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5 Benefits of Signing an Individual Lease at an Apartment near UF

By Gavin

With so many apartment complexes and many different locations to choose from, there are certainly a plethora of housing options for UF students to choose from.

At Sweetwater, we have helped hundreds of students learn more about their housing options, so we know there are a lot of housing options, which can sometimes make picking an apartment more difficult.

Some of our most common questions about student housing relate to leases, specifically what an individual lease is and why it’s preferable to a traditional lease.

Read Next: 15 Questions You Should Ask When Touring a Student Housing Property at UF

In this article, I will explain:

What is an Individual Lease?

Student studying on campus

Students study on campus.

An individual lease is a type of rental agreement where two or more people living in the same unit take responsibility for just their room (or bed), plus the communal spaces, like the living room and kitchen, and each tenant pays rent separately to their landlord. This is also sometimes called a “by the bedroom” lease.

For example, if you are living in a 3×3 (three bedrooms, three bathrooms) with two other roommates, each roommate signs their own lease for their specific bedroom, bathroom, and use of communal spaces. Each roommate is responsible for paying their rent individually, and rent can vary in cost depending on the layout of the apartment and the amenities included (i.e., does the room have an ensuite bathroom? Are some rooms larger or smaller than others?).

So, in this example, because there are three bedrooms with three roommates, three individual leases will be signed, and rent will be quoted on a per bedroom basis.

Student housing apartments typically only offer individual leases while traditional apartments usually offer traditional leases.

What is a Traditional Lease?

Students on campus together

Spending time on campus is a popular activity for students at UF.

A traditional lease, also referred to as a joint lease, is a type of rental agreement where one lease is signed for an entire unit.

You and your roommates will all sign one joint lease rather than three separate individual leases. This is also called a “by the apartment” lease.

In a traditional lease, each roommate agrees to be responsible for the entire unit, including rent, utilities, and any potential damages. Typically, one roommate agrees to be responsible for paying the total cost of rent each month and collects each roommates’ portion of the rent and utilities.

In this case, for a three-bedroom apartment, there would only be one lease signed and rent would be quoted for the entire apartment.

Most traditional apartments and houses behind Midtown and near Sorority Row only offer traditional leases.

Read Next: Where Do UF Students Live?

What Are the Benefits of Signing an Individual Lease Near UF?

Students hugging each other

Living near campus makes it easier to spend time with friends.

1. You are Only Responsible for Your Portion of Rent

Agreeing to only be financially responsible for your bedroom, bathroom and communal spaces in the unit is preferable to being responsible for the entire unit because if damage occurs in a room that is not yours, you are not liable.

For example, if you sign an individual lease and your roommate punches a hole in the wall of their bedroom, you would not be responsible for paying to get it fixed. However, if you sign a traditional lease, you may be partially financially responsible for it.

2. No Need to Negotiate Amongst Roommates

In a traditional lease, all of the roommates have to come to an agreement on who’s going to pay the landlord each month and make a plan to pay the roommate who agrees to do so. But, in an individual lease, there is no agreement that needs to be made because each roommate is responsible for paying their own portion of rent.

Also, in a traditional apartment or house, it may be up to the roommates to decide who gets to live in each room. When you sign an individual lease, you commit to a specific bedroom within your unit, and your rent is determined based on your room assignment.

3. Simple Payment Process

With traditional leases, you and your roommates have to figure out how rent will be divided up and who will make the total payment to the landlord. Usually, one person collects payments for every roommate and makes the payment to the landlord, including utilities, cable, etc.

If you have an individual lease, you don’t have to coordinate with your roommates because you’ll each pay your own rent and utilities. Most student housing apartments structure payments so that you’ll only have to make one or two payments each month, one rental payment and one utility payment.

Read Next: What’s Typically Included in Student Housing Rent in Gainesville

This relieves any stress that tenants typically have surrounding paying landlords each month and collecting payments from the other roommates.

4. More is Covered in Your Rental Rate

At student housing apartments, which typically offer individual leases, your cost of rent will include WiFi, cable, trash, and even sometimes utilities, whereas with traditional leases, these will most likely all be separate costs.

Even more, student housing apartments were built for students, so they have complementary study rooms and game rooms. Another bonus to living at a student housing apartment is that they are usually fully furnished and have laundry in-unit.

In traditional apartments and houses, tenants usually have to buy their own furniture and have to set up their own cable, set up a WiFi router, and take out their own trash. Student housing apartments usually include all of these things.

5. No Responsibility for Damages to Other Bedrooms

In a traditional lease, where everyone signs one lease and is held equally responsible for the unit, if damages are caused, every roommate could be held liable for it.

But, in an individual lease, each roommate is only fully responsible for damages in their own bedrooms. Any damages in common areas will be split between the roommates unless one roommate takes accountability for the damage.

 

Overall, while traditional leases are common at some apartments and houses in Gainesville, there are many benefits to signing an individual lease over a traditional lease as a student.

Even though individual leases tend to be more expensive than traditional leases, they offer greater simplicity and less financial risk, which is ideal for students.

 

If you have any questions about individual leases, please contact the leasing staff at Sweetwater who would be happy to help you navigate the leasing process.


Gavin

Gavin is a Leasing and Marketing Assistant at Sweetwater. He is a junior at UF majoring in Sports Management.


July 13, 2022


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