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5 Best Apartment-Finder Apps In 2018

Looking for a new apartment is quite a challenging task no matter what your budget or needs are. If you’re in this situation, you’re probably short on time, money, and options. All the likely apartments seem to have some hidden fatal flaw or be grabbed by other renters before you can even get a tour. If this sounds all too familiar, worry not! Like everything else in this digital age, there’s an app for that. Besides visiting this website to get a head start, you can consider these apps to find your dream apartment in no time: 1.  Zillow Rentals Zillow Rentals is a highly popular renting app that’s available for both Android and Apple phones. It’s also free of cost and gives you 400,000 plus renting spaces from all over the country. All you need to do is personalize your search to get the facilities required. On-site parking, pet policy, and laundry options are at your fingertips so you never have to take a gamble again! This app’s network contains buying as well as renting options in case you haven’t completely decided on the next step. You also get to save your searches when you exit the app. This way, you can pick up where you left off and save a lot more time. 2. Trulia Rentals This app is also available for both iOS and Android networks. It can help you streamline your requests using a single click that can instantly connect you with property managers. No need to fill out forms for each and every......
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What you need to know about service dogs & emotional support animals.

There seems to be some confusion in our industry as to the difference between a service dog versus an emotional support animal and the documentation needed. The Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) defines service dogs as any guide dog, signal dog, who is trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability and a therapy dog provides healing to his or her companion or family, as well as hundreds of other people in a therapeutic setting – whether a hospital, a school or a retirement home.…Another difference between therapy and service dogs is that the latter are often picked by breed for certain characteristics.  The ADA is specific about a service “dog” and states that it must be a dog, with some exceptions for miniature horses. Since the Emotional Support Animal does not perform any specific tasks for a person, the accessibility it has is limited. The Emotional Support Animal does have a right to be kept in a “no pets” policy apartment/condo and also to ride in the cabin of an aircraft. By Federal Laws, these are the only two places that an ESA is legally allowed. For your Emotional Support animal to be legitimate you will need the following; A letter from your mental health (or other medical professionals) stating your need for the ESA. Your ESA letter must be on your mental health professional’s letterhead. The ESA letter must also include the doctor’s license number, where it was issued and the date it was issued. The letter may need to be upda......
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Is Buying Student Housing For Your Children a Good Investment?

Is Buying Student Housing For Your Children a Good Investment?
The number $22,958 represents the average cost of tuition and fees in 2014-15 for out-of-state students attending a public university, according to the College Board. On top of that, room and board is estimated to cost $9,804 per year, bringing the grand total to $32,762 per year to attend a public, out-of-state university. These figures explain why many students will rely on their parents for financial assistance with their academic careers.   In many instances, parents will not only help finance a student’s tuition, but also their rent. In 2012, the National Apartment Association surveyed 3,605 parents with children attending college or university and found that 56% of respondents paid for 100% of their students rent. Only 13% reported that their children paid for rent entirely by themselves.   This is likely why some parents contemplate the option of purchasing student housing, instead of paying rent to landlords. But is it a smart financial move for parents to purchase student housing for their children?   The answer isn’t exactly a definitive “yes” or “no” and several considerations come into play. There is a calculated risk involved with making a financial commitment and investing in student housing. Too often, parents make their decision by only looking at the “potential” amount of money they could save, but fail to take into account other important factors.    Here are several factors that need to be assessed before making the decision to invest in student housing for your children.   1. Profitability: In certain instances, inexperienced student housing landlords can overshoot the profitabili......
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7 Ways To Create An Advantage In a Highly Competitive Student Housing Market

