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Which Type of Off-Campus Housing is Right for Me? Student Housing vs. Traditional Apartments near UT Austin

By Ellen

Looking at student housing apartments near UT Austin, but feel like there are just too many options?

As a student myself, I know that finding a student apartment can feel overwhelming. There are many variables, and it can be hard to know which apartment is the best fit for my needs.

Read Next: How Much Does it Cost to Live in West Campus near UT?

At Rambler, our leasing team has helped hundreds of students sign leases, and understand that finding the perfect student apartment near UT Austin can be a complicated process.

To help you understand your options, we will be comparing purpose-built student housing apartments and traditional apartments near UT Austin to help you decide which is a better fit for you.

Student Housing Apartments vs. Traditional Apartments near UT Austin


Residents doing cycling class in spin studio at Rambler

Rambler has a dedicated spin studio providing classes and on-demand capability.

Student housing apartments offer amenities that are tailored to the specific wants and needs of college students. These may include fully furnished rooms, study areas, pools, hot tubs, saunas, spas, basketball courts, golf simulators and more.

Traditional apartments vary when it comes to amenity offerings. While you will see some complexes offer a pool or gym, most only include the basics, such as a washer/dryer, WiFi, cable and trash. Since these features vary, it is best to ask the apartment about their specific offerings.

Lease Type

Student housing apartments typically offer leases by the bed, also known as individual leasing.

Rather than leasing out the whole apartment, an individual lease allows roommates to only take responsibility for their room (or bed), plus the use of communal spaces. Each tenant signs their own lease and pays rent separately to their landlord.

So, if you live in a 5×5 (five bedrooms, five bathrooms) with four other roommates, each roommate will sign an individual lease for their bedroom and bathroom. A total of five individual leases are signed, and each roommate is held responsible for their payment only.

Read Next: 5 Benefits of Signing an Individual Lease at a West Campus Austin Apartment

On the other hand, traditional apartments typically offer leases by the apartment, also known as a traditional or joint lease.

The landlord will lease out the entire apartment with one lease contract rather than separate individual leases, and rent will be quoted for the entire apartment. You will sign one joint lease along with your roommates and divvy up the rent accordingly.

Therefore, each roommate is equally liable for the entire apartment, including rent, utilities and any damages. In this scenario, you and your roommates will come to an agreement together to pay rent and utilities each month.

Lease Term

The leases offered by most purpose-built student housing apartments are tied to the academic calendar. This means that the lease will likely begin in early-mid August and end on July 31st, complementing the student academic calendar.

Alternatively, traditional lease terms vary. Landlords tend to prefer 12-month leases over a shorter term, but these leases can start at any point throughout the year.

Additional Features

Rambler ATX lobby

The Rambler lobby offers a welcoming environment for studying, unwinding and socializing with friends.

Student housing apartments often offer their residents additional features that complement their lifestyle. These can include roommate matching, community events and more.

While traditional apartment complexes offer different amenities depending on the complex, most only include the basics, and don’t tend to have many additional features. Since traditional apartments vary in amenity offerings and additional features, it is best to ask them which specific features they offer.


Interior image of Rambler's living room furniture and finishes

Representative unit interior featuring Rambler’s standard furniture and finishes.

Near UT Austin, rental rates can range from around $700 to $2000 per month, depending on many factors.

Student housing apartments tend to be newer and offer their residents a variety of benefits that complement their lifestyle, which can come at a slightly higher price tag. Therefore, purpose-built student housing apartments tend to fall on the mid-high end of the price range.

On the other hand, since traditional apartments have fewer amenity offerings and tend to be a bit older, they typically fall on the low-mid end of the price range.

However, at both property types, prices tend to vary greatly depending on which apartment or unit you choose to live in. For detailed information on the cost of living near UT Austin, we have put together an article detailing pricing in West Campus: How Much Does it Cost to Live in West Campus near UT?

We hope this article helped you better understand what is typically included in your monthly rent at student housing apartments in West Campus near UT Austin.

If you have any questions about West Campus living or want to learn more about Rambler, contact our leasing staff, who are more than happy to answer any questions you may have during your student housing search.

Ellen | Rambler Marketing Intern


Ellen is a Marketing Intern for Rambler. She is a junior at the University of Texas, majoring in Communications and Leadership, with a minor in Business.

August 02, 2022

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