ORIENTATION GUIDE: How-to sign a lease

Editors note: Every year, The Daily News produces the orientation guide for incoming freshman. This story first appeared in The Cardinal Field Guide printed in May 2017. To read the full issue, click here.

Some call it “adulting,” some call it “frightening,” but most would agree: signing a lease is one of the first grown-up things you can do as a college student. This guide explains the steps in landing an off-campus pad.

House or apartment?

Use our housing guide (Roost Housing Guide) to get an idea of the prices and properties available in Muncie.

How many people?

Figure out your roommates and how many bedrooms you’re looking for.

Take a walk

Take a little tour around Muncie and see what properties have a “For Rent” sign. Most also list number of bedrooms.

Ask for a showing

Contact the landlord and let them know you’re interested. They’ll let you take a look at the inside.

Ask your friends

Ask the landlord or apartment complex for references to find out what living there is really like.

Ask a ton of questions

Be like a parent at Orientation. Ask about utilities, parking, maintenance, damage payments, landlord contact info, summer subleasing, nails in the wall ... everything.

Read the lease

Ask a parent or friend to read the lease, too. Make sure to address any questions with the landlord or complex before signing.

Sign the lease

Most places will require you to make a down payment (typically first month’s rent) when you sign. It’s helpful to have all roommates present when signing.

Move in/Set up utilities

Your lease will include a move-in date. If it’s a house, you will likely need to call the utility companies before moving in so everything is ready for your arrival.


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