Office of Enrollment Management


apartment building


Just like a mortgage payment, a renter should not spend more than 30% on housing. This includes utilities and renter's insurance.  A landlord can be a rental company, property manager or private individual. Renting from a private individual may provide more flexible terms in your agreement, but a rental company may have more desired amenities and on-site maintenance. These all need to be considered when determining your rental housing.

A landlord's home insurance does not cover renters. So be sure to secure renter's insurance to cover your property in case of damage.


Understand the terms of your agreement which can be found in the lease.  The lease will provide the expectations and rules for the duration of occupation. These could include late fees, noise expectations, pet limitations, occupancy limits, and named tenants.


A tenant is an adult who will reside in the property.  Named tenants are legally responsible for what happens inside the rental property. Read the entire lease and ask questions about what you do not understand. 

Type of Lease

Leases can be a fixed-term agreement which means the lease states how long this agreement lasts. Most fixed-term agreements are for one year, but read the fine print to see. These are great options when you are certain you will be in an area for that amount of time.

Another type of lease is what is called a month to month agreement. This designates that either the landlord or person renting can terminate the agreement at the end of each month. This is an excellent option for rotations when you go to another location.

Occasionally, leases will allow for subleasing. Subleasing keeps the original tenant in the original agreement, but a subtenant takes over living there and paying the rent. This is an option for students who may need to do rotations in another location. 


Rent, late payment fees, and security deposits should all be disclosed in the rental agreement. The due date for rent should be clear and the fees for late payments spelled out in the agreement to ensure that each party knows the expectations. This often includes how rent should be paid. Rent should always have a way to trace that it was paid so if you pay in cash, get a dated receipt. 

Security deposits and requesting first and last month's rent up front are often based on a credit check. Higher credit scores will often received waived fees and security deposits. Read the terms to understand what is returned at the end of the lease.

Increasing Rent

Rent on the Charleston peninsula is very high. To reduce rent, consider living off the peninsula, sharing an apartment, or renting a room in a home. This will not only reduce the amount you spend on rent, but can decrease other costs. 

MUSC is dedicated to helping students find more affordable housing. While on a student budget, you should live like a student. This may mean making sacrifices by living further from campus or sharing housing to reduce rent.  

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