There is a lot more to college living expenses than just rent. Most off-campus student apartment communities build the various utility fees into the rent payment or bill directly through an online portal. Privately managed condos and houses also require some setup. And all rentals require their tenants to have renter’s insurance regardless of corporate or private ownership. Here is some information about the various utilities and other living expenses and Housing Scout’s recommendations.
The most important thing to know is Austin Energy has a monopoly on Austin’s electricity. At least this makes your decision simple. You’ll need to call ahead before moving in or you can set up your new account online through the City of Austin Utilities website. If your community doesn’t pre-arrange your energy bill, all you need to do is select your move-in date, and you’ll be all set.
Many apartments offer free Wi-Fi, so check with the management company to see if it’s included. If it isn’t or the provided service is too slow for you, our internet recommendation is Spectrum. It provides reliable wi-fi in the 78705 area, and service starts at around $49 per month. Before you plan an installation, check with your property manager to see if there is already a coax cable. If there isn’t, you’ll need written permission from the manager or owner of the property for Spectrum to install one in the unit.
While it’s not a utility, renter’s insurance is a necessary living expense for moving into your off-campus apartment. Lemonade has changed the game for renter’s insurance, and we highly recommend it. You download the app and take less than 10 minutes to set up an account. All that’s typically required by the apartment or condo owner is $100,000 in personal liability insurance, which you can get for as little as $5 per month. You also have an option to add coverage for your personal belongings and more. It’s the most affordable insurance on the market and perfect for a student’s budget.
Water, Trash, and Wastewater
In one bit of great news, you rarely have to worry about setting up water, trash, and wastewater services in your off-campus apartment. Your community may cover this cost for you, and if they don’t, the property manager will bill you directly through your tenant portal. Even if you rent privately, this is usually taken care of by the landlord, but check with them to be certain.
Do you have more questions about utilities and where you’re planning to live when you attend The University of Texas Austin? Call Housing Scout today.