HousingChipola College does not at this time provide housing. Unless you are staying with relatives or friends, you must arrange for your own housing. It may be difficult at first to find good housing at a reasonable cost, but as you become familiar with the area, the options will increase.
If you are interested in sharing an apartment with another person, Student Activities can sometimes put you in touch with a potential roommate. Cost of apartments can vary depending on the location, age of the building, etc., but at the very least should have a stove and refrigerator. They can be rented furnished or unfurnished.
Some general rules when looking for an apartment are:
- An apartment should cost no more than one-third of your total monthly allowance after tuition is paid.
- Old apartments are generally less expensive than apartments in new buildings.
- Be sure you understand the terms of the lease or contract before you sign it. A lease is a legal document, which binds you to the terms set by your landlord, so it must be read carefully.
- Estimate cost of the utilities you will have to pay, as these costs usually are separate and not included in the rent.
- The trend is towards requiring a minimum of one-year leases. Month-by-month leases can still be obtained, but usually at higher costs.
Once you have found an apartment and signed the lease, you will usually have to advance a payment equivalent to two months rent, which includes the first month's payment and a security deposit. The latter is refunded to the tenant only if he or she leaves the apartment clean and undamaged. It also insures that the tenant will inform the landlord of his intent to leave at least thirty days prior to moving out, as is required by law.
As a tenant you have certain obligations, which include:
- Paying your rent on time.
- Keeping your apartment clean.
- Not causing damage to the apartment or allowing guests to damage it.
- Not disturbing neighbors with excessive noise.
- Informing the landlord if something doesn't work.
- Generally complying with the terms of your rental agreement.
Your landlord's responsibilities are as follows:
- Repairing and maintaining the apartment.
- Notifying you if he sells the apartment. If this happens, the new owner must give you thirty days notice if he wants you to move out.
You are responsible for contacting the electric and gas companies to establish an account for your apartment or house if these are not included in the rent. Do not be discouraged if the apartment you find is below your expectations at first. There are ways of making an apartment more livable, and once you have furnished it you will feel more at home. Also, as you become more familiar with the community, you can become more selective in your choice of apartment.
Questions to ask about an apartment:
- How much is the rent?
- How often and when is the rent to be paid?
- What is included in the rental payment? Are utilities included? If not, request an estimate of monthly utility costs.
- How long is the term of the lease? What is the penalty if you break the lease?
- Is a security deposit required? How much is it?
- If you want to sublet, is it permitted?
- Are you permitted to make alterations or improvements on the apartment? Are you allowed to put nails or other picture hanging devices in the walls?
- Are there laundry facilities available in the apartment or close by?
- Is the apartment furnished?
- Are there storage facilities available? Is there an additional charge for these?
- Are pets allowed? Is there an additional fee or deposit for pets?
- Is there parking available? Is there a charge for parking?
Questions about renting a room:
- Will I have a private entrance?
- Will I have a private bathroom?
- Is the room furnished?
- Will I share the room?
- Can I use the kitchen?
- Are there any house rules I would be expected to follow?
- What would my responsibilities as a member of the household be?
- Are there any costs in the household that are shared by all members?
- How many people are sharing the house? Are there both men and women living in the house?