How to sign a lease

<p>Students looking for a house or apartment for the next year or semester will be able to sign leases soon if not already. <em><strong>Alison Carroll // DN File</strong></em></p>

Students looking for a house or apartment for the next year or semester will be able to sign leases soon if not already. Alison Carroll // DN File

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 (ballstatedaily.com/roost) to get an idea of the prices and properties available in Muncie.

How many people? Figure out who your roommates are 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 the 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 of the property.

Ask your friends 

Ask the landlord or apartment complex for references to find out what living there is really like. Go back when the landlord isn’t there and ask residents about their experiences there.

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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