Little known facts about International Student Accommodation
This guide covers everything you need to consider before booking an accommodation abroad. It also helps you understand the salient features of the booking process if you are an international student looking for accommodation away from home.
Are amenity expenses included in the rent?
Dishwasher, Refrigerator, Microwave, Washer dryer and Heating are some basic amenities that you need. The availability of these facilities vary from apartment to apartment.
Most of the apartments have these amenities included, sometimes the society/building will have common amenities and under those circumstances, you might have to pay per use. If your accommodation lacks these basic utilities you can check Craigslist , OfferUp ,Letgo , Gumtree and Close5 for the cheapest available options!
In case of laundromats, they are usually just a few streets away as most cities abroad have a tradition of public laundromats which can be utilised for a very nominal price.
Will I have to pay the gas and electricity bills?
You might have to pay bills that include electricity, gas, water and trash. Keep in mind that most apartments don’t have an all inclusive rent policy.
In the USA usual studio apartment with decent heat/air conditioning usage will cost $100-$150 in gas, electricity and heating expenses per month. Also internet (8 mbps) charges are around $30-$60 per month depending on your location for most US cities.
Electricity, gas and heating expenses in the United Kingdom can come upto £120-£170. Internet (8 mbps) costs about £20-£50 depending on your location. The UK properties listed on AmberStudent are almost all facilitated with all inclusive rents, i.e.; your rent covers electricity, heating, trash, contents insurance and amenity expenses.
In Australia; with continuous heat/air conditioning usage electricity, gas and heating charges come upto about AU$170-AU$210. A month’s internet (8 mbps) can cost you AU$50-AU$80. The Australian properties listed on AmberStudent are almost all facilitated with all inclusive rents, i.e.; your rent covers electricity, heating, trash, contents insurance and amenity expenses.
You could pay upto CA$80-CA$100 for gas, electricity and heating bills. Internet (8 mbps) can cost you about CA$40-CA$70 depending on the city.
Are community amenities chargeable?
Swimming pool, gym, parks and clubhouses are services subsidised for students, usually with a charge of $10/£10/AU$15/CA$15 monthly. Sometimes these charges are not applicable at all.
Is the apartment furnished or unfurnished?
Most apartments come with their own furniture but are comparatively expensive to their unfurnished counterparts. In case you chose an apartment that does not have its own furniture you can rent it out.
A few websites to rent out quality and economical furniture:
Will I encounter Bed bugs and roaches?
The basic solution to this problem is make sure that your property manager has carried out pest control before you have moved in. To satisfy yourself you can invest a small amount in a full fledged pest control that will ensure a complete eradication.
The property that you’re looking at has very poor online reviews (google etc)?
If the reviews are bad due to bed bugs or an issue that is similar, you need to know that roaches and bed bugs are very common and are found in some good apartments too. A good pest control should solve this issue.
What is Application Fee, Admin fee, Security deposit? Why are they needed? Can an apartment be booked without giving security deposit?
Application fee is a legal fee paid to an apartment for the costs incurred during the application period.
Admin fee or administration fees are paid to the leasing manager of for their administration services such as; making a lease, printing documents, checking background, credit score etc.
Security deposit is the amount charged so that student does not leave after 2–3 months. Deposit is refundable! And no; it is not possible to book an apartment without paying the security deposit.
Is it possible to negotiate the rent?
No! And that is a firm no, rent prices are not flexible. Tariffs are set according to the market value of the accommodation and it honestly will not help if you try to haggle over the prices!
-Jashanpreet Kaur Mangat