What to know before signing a lease


Home Away From Home

Kaitlyn Finchler Photo editor

Signing leases during a pandemic may be difficult, but students are pulling through. With a vast amount of options surrounding campus, there are many things to consider when signing a lease.

Sophomore business management major Sony Kipre said living off campus was the best option for him, as he appreciates being independent and focusing on his schoolwork and other activities. 

“I chose to live off campus because financially it was the logical decision,” Kipre said. “If you do the math, with everything included, it’s just way cheaper in an apartment and I wanted to save money.”

Kipre chose Latitude as the complex of his choice, and moved in during the second semester of his freshman year with three other roommates. Kipre said he pays around $699 a month, but because he is an international student, he had to pay three months of rent up front.

“[It was] not really a problem, but it was kind of annoying,” Kipre said. “Since I’m an international student, they required me to put my first and last month’s payment down, and then my second month’s payment too. … I was financially ready to do it anyways so it wasn’t an issue but to anyone else I feel like that’s one of those things where nobody’s ready to drop $3,000 on the spot, but it’s just one of those things that was going to come up regardless.”

Student Legal Services at Kent offers a number of tips for signing a lease on their website, as well as offering read-overs for leases by the attorneys in the office.

Junior nursing major Alexis Hill signed a lease in University Edge with two of her friends and said that one of her roommates’ dad helped them look over the lease before signing. 

“I’m really proud of how on top of things we were because we did the first or second weekend of the spring semester last year,” Hill said. “So we looked at both apartments, and then we got to talk about mortgage [and] figuring out if things are going to work out. And then we signed the lease the next weekend.”

Hill also said an apartment was the best option for her as she doesn’t have any in person classes, so being on campus would not benefit her. She carpools to Parma for her nursing clinical at University Hospital with two friends, one of which conveniently lives in her complex.

Both Latitude and University Edge have similar setups where each tenant gets their own bedroom and bathroom, and then common areas such as the living room and kitchen are shared. Each tenant also has their own bill.

“We each have our own bills. The only bill that’s split, and that’s split with the building too, is the electricity bill,” Kipre said. “How rent works here, for example, we’re all paying different amounts. When I moved in here rent was around $689 and they moved to $699 this year so I’m currently paying $699. The rent just fluctuates based on when you sign.”

Kaitlyn Finchler is the photo editor. Contact her at [email protected]