7 Ways To Create An Advantage In a Highly Competitive Student Housing Market
The competitive landscape in student housing has evolved. Rental markets which once faced student housing shortages are now inching their way to surpluses. This trend has lead landlords and property managers to get creative with their rental offerings, in order to establish a competitive advantage in their respective markets.   While there is no surefire formula for success, when it comes to establishing a competitive advantage, there are several tactics that can be implemented to have an edge on the competition.  1. Make the property pet-friendly: A recent study found that more than 76% of millennials own a cat or dog. If a property has a no-pets policy, this could potentially mean that only about ¼ of the millennial renter market would be interested in the property. Needless to say, by refusing to accept pets, a landlord is drastically shrinking their potential tenant pool in the student housing industry.  2. Offer highly sought after amenities at no additional charge:J Turner Research identified that two of the top amenities that student renters seek are in-unit washer/dryer and extended cable/Wi-Fi. In many cases though, landlords charge extra for these features. For example, most properties which offer laundry facilities charge a few dollars per load through coin-operated appliances. Instead, landlords should consider offering this service at no additional charge; while factoring the cost into the monthly rent. This strategy can also be applied to parking, as it was the fourth most important amenity desired by student tenants.    3. Offer referral bonuses:Referral bonuses are a great ......
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Top 10 Complaints Made by Student Renters & How to Handle Them

Top 10 Complaints Made by Student Renters & How to Handle Them
Student tenants specifically come with their own set of unique expectations and some common problems that may be encountered. Here are ten of the most common complaints voiced by student renters and insight on how to effectively handle these issues.   The landlord/maintenance person takes too long to fix things.Student renters live in an era of instant gratification, where they expect things to be delivered upon quickly; this is especially true for repairs in their accommodations. One of the most common complaints from student renters is the time it takes for things to be fixed by their landlord or maintenance team. The solution to this complaint is quite simple - promptly repair things or be honest about delays, if a repair cannot be made within a reasonable time frame.J Turner Research surveyed nearly 12,000 students and when asked about repair times for something broken in their apartment, 30% of students expected the repair to be completed in 24 hours or less. Even more shocking, 23% of students expected it to be fixed in 6 hours or less.  I didn’t get my security deposit back.This ranks at the top of the complaint list. Disputes often arise over the return of a security deposit, when a student renter is set to move out. Landlords can avoid this potential conflict by simply doing a walk-through with the tenant and specifically detailing what needs to be done in order for the student to get the full security deposit back. If the landlord cannot arrange a walk-through t......
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Meet The Parents: The Decision Makers In Student Housing

Meet The Parents: The Decision Makers In Student Housing
In saying ‘meet the parents’, we’re not referring to that comedy with Ben Stiller and Robert Deniro.  We’re talking about meeting the decision-makers in student housing – the student’s parents.   More often than not, parents are the real decision makers. Quite often, they are the financers for the rental accommodation too. The reality is that many underclassmen in college and university are still relatively dependent on their parents. This is why meeting the parents is kind of a big deal when it comes to student housing.   In a recent study conducted by J Turner Research and the National Apartment Association, over 3,600 parents were asked about their preferences and involvement in choosing student housing for their children. There were some interesting findings that strengthen the notion that parents are in fact the real decision makers:   56% of parents reported that their children paid 0% of their student housing costs. Only 13% of parents reported that their children paid 100% of their student housing costs. Other than rent, 71% of students receive $200 or more per month in financial assistance from their parents. Only 14% of parents reported giving their children $0 in assistance per month.   These statistics demonstrate that parents play a pivotal role in financing both a student’s living accommodations, as well as providing additional financial assistance for general living expenses. Without a doubt, parents have a heavy influence on the decision-making process for student housing, which is why landlords and property managers should focus on appealing not......
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Investing For Success In Student Housing

Investing For Success In Student Housing
As enrolment rates at colleges and universities across North America continue to rise, the demand for off-campus housing is also rising. As a result, investors and property owners are recognizing the financial opportunities available within the off-campus housing market.      Before making an investment in student housing, property owners and investors should analyze the market that the rental accommodation(s) is located in. There are many situational factors to consider:   How many college or universities are in the surrounding area? Are enrolment rates increasing or decreasing at these schools? How much on-campus housing is available? Are there restrictions regarding which students can live off-campus at these schools (do freshmen & sophomores have to live on-campus)? What is the academic calendar for these schools (start and end dates for each semester)? What is the leasing cycle like?   Other market factors to pay attention to include:   What are the going rental rates? How competitive is the rental market? Is rental licensing required?   This information can help property owners and investors get a firm understanding of how in-demand student housing is within a given market.   In relation to market research, investors and property owners should also consider the leasing habits of student renters. Every rental market is a little different and the tenants will have certain nuances. For example, it’s important to know exactly when student tenants are looking for housing. In highly competitive rental markets, students may be signing leases up to a year in advance of the r......
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Potential Reasons Why Landlords May Not Be Getting Rental Inquiries From Students

