If you’re a student at the University of Florida, you’re probably aware of the perks of living near campus. Being within walking distance to classes and other hotspots is a huge perk of living in a student apartment. However, student housing options near the UF campus can be pricey. If you aren’t aware of the additional costs associated with leasing a student apartment, such as utilities, renter’s insurance, and application fees, these costs can easily sneak up on you.
At Sweetwater, we understand the importance of making an educated housing decision. That’s why we’ve created this list of ten additional costs you might incur on top of your base rental rate so you can feel more prepared when leasing a student apartment.
10 Additional Apartment Costs Students Should Consider on Top of Rent
1. Application Fee
Most apartments will require prospective tenants to pay an application fee. While the price varies greatly from apartment to apartment, application fees at student housing properties in Gainesville tend to range from $50 to $150. This fee typically covers the cost of running your background check as well as the cost of processing your application.
Some new student housing apartments will occasionally run promotions that discount or even waive your application fee when you sign your lease, so be sure to keep an eye out for these kinds of specials. Still, the cost of an application fee is definitely something you should budget for when considering the cost of your housing expenses.
Since the costs of application fees are dependent on each individual property, you should contact any apartments you are interested in to properly budget for this fee. For more information on application fees and the application process, contact the Sweetwater leasing team, who is happy to answer any questions you have during your housing search.
2. Admin Fee
Like application fees, admin fees will vary greatly between apartments, but they typically range from $50 to $300 at student housing apartments in Gainesville.
Admin fees generally cover the cost of administration, billing, bill auditing, overhead and similar expenses. Depending on the complex you are looking at, admin fees may be due at the time you submit your application, while sometimes, including at Sweetwater, they are not due until move-in.
Admin fees are usually non-refundable, meaning that if your apartment requires you to pay this fee at the time of submitting your application, you should confirm that you will be reimbursed if you do not end up signing a lease after applying.
3. Security Deposit
A security deposit is a refundable fee that is held by your apartment for the duration of your lease term, and it can typically range from $100 to the equivalent of one month’s rent.
Security deposits are typically due before move-in, and they are refundable at the end of your lease term as long as there are no damages to the apartment beyond typical wear.
After move-out, your landlord will assess any damages to your apartment beyond typical wear and tear, and most apartments have specific charges associated with specific types of damage. Your landlord has the right to deduct the amount of these charges before returning your security deposit, and if you owe more in damages than you initially paid as a security deposit, you may be billed for the additional cost. However, as long as you keep your apartment in good condition, you can expect to receive your security deposit back within 45 days of move-out.
We all know that especially with the constant construction near UF campus, parking in Gainesville can sometimes be a hassle. If you’re planning on having your car with you at college, it’s important to plan for the cost of a parking spot.
Most apartments near UF offer long-term parking contracts for the period of your lease. Parking contracts at student apartments in Gainesville typically range anywhere from $75 to $250 per month depending on the complex, so be sure to ask any apartments you are interested in what their parking rates are.
If your apartment is sold out of parking, check out Sweetwater’s Ultimate Guide to Parking Near UF for other parking options.
Aside from your rent installments, utilities are one of the biggest monthly costs you should be prepared for when renting an apartment. At almost every student apartment, you will pay utilities once a month, and your monthly cost will vary depending on your usage.
Utilities may include, but are not limited to:
When looking at student housing complexes, you should ask specifically which utilities you will be responsible for in addition to your monthly rental rate. Since average utility costs can vary greatly from building to building, it’s also important to ask the leasing office what the typical utility rates are before signing a lease. This will make it easier to predict whether or not an apartment fits into your monthly budget.
In addition, you will likely be responsible for a one-time utility setup fee which generally ranges from $25 to $100.
6. Rental Insurance
In many student housing apartments, landlords will require tenants to get renter’s insurance that covers both themselves and their belongings during the term of the lease.
Even if you aren’t required to get renter’s insurance, it’s always a good idea to have. Luckily, it is pretty affordable, typically ranging from $10 to $30 per month depending on the amount of coverage you need.
7. Moving Costs
When moving in and out apartments, there can be fees that you may not initially consider. These might include, but are not limited to:
- Storage space
- Cleaning services
- Moving services
These fees are highly variable, ranging from less than $50 to $500+ depending on your personal needs.
When moving out of a student apartment, it is important to leave your space clean to avoid being charged additional cleaning fees. While it’s definitely possible to do this yourself, some people opt for hiring a cleaning service. You might also choose to hire a cleaning service when moving in, especially at older apartments where many people have lived in your room before you.
Professional cleaning services may range anywhere from $100 to $500 depending on your needs, but for student apartments, this cost typically falls on the lower end of the range.
It’s also important to consider the cost of movers if you need them. Hiring movers can cost $25 to $50 an hour per professional, plus $20 to $50 per hour for the vehicle. While some properties hire movers on move-in day to assist new residents with this process, it’s important to factor this additional cost into your budget if that’s not something your apartment provides.
To keep the property as clean as possible, many student housing apartments require tenants to pay for trash service each month. This fee generally runs anywhere from $5 to $25 per month, so be sure to check your lease or ask your leasing office about trash fees.
9. Pet Fees and Pet Rent
If you’re looking to bring your furry friend to your apartment with you, you should note that many student housing apartments will charge a few additional fees if you choose to do so.
First, most apartments require a one-time pet deposit. Similar to security deposits, pet deposits are generally refundable and are intended to cover any damages your pet may cause beyond normal wear. Ranging from around $100 to $350, pet deposits may be due either at the time of signing your lease or at the beginning of your rental term.
Some apartments also have a one-time, non-refundable pet fee. These typically range from $100 to $350 and may be due at either the time of signing your lease or at the beginning of your rental term.
Lastly, many apartments charge monthly pet rent. This cost generally ranges from $15 to $35 per month and is due at the beginning of the month with each of your rent installments. Also note that this fee is usually charged per pet, so if you have two pets, be prepared to pay twice as much.
10. Technology/Upgrade Packages
Last but not least, technology packages have become popular at student apartments in the past few years.
These packages may include luxury upgrades such as bluetooth shower heads, vanity rooms, movie theater rooms, smart home technologies, floor-to-ceiling windows, or balcony premiums to name a few.
Depending on the specific technology or upgrade, these can vary from less than $50 to hundreds of dollars each month. While this will typically be charged on top of your monthly rent, some apartment complexes may have an upfront charge at the beginning of your rental period.
All factors considered, living in an off-campus apartment can be a great choice for UF students and often has many perks: more amenities, more freedom, and sometimes even more affordability. Despite these convenient factors, it’s important to take into consideration the additional costs you may have initially overlooked when planning your yearly housing budget.
We hope that this article helps you better understand what you might spend in a year on student housing near UF and brings awareness to the costs and fees commonly associated with living at an off-campus student apartment. If you have any questions about the fees at Sweetwater or Gainesville student housing in general, contact the Sweetwater leasing team who is always happy to help!