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5 Reasons to Sign an Individual Lease as a Georgia Tech Student

By Taylor

Navigating the variety of housing options in Midtown can seem like a daunting task at first glance. With a variety of both traditional apartments and purpose-built student housing can make the decision-making process challenging.

Here at Rambler Atlanta, our leasing team has been a guide to help many GT students on their housing search. We know that securing a lease in Atlanta may seem like a complex task and we’re here to streamline the process for you. Before diving into the perks of signing an individual lease, it’s important to know the difference between an individual lease and a traditional lease.

What does “individual lease” mean?

What exactly does an individual lease entail? Let’s start by understanding what a lease is.

A lease is a legally binding contract that delineates the terms and conditions of a rental agreement between a tenant and a landlord. It outlines the responsibilities of each party involved.

Now, an individual lease takes this concept a step further. It’s a personalized contract between you and your landlord that excludes your roommates. This unique lease is tailored specifically to you, covering a particular bedroom and rental rate. It absolves you of any responsibility for your roommates’ payments.

For instance, in a 4×4 (four-bedroom, four-bathroom) apartment shared with three other roommates, the landlord has an individual lease with each tenant. This results in four separate leases for the entire apartment.

Under this arrangement, each roommate is accountable for their own rent payment directly to the landlord. Additionally, they are responsible for maintaining their individual bedroom and any shared spaces. If, for instance, one roommate fails to pay rent or causes damage to their specific bedroom, the other roommates are not held liable.

What is a traditional lease?

With a traditional lease, rather than individually signing contracts with the landlord, you and your roommates collectively sign a joint agreement with the landlord.

In the case of a 4×4 living arrangement, only one lease is executed to cover the entire apartment. Within a traditional (or “joint”) lease, all roommates sign one lease and share equal responsibility for the complete rental rate and any damages occurring within the apartment, regardless of the specific room.

5 Benefits of Signing an Individual Lease in Midtown Atlanta 

Georgia Tech students hanging out in Midtown

1. Only Responsible for Your Rent

In a traditional lease setup, if a roommate fails to pay rent or moves out, you, along with your other roommates (and guarantors), are responsible for covering the outstanding rent and seeking a replacement tenant for the departing one.

With individual leases, you bear no financial responsibility for your roommates’ rent payments, absolving you of liability if they fail to pay. Additionally, you’re not obliged to find a replacement for a departing roommate; the leasing office decides whether someone else will take over the spot.

2. No Negotiations 

When opting for an individual lease, you can sign for a specific room with a designated rental rate based on its amenities.

In a traditional apartment, it’s dependent upon you and your roommates to determine room assignments and decide on each person’s share of the rent. Negotiations may include determining additional payments for the person with the largest room or the one with a walk-in closet. In contrast, all these details are predefined in an individual lease.

3. Streamlined Payment Process

Opting for an individual lease in a student apartment offers the advantage of a simplified monthly payment process.

Under a traditional lease, a single rent payment covers the entire apartment and is due to the landlord and utility companies collectively. This arrangement means one roommate will collect monthly rent payments from others to cover the landlord and utility expenses for the entire apartment.

With an individual lease, this complexity is sidestepped. Each roommate independently pays their monthly bill directly to the landlord. In most student apartments, tenants handle a single bill for rent and a separate bill for their share of utilities, eliminating the need for coordination among roommates.

4. Comprehensive Coverage in Your Rental Rate

Georgia Tech students hanging out in Midtown

Individual housing leases often include expenses like WiFi, cable, trash and potentially utilities. These purpose-built student housing apartments frequently offer fully-furnished units, roommate matching programs and additional features tailored to the needs of college students, elements not typically included in traditional leases.

In a traditional lease, you usually must arrange and manage your utilities, handle your own trash, set up WiFi and so forth. If you prefer enjoying TV time over dealing with cable setup, an individual lease might be the ideal choice for you.

5.  No Responsibility for Damages to Other Bedrooms

Similar to your non-liability for your roommates’ rent, individual leases also free you from responsibility for damages that occur in your roommates’ bedrooms. When it comes to shared spaces, damages are typically divided equally among the roommates unless one roommate willingly accepts accountability for the damage.

On the other hand, in a traditional lease, all roommates share equal responsibility for damages throughout any area of the apartment, regardless of the individual who caused them.

While traditional leases often come with slightly lower costs than individual leases, the latter is tailored to suit your student needs and streamline the off-campus living experience.

If you have any additional questions or want to learn more about the benefits of signing an individual lease at Rambler Atlanta, feel free to contact our leasing staff. We’re here to assist you in your housing search!


Taylor is the New Development Community Manager for Rambler Atlanta. She has 5+ years of experience in leasing and property management. In her free time, you'll find Taylor trying out a new restaurant or playing with her dog, Boujie.

May 27, 2024

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