Top 5 Things Every First Time Renter Should Know

Renting your first apartment can be so exciting. There are so many ideas running through your head as to how your new arrangement is going to look and feel, plus the freedom you will enjoy. But first-time renters are often shocked and dismayed by the entire process.

Student Apartment Rentals in Ithaca can easily be found with PJ Apartments in Ithaca. We pride ourselves on well-maintained historic properties that range from one-bedroom units to full houses with multiple bedrooms able to house a large number of students with shared common areas.

What Do You Need to Know?

  1. Initial costs
  2. Long Term Costs
  3. Lease
  4. Pets
  5. Roommates

Initial Costs Can Cause Sticker Shock

You all ready know that there will be a monthly rent for your apartment. But there will also be a security deposit of usually the same amount. The security deposit is paid to the landlord and protects both of you in case of damage or loss. As long as you don't trash the apartment or skip town, you will most likely get your security deposit back at the end of the lease. 

Some property management firms will require both first month, security deposit and last month's rent in advance. Be prepared and ask questions.

Long Term Costs

Unless you have rented a property with utilities included, you will be responsible for heating and electricity costs, television and internet. Ask ahead for documentation as to what these costs run on average. Most property management companies can show you actual bills for the units.

If you find yourself renting an apartment where you are responsible for utilities, you will also have to set up accounts with each provider and have the utility turned on in your name.

Lease Agreements

There are very rare units that will rent on a month-to-month basis. Most all apartments are now rented under a lease which spells out both parties' responsibilities and the rules of the property. You will be signing a legal contract that will protect both the landlord and yourself. Failure to adhere to the agreement can put your occupancy at risk, meaning that you could be evicted on relatively short notice for breaking the lease.


Many people have pets and expect to be able to bring them with them to their new apartment. Don't rent any apartment without knowing the rules on pets and discussing this with your potential landlord. Do not even attempt to “sneak” in your cat or ferret with written permission to do so. This is another potential lease breaker.

Too many people move into apartments with pets that are not approved to be in the apartment. So what happens?  You end up having to place or give away your pet. It's not worth it. Always be sure that pets are allowed in your building or unit. 

Roommates Are Fun!  Or Are They?

Renting an apartment with some friends can be a great way to share the costs, making it less expensive for each of you. Plus you have companionship and shared responsibilities. Make sure all your roommates are on the lease, which holds them each responsible for the rules and expectations.

Having roommates can go terribly wrong. Make sure you know who you are moving in with. A small issue can turn into a major disagreement causing one or more housemates to move out or worse.

PJ Apartments Near Cornell

We offer some of the most beautiful historic properties and affordable apartment rentals in Ithaca. Being centrally located to Cornell University makes your rental a highly sought after location. 

Student apartment rentals in Ithaca are in high demand. Make sure you look into our possibilities that could suit your budget and needs perfectly. Contact us today for availability. We look forward to having you join our family!!

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