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The guide to living off-campus

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Students share a conversation in the shared living space of their apartment unit at The Pointe
Photo by Tyler Jackson |Staff Photographer

Living off campus can be intimidating, especially when things go wrong. The attorney for students, the Department of Housing and Residential Life and leasing agents across the city can offer advice for making the final decision to move.

1How to get out of a bad roommate situation

Roommates can make or break off-campus living experiences. When roommates are the central cause of misery in an apartment, the issue can be handled in multiple ways.

Diana Stevenson, general manager at The Thompson, said apartment officials offer roommate mediation to try and help roommates work through their issues. Unfortunately, the method isn’t always successful.

“If that doesn’t work, then we do offer a transfer, and there is a fee,” Stevenson said.

Stevenson said often times students do not want to have to pay the fee and go through the trouble of moving all of their stuff somewhere else. The most recommendable solution, according to Stevenson, is to try talking things out with the roommates to find a happy medium.

2How to sublease

If there comes a time when a tenant needs to leave before their lease is over, someone else has to move in and take over the responsibility of the previous person’s lease. This method is called subleasing. There are forms to fill out and fees to pay.

Rachel Singleton, leasing manager at The Village on Telluride, said the most common recommendation is for the tenant to find someone to sublease with because if the complex has to do it, the fee will be increased.

“We always give suggestions on where to post when they’re looking for somebody on their own to sublease,” Singleton said.

After the sublease is complete the new tenant will assume the responsibility for the rent under the price the original tenant signed for.

3How to take care of maintenance issues

Just like in dorms or houses, apartments fall apart after years of students moving in and out. Sometimes renovations need to be done and things need to be re-installed. When facing these problems, it is easy to want to call a third party service to take care of the problem. However, Mackinsey Cathie, leasing agent at Ella Lofts, said it is best to take care of the issue through the complex.

“We have vendors (we use if) we need something fixed, or we fix it ourselves,” Cathie said.

The cost for these issues to be maintained is already included in a tenant’s rent when they sign a lease and by calling a third party, a tenant would end up paying the fees out-of-pocket with no reimbursement.

4How to avoid misleading information

It is easy perceive information is misleading when signing a contract with unfamiliar and complicated jargon. To avoid feeling scammed, students should be sure to read the lease carefully, understanding each page, before signing.

It is a tenant’s responsibility to educate themselves on what they are agreeing to in the lease. Should questions or concerns arise, the potential tenant should bring attention to those things immediately. Everything that is in writing is final as soon as the lease is signed. The on-campus student attorneys are available by appointment to review leases and explain confusing sections to Texas State students.

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