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Student Housing Guide: Houston 2022
5 min

Student Housing Guide: Houston 2022

Housing Tips
Aug 7, 2021
/
5 min

A glimpse of Houston University
Houston Housing 101

Introduction

Houston is a big Texas town and is famous for NASA headquarters although that is quite far away from the city. It is famous for two universities: Rice University and the University of Houston. Both are side-by-side. Living here is not that expensive; real estate is economical and so is travelling. The weather remains warm around the year. Grocery stores are easily available within 500m across most towns.

Popular locations for accommodation

Downtown Houston

This neighbourhood has a diverse range of residents from working professionals to students. Downtown Houston is full of life and is perfect for people who want to live in a lively area. 

Attractions:

Boomtown Coffee

Discover Green

Montrose

A budget-friendly area, great for students, Montrose is a suburb full of character. The area is great for students who enjoy an artsy environment with trendy restaurants and cafes and lots of street art.

Attractions:
Agora

The Menil Collection

Midtown

South of Downtown, Midtown is an incredibly charming neighbourhood in Houston. The area has a rich nightlife, perfect for students who love constant entertainment. 

Attractions:

The Ensemble Theatre

The Gypsy Poet

Types of accommodation

Students have several options to choose from when choosing accommodation in Houston:

  • On-campus: On-campus accommodation will give students the chance to live with their classmates and fully immerse themselves in their college experience
  • Off-campus: Students can also choose to live off-campus if they want to experience life in the city and live like the locals
  • Private Accommodation: Students can also choose to find thei ow private rentals in the city. Rentals can be found by the student themselves, or they can enlist the help of a broker.
  • Purpose Built Student Accommodation: Different from regular rentals, PBSAs can be found either on or off-campus and are specifically designed for student needs. While most rentals come unfurnished PBSAs will be fully furnished and have a range of amenities for students to choose from. All PBSA properties will also include wifi, electricity and hot water costs in the rent itself, so you won't have to worry about paying different bills each month. All properties even include laundry services and most even have gyms, parking, and building security and all PBSAs are CCTV secured.

There are also different room options for a student to choose from. Students should make sure to choose a room that best suits their needs and preferences.

  • Studios: A studio will include a multi-purpose living space - that can be either single or dual occupancy, a bathroom and a kitchenette.
  • En-suites: An en-suite is equipped with a private bedroom space with an attached private bathroom, and the kitchen and living space will be shared among residents.
  • Non-en suites: A non-en suite is equipped with a bedroom - that can be either single or dual occupancy and the bathroom, kitchen and living spaces will be shared among residents.

Cost of living 

Prices will differ based on your property and the location you stay in, but we have tried to provide you with a rough estimate

  1. For 1 bed 1 bath — $600-$1200
  2. For 2 bed 2 bath — $800-$1500
  3. For 3 beds (2 or 3 baths) — $1400–$1900
  4. Deposit Range (1 months rent) — $50-$300

Best Student Accommodation in Houston

The Broadmead Apartments

Located on Broadmead drive, this property is sixteen minutes away from the University of Austin. All rooms offered to come with high-speed wifi and utilities included in the rent. The building is also well connected, located right across from the NRG stadium. Students can choose from a range of en-suites, non-en suites and studios starting at $543 a month. 

Willow Creek

Located seven minutes away from Texas Southen University, Willow Creek has a range of luxurious apartments for students to choose from. This property is great for animal lovers, allowing a maximum of  2 pets per apartment. Common amenities of this building include a clubhouse, volleyball court, basketball court and fitness centre. Students can choose from a wide variety of fully furnished studios and en suites starting from $700 a month. 

Scotland Yard

Close to the University of Texas and Texas Southern University, Scotland Yard provides students with fully furnished rooms with high-speed wifi and all utilities included in the rent. Near the Holly Hall Street Bus Stop, the building is very easily accessible through public transport. Students can choose from a range of studios and en suites starting from $890 a month.

