I was recently accepted into UCF and I want to live off-campus. What are my options for apartment hunting during COVID-19?

Photo of Hub on Campus OrlandoThe Hub Orlando is an apartment complex near UCF. They are currently encouraging FaceTime tours during COVID-19.

There's no doubt that COVID-19 revolutionized everyone's life. In one month, UCF students were advised to go home without any certainty they will be back until the fall semester. For those who were recently accepted into the University of Central Florida, it put a strain on housing.  One of the pivotal parts of college apartment hunting is touring; it's what determines your final decision. Yet in the world of social distancing and quarantine, things are a bit more complicated this year. However, just like the rest of the world, apartment communities have adjusted to this change. Here are three things to consider when apartment hunting during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Take Advantage of Virtual Resources 

If there is one thing we can appreciate during these trying times, it's the internet. It has allowed for remote learning and work. Luckily, apartment complexes adjusted to this remote work environment by offering their services virtually. 407aparments offers plenty of 360-degree virtual tours of UCF apartments. These virtual tours that showcase everything from the shared spaces to the rooms. Online reviews also can give insight on what current residents think of the apartment and its services but beware not to let that influence you 100%. 

Connecting with Apartments on Social Media

Another option is to follow apartments you're interested in social media. Most apartments in the UCF area are giving tours via live streams, videos, and Instagram stories. On Livestream, they can answer your questions in real-time, and you get to see a real-time version of the apartment. By following UCF apartments' social media, you can also establish a connection to the management team, helping to give you confidence when it is time to sign the lease. Additionally, any giveaways and deals on lease signing will be advertised to you through their social media.

Signing Your Apartment Lease Virtually

If you had the pleasure of touring apartments before COVID-19, you might be set on a decision. However, signing a lease is a tremendous responsibility that you want to look over with others. Any concerns you may have about clauses on the contract or general questions can quickly be communicated to leasing offices. I'd recommend speaking with them and offering to have a short zoom conference. By doing so, there is much more freedom to ask questions and familiarize yourself with the lease. Ask them what they have done for their residents during the crisis, or what their late payment policies are.  

Monitor the University of Central Florida's Decision

Before signing a 12-month lease, make sure to monitor your school's decision. The likelihood of a fall semester being 100% is increasing every day. COVID-19 concerns in universities across the countries are putting a spotlight on administrations and their decisions. As of April, UCF has not decided what the fall semester will look like but has transitioned all summer classes online. Keep an eye on the situation, and be sure to reserve your apartment before your favorite options sell out.  

College is already tricky, and it's only heightened during COVID-19. But there are ways to overcome the hardships presented by the ongoing pandemic crisis. Be sure to use all the online resources provided by the student apartments in Orlando so you can come to a right decision once the imminent fall semester arrives.

These are the opinions of writers and not the opinions of 407apartments.com or any of our advertising partners.