Following Five Seasons Property Management; Burlington, Vermont's Premier Property Managers

Five Seasons Property Management’s Guide to Navigating Burlington, VT’s Student Rentals

System - Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Renting in Burlington, as a student, has the reputation of being competitive, chaotic, and confusing, but it does not need to be. Follow our guide to learn how to make finding your first rental a stress free experience.

Phase I: Plan

First things first, talk to whoever will be paying for your housing, or as we call them, your cosigner​. Let them know that you are wanting to live off campus next year, and hear their thoughts.

Once you got your cosigner’s approval, start to determine if you want to live alone or with a group of friends. Make sure everyone you want to live with is in communication with their cosigner as well.

Start to discuss and figure out your’s and your prospective housemates’ plans throughout your lease. Will one of you be studying abroad, taking the semester off, graduating early? Will one or all of you need a subtenant​ at some point during your lease?

Begin to think about and discuss your ​budget.​ Be mindful that utilities​ can impact it. This is the hard part, and it requires cosigner involvement. Here’s some Burlington rent ranges to help give you, your group, and your cosigner a better idea.

  • Studio: $800–$1,000
  • 1 Bedroom: $900–$1,200
  • 2 Bedroom: $1,400–$1,750
  • 3 Bedroom: $1,900–$2,300
  • 4 Bedroom: $2,900–$3,400
  • 5 Bedroom: $3,600–$4,100
  • 6 Bedroom: $4,250–$4,500

After considering costs, make sure you, your group, and everyone’s cosigners are all comfortable with your budget. Before you proceed to the next part of the process.

Phase II: Research

Now that you and your group have planned, you are ready to start looking at homes and apartments. While entering this phase, start to formulate a couple must have features for your future rental, like parking or laundry. Make sure everyone in your group is an agreement with these. Then start researching. We recommend that all groups elect one point person​, who can be the main person of contact for your group during this process. We have a lot of properties in Burlington, and it is likely that you and your group will be interested in more than one our rentals. After you have conducted your internet searches, it will be time for you and your group to start booking showings.

Here’s how you can schedule a showing at one of our homes.

  1. Go to our website,
  2. Click on “Homes for Rent” button in the top ribbon on our website.
  3. Apply the features that suit you.
  4. Once you have explored and are interested, click on the “Agent Showing” button and schedule a tour. Do this for every property you are interested in.

Phase III: Tackling the Showings

This is the fun part, but it can also be nerve wracking for many students. Just follow our checklist, so it all goes smoothly.

What to do?

  • Meet us at the scheduled, date, time, and location.
  • If not all people in your group can attend the showing, make sure that whoever you send to the showing is comfortable, trusted, and prepared to attend the showing without the whole group being present. Sometimes not all group members will be able to see the rental that they are applying to.
  • Know the listed rental price of the unit, and be sure that you, your group, and your group’s co-signers are all comfortable with it.

What to ask?

  • Ask what is included​ in the rent. Specifically ask about utilities, parking, and laundry.
  • Ask about their sublet​ policy.
  • Do they allow pets? If so, is there an additional fee?
  • Who manages​ the rental? What is their process in emergency situations?
  • What is their application process?​ Is there an application fee?
  • What is the deposit​ on the unit?

Phase IV: Applying for the Unit

So you found the perfect first rental; now it is time to apply​ for it! Make sure your whole group and everyone’s cosigners are on board. This is where time is of the essence because you could be competing against other groups. Follow the property manager’s instructions for applying for the rental.

Here’s a quick tutorial on how to apply for our properties.

  1. Go to our website,
  2. Click on “Homes for Rent” button in the top ribbon on our website.
  3. Scroll down to the address of the property you are applying for.
  4. Click on the “Apply Now” button. Make sure everyone you plan to be living with fills out an application.
  5. Fill out the application. If you are applying for more than one of our properties, list them under, “Address of the apartment you are applying for.”
  6. Do not leave any field blank on the application. If something does not apply to you, write “N/A.” If there is a number that you cannot fill out, use zeros.
  7. Once you have the application filled out click submit.

Phase V: Depositing and Signing

After we have received and reviewed applications for everyone in a group, we will email you with an instructions for submitting a deposit.​ We often have a surplus of great groups interested in our properties, so the group that is the first to get us their deposit, gets the unit. Once we receive your deposit, we will set up a time to sign your lease. We will email everyone a copy of the lease to look over beforehand and a co-signer agreement.​ It is crucial for every person planning to sign the lease gets their co-sign agreement filled out, and brings it along with a copy of their co-signer’s photo identification card to the lease signing. While at the signing, we will go over the lease with you and answer any questions. When we are finished reviewing the document, we will proceed to signing it. Congratulations! You are officially a tenant and have a home in Burlington, Vermont! Now that was easy!