Things to keep in mind before moving in 

Amenities to Look for

Apartment Amenities: WiFi, Microwave, Heater, Refrigerator, Storage, Washer, Dryer, Fireplace. These amenities are basic needs and it is strongly suggested that you look for an accommodation that fulfils the basic appliances and services.

Community Amenities: BBQ, Swimming pool, Fitness Centre, Study Area, Garage, Courtyard, Bike Storage, Public Transportation, Laundry, Pet Policy

Common Issues

Bed Bugs :  These are common. To prevent bed bugs you can avoid using used/old mattresses.

Roaches : Safety against roaches can be assured by making sure that pest control is carried out before you moved in.

Unsafe area: Walk Score is one website to check the safety score of localities. 

Language or cross-cultural barriers :  Certain accommodations provide single community housing.

Lease and T&C

Deposit: This is a security fee that is paid to the landlord in terms of a fixed amount of money. The deposit is refundable at the end of your stay tenure. The average amount for deposits is $50 to $300 (or in some cases one month’s rent).

Application Fee: A fixed amount ranging from $25 per person to $75 per person. This is a non-refundable amount even if you have paid it already and then cancelled the booking.

Admin Fee: Selective apartment owners levy this charge on the renters it is a non-refundable amount ranging from $50 to $200. This fee is contributed by everyone who is renting the apartment. The refund policy is similar to the application fee.

Pet Charges: Varies from apartment to apartment. Can range from $3 to $10 per month per pet.

Wait List Charge: An amount that needs to be given to the apartment to lock your request. For some popular apartments there are wait-list charges (token money) that you have to deposit. It is a non-refundable amount, but for certain apartments.

Booking Charges: The total cost that you end up paying at the time of booking stacks up as follows: Deposit + Application Fee (per person) + Admin Fee + Pet Charges (per pet). In certain cases the apartment may also ask for the first month’s rent.

Social Security Number (SSN): If you are a US resident you need to have a Social Security number to get an apartment on rent. SSN is linked to your credit history report which is

Credit Score: It is a number that depicts a person’s creditworthiness based on past financial history. If you have an impressive credit score the amount for deposit significantly decreases. Some apartments may have a minimum threshold credit score to make you an eligible renter.

Number of Tenants: The max number of people who can stay in an apartment is mostly mentioned in the apartment guidelines. Generally, 2 students are allowed per room (1b — max. 2 students, 2b — max. 4 students) in the apartment. Often, to save rental costs, students accommodate guests for permanent basis without informing the apartment management. This is not advised and may lead to cancellation of your lease agreement. However, you can accommodate guests for temporary basis without any issues.

Lease Duration: In formal leasing agreements, rental periods typically break down accordingly:

  • One-year lease
  • Six-month lease
  • Three-month lease
  • Month-to-month lease

Usually a longer leasing period will significantly drop your monthly rent amount. Abandoning a lease can mean serious financial and legal consequences.

Guarantor: In certain cases, the landlord/housing management may require a lease guarantor which acts as a third party to help provide security in terms of the rental. You can get concession in deposits if you have a guarantor.

Lock-In Period: A minimum fixed amount of time before which if the rental agreement is broken, then the tenant won’t get refunds on deposit. The lock-in period varies and is mentioned clearly in the lease agreement.

Documents required

Agreement Document Requirements: Following are the documents required to process the rental agreement:

  • i20 (mandatory)
  • Passport (mandatory)
  • Visa (mandatory)
  • Bank Statement (in certain cases)
  • Credit Score (in certain cases)

The agreement needs to be attested (digitally signed or hand-signed soft copy) along with the verification documents for each of the boarders mentioned on the lease agreement.

Conclusion

Houston is a great city for students looking for a welcoming, friendly city to pursue their education. Houston is full of life, great restaurants and has a big population ensuring that students will never feel lonely or run out of things to do while they study in the city.