International students living in Gainesville for the first time can get a head start on their peers by learning a little about what to expect from living in an apartment in Gainesville and attending the University of Florida in Gainesville. We have assembled a list of some common Rules and Fees that many international students are not aware of when first arriving in Gainesville, FL. It's certainly not a complete list, but it will get you started. Just remember, it's probably best to ask before you act.
Parking in Gainesville.
There is a shortage of parking in Gainesville and as community development continues it is only going to get worse. This has forced UF and most off campus Gainesville apartments to become rather aggressive about parking and towing. If you have a vehicle make sure you discuss parking during your apartment search and clearly understand UF parking policies. Parking tickets and towing can become quite an expense if you are not careful. Read our article Gainesville Apartment Parking for additional tips on finding suitable parking.
Apartment Pet Fees.
Most apartments are very pet friendly, but expect to pay extra. You can Swamp Rentals to find pet friendly apartments in Gainesville. You will still want to check with apartment staff (and your lease) to make sure your particular pet is welcome. If you do bring a pet, expect to either put down an extra deposit when you sign the lease or pay an extra fee every month with your rent. This additional fee goes towards the extra cleaning needed when you leave. Keep in mind that this fee does not cover significant damages, like ruined carpet or holes in the wall. For more great information check out our article Pet-Friendly Apartments in Gainesville for more information.
The apartment staff is legally able to enter your apartment at reasonable times to inspect and perform repairs. The apartment will typically notify you ahead of time if they will be entering your apartment, but in many cases, they don't have to. Generally though, they will typically work around your schedule attempt to disrupt you as little as possible.
U.S. electrical current is 110 volt/60 hertz. Most foreign appliances use a 220 volt/50 hertz current. Appliances requiring a 220 volt/50 hertz current will not work properly in the U.S. without an appropriate adapter. Check with your electric company before using 220 volt/50 hertz appliances.
Florida Drinking Age.
The legal drinking age in Florida is 21. Unfortunately, it does not matter the drinking age is in your native country! So be prepared to show a valid picture identification proving you are 21 or older when ordering (or possessing) alcoholic beverages at local drinking establishments. The same is true when drinking at a party in someone's apartment. This law is strictly enforced by the Gainesville Police Department, and students who violate the law can be reported to UF.
Gainesville Bike Laws.
Florida law defines a bicycle as a vehicle. This means that bicyclists are subject to many of the same laws and fines as cars. The University of Florida Police Department (UPD), maintains a great website of bicycle laws if you want more information. If you plan to ride a bike on UF we strongly recommend that you familiarize yourself with this website as many of our SwampRentals.com staff can personally vouch for how seriously UPD enforces bicycle violations.
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