancy agreement is clear and concise without no hidden fees.


So, spend some time reading your tenancy agreement and don’t hesitate to ask your landlord some questions if you can’t understand some part of it. Asking for an explanation is never a bad thing. In fact, it can help you digest what you should keep in mind before you decide to move in and pay rent every month.


Bottom Line

Cutting rent in college housing may be challenging at first, but once you’ve done it successfully, you’ll realize that it’s the smartest thing you may do to enjoy savings. It won’t just help you reduce your student debt, but it can also teach you to develop some smart money habits in the long run. So, regardless of your preferred college housing option, make sure to keep those tips in mind and enjoy saving more money from your rent.