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by Melissa Mejia, News Writing

When finding a rental, it is important for a student to know what he or she is looking for in terms of price range, location, and number of people they will be living with. There are listings for apartments, houses, and rooms in other people’s houses.

Once students make a decision on these key factors, they should be on the lookout for rentals within their specifications.

The downtown housing office recently opened a Center for Off-Campus Housing, which features all the amenities such as computers, a fax machine, a telephone, and rental listings.

According to Myrna Matsumoto, a property manager with Prudential Locations LCC, some of the more convenient and affordable locations for college students are in the Kapi‘olani, Makiki, McCully, Mo‘ili‘ili, and University areas. Most of these areas offer close shopping and bus service to the HPU downtown campus.

“ As for affordable, Hawai‘i’s rental market is higher than on the mainland,” said Sylvianne Young, principal broker and realtor for Young Properties.

Listings are available on the Internet. Rentals Illustrated, for example, shows pictures and basic information about available rentals on the island.

On Campus Pipeline there are also listings that are given to the Off-Campus Housing Office from landlords and realtors about vacancies. There, one can see listings that students have posted about availability and if they need a roommate.

Prices for apartments vary. Young stated that pricing depends on the location, market, and recent upgrades (carpet, paint, appliances).

When renting to a student, both Mastumoto and Young agree on the same concerns.

“ We worry about loud parties and disturbances to other residents or neighbors,” Matsumoto said. “Also, failing to keep the property clean and its components in good working order and failing to pay the rent on time.”

When scheduling an appointment for a viewing, Patrick Mayock, HPU’s director of Off-Campus Housing, said it is important to look professional.

“ It’s important to be on time, ready with all your documentation,” he said. “You need to make a good impression because it’s like you’re interviewing for a job.”

Mayock said that he’s found that landlords are now starting to charge application fees. On your application, Matsumoto said that the most important to note are income (how the rent will be paid), landlord references (good standing with previous landlords), and good credit.

“ It’s also good if you have letters of reference from your previous landlords,” Young said.

Some other renting options endorsed by HPU are the Hawaiian Student Suites. There are three residences in Honolulu— Hana Student Suites, Kalo Terrace, and the Ohia Student Suites.

Students live in an environment similar to the on-campus residence halls with resident advisors and community activities. They provide students with several lease options such as short-term, semester, and yearly lease agreements. Mayock said that he recommends this option for new students because it’s “peace of mind for the student and parents.”

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