Consumer and Tenant Affairs maintains a bulletin board that lists available rental units and other housing options.
- Size: Apartments range from one-room studio apartments to four-bedroom apartments. Individual rooms may also be rented. No more than four unrelated people can legally rent the same dwelling.
- Furnishings: Apartments and houses can be furnished or unfurnished. Some may offer either option with a price differential.
- Restrictions: The most common restrictions are no pets, no smoking, no water beds, no children and a maximum number of occupants per unit. A few do not allow subleasing.
- Contracts: Leases are almost always for 12 months, though a few are written for 10 or 11. Common contract periods are June 1 to May 31 and Aug. 1 to July 31. Read the lease agreement carefully before signing. Get a copy of the lease.
- Get it in writing: If the owner/manager offers you an oral lease, pick up a sample written lease to modify it. Get the signatures of the owner/manager and all renters.
- Condition of property: Check the rental unit and its contents. Do an inventory with the owner/manager within five days after moving in. This protects you from having preexisting damages charged to your account. Make your list detailed.
- Owner/manager: Find out about the owner/manager's track record for prompt repairs and fair deposit return. Ask present or former renters. Read online reviews.
- Do your homework: Be wary of renting from a landlord whose dwelling isn't up to code. Call Manhattan's free Code Services at 785-587-4506 for an inspection if you're unsure if the dwelling is not up to code. Make sure your unit is registered with Code Services.
- Inspections: Ask how frequently the unit is inspected by the landlord and how much notice the landlord agrees to give before entering the dwelling.
- Roommates: Agree ahead of time on the rules of the house. Use a sample roommate agreement as a guide. You can get one from the consumer and tenants affairs office.
- Price range: An unfurnished studio apartment rents for about $300-500, while a two bedroom apartment rents for about $450-700.
- Utilities: The renter is usually responsible for gas/electricity and the owner for water and trash. A minimum utility deposit for new customers is two times the average monthly bill for that property.
- Deposits: The amount is usually dependent on whether the apartment or house is unfurnished, furnished or whether pets are allowed.
- Essentials: Don't forget about other necessities such as kitchen and dining supplies and sheets and towels.
Whether you're looking for a place to live or are concerned about issues such as interpreting leases or getting along with your roommate, K-State and the city of Manhattan have offices that can help you.
These offices can provide sample leases, sample roommate agreements, inventory checklists and tenant's rights handbooks. They help with interpreting leases, mediating landlord/tenant disputes, understanding the Kansas Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, and providing information for inspection of code violations.