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9 Additional Costs to Consider When Looking for Apartments near Ohio State

By Kylie

Many OSU students find the idea of off-campus living in Columbus quite exciting. It offers the advantage of having a personal bathroom, cooking in your own kitchen, increased flexibility, and potential cost savings. Nevertheless, it’s essential not to get carried away by the initial online rental rates and overlook the additional expenses that come with apartment leasing.

Read Next: When to Start Looking for Student Apartments as a OSU Student

At Rambler, our leasing experts have assisted numerous students in securing housing, and we are well aware that unexpected extra expenses can catch you off guard.

In order to help you effectively manage your student housing budget, we’ve put together a roster of nine common expenses that students frequently face when living in close proximity to the University District.

9 Costs to Consider on Top of Base Rent in Columbus, Ohio

1. Application Fee

The majority of rental properties require potential renters to submit an application fee, which generally falls within the $50 to $150 range. This fee includes the expenses associated with conducting your background check and the administrative work involved in handling your application.

It’s essential to factor in this fee when estimating your housing expenditures. Keep an eye out for apartments that provide special offers such as waived or reduced application fees as an enticement to commit to a lease.

2. Admin Fee

Administrative fees commonly range from $50 to $300, serving as a way to offset the costs related to administrative tasks, billing, bill auditing, overhead, and related expenditures.

Certain apartments collect this fee upon application submission, while others request it during the move-in process. It’s worth noting that administrative fees are generally non-refundable, so it’s recommended to check with your apartment management to determine whether you’ll receive a reimbursement in the event you opt not to finalize a lease.

3. Parking

Securing a parking spot in Columbus, particularly in close proximity to the campus, can be a daunting task. Many student housing options near OSU provide extended parking agreements that align with the period of your lease. The costs of these parking contracts can fluctuate, ranging from approximately $75 to well over $250 per month, contingent upon factors like the location, demand, and the specific type of parking facility.

4. Security Deposit

A security deposit represents a reimbursable payment held throughout the entirety of your lease agreement. Typically, security deposits fall within the range of approximately $100 to the equivalent of one month’s rent.

These security deposits are expected at the time of move-in and become refundable at the lease’s conclusion, provided that there are no damages to the apartment exceeding the standard wear and tear.

After moving out, your landlord will assess any damages and determine the associated costs. Your landlord is authorized to subtract the necessary amount for repairs prior to returning your security deposit. Nevertheless, if you maintain your apartment in good condition, you should anticipate the return of this deposit within 45 days of your move-out.

5. Utilities

Utilities are one of the primary financial aspects of renting a student apartment. These utilities encompass electricity, gas, waste disposal, water, cable/TV, internet, and washer/dryer services. The monthly expense fluctuates based on your consumption. The inclusion of specific utilities in your monthly rent is based on the policies of each individual apartment complex.

Since typical utility costs can vary significantly, it’s advisable to talk with your landlord about the typical monthly utility charges prior to finalizing your lease.

Furthermore, many utility service providers charge an initial setup fee to offset the costs associated with turning on utilities. This one-time fee generally falls within the range of $25 to $150.

A number of student housing apartments bundle Wi-Fi, cable TV, and washer/dryer facilities into your monthly payment, while others do not. Thus, it’s crucial to clarify this aspect before committing to a lease.

Read Next: 15 Questions To Ask When Touring a Student Apartment in Columbus, Ohio

6. Rental Insurance

The majority of apartments mandate that tenants secure renter’s insurance for the duration of their lease. However, even if not mandatory, it is strongly advised. Typically, renter’s insurance comes at a reasonable cost, typically spanning from approximately $10 to $35 per month, based on the extent of coverage.

If you have additional questions regarding renter’s insurance at Rambler Columbus, we encourage you to reach out to our leasing office.

7. Trash

To ensure the upkeep of a property, the majority of student apartments require residents to make a monthly payment for trash disposal. The associated expense typically varies from $5 to $30, although certain apartments may include this service without an additional charge.

8. Moving Costs

When moving into or out of an apartment, there are frequently unanticipated charges to account for. These could include fees associated with storage space, cleaning services, and moving assistance. The extent of these costs can fluctuate, ranging from under $50 to well over $500, dependent on your specific requirements.

Storage Space

In the event of a gap between your lease periods, you may find it necessary to secure a storage unit close to Ohio State for your belongings. External self-storage alternatives such as Public Storage or Gateway Self Storage usually vary in cost, depending on the size of the unit, from $40 to $500 per month. For a comprehensive directory of storage facilities near campus, you can access our Columbus storage unit list by downloading it.

Cleaning Services

When leaving your student apartment, it’s crucial to ensure the area is left in a clean condition to prevent extra fees. Enlisting a cleaning service can entail expenses ranging from $100 to above $400, based on the scale of cleaning required. In some cases, tenants may also choose to employ cleaning services when moving in, especially at older properties. Typically, cleaning services for student apartments tend to be on the lower end of this cost spectrum.

Moving Services

Hiring professional movers can contribute to your overall moving expenses. Generally, the charges can fluctuate between $25 to $50 per hour for each mover, along with an extra $20 to $50 per hour for the moving vehicle. While certain apartment complexes may offer movers to help new tenants during move-in, it’s important to factor in these expenses when formulating your housing budget.

9. Pet Fees and Rent

If you intend to bring your pet, be prepared for additional charges. Most student housing apartments mandate a pet deposit, which typically falls within the range of $100 to $350 and is usually refundable. This deposit is payable at the start of your rental agreement and is designed to account for any potential damages caused by your pet beyond ordinary damages.

In addition to the pet deposit, many apartments impose one-time, non-refundable pet fees, also generally ranging from $100 to $350.

Furthermore, you’ll need to factor in the monthly pet rent, which can vary from about $10 to $45 per month for each pet. It’s important to note that certain apartments may set differing rates based on your pet’s size, while others apply a flat fee for all pets.

When constructing your monthly budget, it’s crucial to consider all these fees, as they can accumulate fast. It’s recommended to consult with your landlord or apartment building regarding their specific pet regulations and associated charges.

Read Next: 8 Ways to Save Money on Off-Campus Housing near OSU

We hope that this article has provided valuable information on the extra expenses you should plan for when leasing a student apartment in Columbus. Should you have any inquiries, please feel free to get in touch with Rambler’s leasing team, as they are eager to assist with any questions you may have while you navigate your housing search!


Kylie is a Leasing Intern for Rambler Columbus. She is a junior at The Ohio State University, majoring in Finance. Her go-to Daydreamer order is an almond milk latte with vanilla!

May 27, 2024


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