Potential Reasons Why Landlords May Not Be Getting Rental Inquiries From Students
First thing’s first, don’t panic! Often the reasons for a lack of rental inquiries are easily diagnosed and can be remedied without much difficulty. This blog post will highlight some of the key reasons why a rental advertisement may not be performing well and how it can be tweaked, with the specific goal to increase call volumes and tenant inquiries.   Before placing a rental advertisement, the first step every landlord and property manager should take is to do some basic research into the rental market. It’s important to understand what the competition is offering. To accomplish this, simply look at other properties advertised online and compare them to your rental. The important things to review are what the average rental rate is, what utilities and amenities are included, the standard lease term, what information is detailed in the description, type of pictures showcased, and so forth. Often the biggest deterrent and reason why potential tenants don’t respond to a listing is that the rental rate is too high. In the student housing market, pricing a rental unit competitively is incredibly important, as students are often on a relatively tight budget. If other property owners are renting out rooms between $500 to $600/month, it’s important to try and stay within this range as well. On occasion, exceeding this average range is acceptable, but the property must have great selling points that justify the higher price. Pricing may vary greatly in different rental markets, but that is not generally the norm.   Another ......
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Should Landlords Rent By The Room Or By The Unit?

Should Landlords Rent By The Room Or By The Unit?
Every student housing market is a little different but one thing remains consistent - all rental property owners wish to maximize profits and keep vacancies low.   In order to accomplish this, some property owners have adopted the idea of renting by-the-room, instead of by-the-unit, especially in competitive rental markets. There are both benefits and drawbacks of both to consider.In student housing, a landlord will often rent a property to multiple unrelated individuals. When the only option for students is to rent an entire unit, they must group together ahead of time. Many students don’t have groups of friends or know other students who are searching for housing as well, especially if they are first-year students.  As a result, they often prefer to rent a place individually. If these students cannot afford an entire unit on their own, then their rental options can be limited. This is why many students prefer to rent by-the-room.  In addition, it saves them time and the situation of trying to find a reliable group of peers to share a unit with.Renting by-the-room also absolves students of the concern and potential expense of a roommate not paying rent or causing damage to the unit. When renting by-the-unit, the lease typically requires all roommates to be responsible for the rent and condition of the unit. This is generally known as the Joint and Several Liability clause, where in the event one roommate stops paying rent, the others will have to cover the amount.   A factor to c......
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The Amenities Race In Student Housing

The Amenities Race In Student Housing
The growing popularity of purpose-built student housing has created what some call an amenities race, as student housing operators compete to lure in student renters.   With no end in sight, this amenities race is one where each new purpose-built student housing center attempts to trump its competition by offering anything from lavish recreational facilities to tanning beds. But are these unique offerings and non-traditional amenities what student renters really want? Some would argue no.   While a heated indoor pool and decked-out recreational room for residents may sound nice, students are often more concerned about the rental rate and distance to campus. In 2012, J Turner Research surveyed over 11,000 students and discovered that the top two most important factors for students when selecting an apartment were rental rate (47%) and location – specifically proximity to campus (22%). Surprisingly only 2% of respondents indicated that community features and amenities were most important when selecting an apartment. The survey also asked parents the same questions and only 1% of parents indicated that community features and amenities were the most important factor. The top two priorities for parents were security (34%) and location – again proximity to campus (29%).   It’s also interesting to note that in this survey, both students and parents were asked what service or utility upgrade they were willing to pay more for.  It was surprising to see that the top ranking responses was none (no service/utility upgrade), with parents clocking in at 42% and students at 26%.   To a......
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