As a student at UF, I know the stress of looking for student housing each year. Knowing where to look and what to look for can be difficult, and touring apartments can be draining.
At Sweetwater, we’ve helped hundreds of students navigate through their student housing search, and we know it’s important to understand what your rental rate covers.
Read Next: How Much Does it Cost to Live near UF?
So, we’ve written this article to list and explain everything that’s typically included in student housing rent, so students know exactly what they’re paying for.
What’s Included in Student Housing Rent?
Most student housing apartments in Gainesville come fully furnished, which makes the move-in process much easier and you don’t have to worry about furniture being an additional cost in your budget.
If you plan on studying abroad or living out-of-town over the summer, living in an apartment that comes fully furnished is much better because you can sublease without stressing about someone else using your personal furniture.
Typically, a fully furnished apartment will include your bedroom and common area basics, including:
- Dresser or Shelves
- Desk and Desk Chair
- Coffee Table
- Chairs and/or Bar Stools
- Washer and Dryer
Most students want to personalize their space by getting smaller pieces, like lamps and mirrors, and other decorations, like posters and string lights, so living in an apartment that already comes with furniture enables students to put their money toward these decorations.
Basic utilities at an apartment include electricity, internet, cable, washer/dryer, water, gas, sewage and garbage.
Most student housing apartments in Gainesville offer high-speed internet, a washer/dryer unit, gas and sewage as a part of your monthly rental rate.
Some complexes include garbage, but not all do, and some offer the option of adding a small additional monthly fee to include garbage service in your rent. If you choose this option, the fee usually costs between $5 and $25 per month.
Most student housing apartments will charge you an additional monthly fee for water and electricity. Some tips for managing your electricity and water use include being mindful of turning off lights when you leave rooms, considering how long you’re showering for, and turning off the sink while brushing your teeth.
Utility prices vary greatly, so it’s hard to provide an average cost, but just make sure to ask what utility rates typically cost each month before signing a lease at an apartment. And, since there’s so much variance in what utilities are included by each apartment complex, you should also ask which utilities are included in your monthly rent.
Access to Community Amenities
One of the biggest benefits to living in a student housing apartment, as opposed to a traditional apartment, is the amenities. Student housing apartments tend to offer amenities specifically tailored to college students, including rooftop pools, outdoor entertainment spaces, fitness centers and study rooms. Some of the newer properties near campus offer more luxurious amenities, like saunas and golf simulators.
Not every student housing apartment complex offers all of the amenities listed above, so make sure to ask about amenities when touring properties or visit their websites, which typically have a page dedicated to listing and describing all amenities offered.*
Many popular housing options, such as dorms and Greek houses, only offer 9-month leases, but most student housing apartments offer 12-month leases, so students can live in their apartments over summer.
Summer is arguably one of the best times to be in Florida, and specifically at UF, because every day can be a pool day, so being able to stay in your apartment over summer is convenient and fun. Many students opt in to taking classes over summer, too, so if you only sign for a 9-month lease, you’ll have to find an alternative living option over summer.
Security is very important when evaluating your housing options.
Most student housing complexes near campus have controlled access and offer secured parking at an additional monthly cost.
Controlled access at most complexes involves a fob system with electronic key locks to enter the building and to lock and unlock individual units. Other security measures at some apartments include complex-wide video monitoring, onsite security or patrol officers.*
When touring a property, don’t hesitate to ask about what safety measures they take. Leasing staff at student housing apartments know that security is one of the most important things for students to consider when choosing where to live.
We hope this article helped you better understand what’s usually included in rent at student housing apartments in Gainesville. If you have any questions about rent or housing options near campus, please contact the leasing staff at Sweetwater who would be happy to help answer all of your questions.
*Please note that access to amenities and security are subject to change and typically never guaranteed in your lease agreement, so keep this in mind when signing.