Many college students live in small apartments with one or two roommates. However, there can be some benefits to renting a whole house and living there with several roommates. You'll all have a bit more space, and often you end up paying less for rent when it's split between four, five, six, or more students. There are, however, a few tips you'll want to follow if you do decide to take this approach and rent a whole house.
1. See if you can all be on the lease
Sometimes a landlord will want one person to sign the lease. This puts you in a situation where that one person is renting the house and the other students are all sub-renting from that person. If one of the students moves out, then the person whose name is on the lease is technically responsible for paying their rent. This is not ideal. So, see if the landlord will instead allow all of you to sign separate leases. Most landlords who are used to renting to college students are used to this request and will accommodate it. With each person having their own lease, no other renter becomes liable if one person stops paying their portion of the rent.
2. Check what is included in the house
If the house does not come with appliances and basic furniture, you may have to invest quite a lot of money up-front just to outfit the house with these items. Sometimes this might be worth it, but you need to have a plan as to how you are all going to split and afford these costs. You may be better off just paying a little more to rent a house that comes with basic appliances and furniture.
If there are some things the house does not have, and that you will need, make a list of these things before you move in. Figure out how much they will cost, and split the cost between the renters.
3. See if a shorter lease term is possible
Sometimes landlords will want you to signs a one-year lease. Other times, though, they might be more flexible. See if they'll allow for a 6-month lease, and then let you go month-to-month after that. Plans can change fast when you're in college. So this way, if someone needs to move out after 6 months, you can easily find another student to replace them at that point.
Renting a whole house as college students can be a good way to save. Just make sure you follow the tips above for a smooth experience. To find homes for rent, talk to a real estate agent.