Housing Dictionary: Common Apartment Lingo

Throughout your apartment search, you'll likely come across a long list of unfamiliar terms. We've got you covered with this list of all the common apartment lingo you’ll want to know before you sign at one of the FSU off campus apartment


awl-in-kloo-siv ] adjective • To combine rent with other expenses like internet, cable, elec

tricity, water, furniture and parking into one combined payment: Having an all-inclusive apartment makes paying the bills each month simple. 



uh-men-i-tee ] noun  Items of enjoyment or convenience offered by an apartment community that makes it more attractive to live there: Common apartment amenities at FSU off-campus housing include swimming pools, study rooms, fitness centers, and club houses.


[ suhb-let ] verb • To rent out an apartment or room, as the original renter, to someone else for a period of the lease. Also called sublease: Be careful when subleasing an apartment and make sure you are involving the leasing office in the transaction, because assuming another student’s lease could mean assuming any debts and damages.


[ dih-poz-it ] noun • the initial amount of money that most apartments require to be paid when signing your lease, used to protect the apartment owner from the possibility of future damages: The deposit may be applied to future charges or returned when you vacate the apartment and most student apartments in Tallahassee will waive the deposit with an approved guarantor.
(see guarantor)

electricity cap

[ ih-lek-tris-i-tee, ee-lek- ][ kap ] noun  the agreed upon amount of money that is included in your rent for electricity. If the the cap is exceeded then renters will pay the excess charge: If the electricity cap for your lease is $40, but your bill this month ended up being $45, you will have to pay the remaining $5 for that month.

decorated room


fur-nisht ] adjective • an apartment that includes furniture basics like a bed, nightstand, desk, chair, dresser, sofa, coffee/end table, dining room table, and chairs: Furnished apartments give a good start to a living space but an apartment shopping list is needed to fill in the gaps.


gar-uhn-tawr, -ter ] noun • a person that agrees in writing to pay your lease and associated expenses if you are unable to pay yourself and assumes the responsibility for the full amount remaining to be paid on the contract if the renter defaults. Also called cosigner: Many leases require a guarantor (typically a parent) if the student is not able to demonstrate a history of good credit or an income capable of paying the rent when applying for a lease.

individual lease (by-the-bedroom)

[ in-duh-vij-oo-uhl ][ lees ] noun an agreement where you are responsible for only your portion of the monthly rent. Also called by-the-bedroom: There is much less risk with an individual lease because you are not responsible if a roommate flakes on the lease or is late on a rent or utility payment.

key fob

[ kee ][ fob ] noun  an electronic key used to access the apartment building, amenities, and sometimes to unlock your apartment and bedroom: Key fobs are convenient because if your student ever loses the key, it can be easily deactivated, but make sure you keep track of it because you will be charged to replace it.


[ lees ] noun • a contract between the renter and the apartment community that outlines the legal requirements and limitations for both the renter and the apartment owner/management: It is so important to read and understand your lease before signing!

roommate matching

room-meyt ][ măchĭng ] noun • a service offered by some apartment communities to help students find roommates with similar values and lifestyles: Apartments with roommate matching will ask your student to honestly fill out a questionnaire that includes question such as major, values, sleep patterns, guest preferences, and more. 

seminole express

sem-uh-nohl ][ ik-spres ] noun • a bus that provides transportation to and from FSU’s campus to areas in Tallahassee that is free with a FSU student ID: Many of the student apartments in Tallahassee have Seminole Express bus stops right out front so you can get to class, fast! 

short-term lease

shawrt-turm ][ lees ] noun a rental agreement less than 12-months: Short-term lease rates typically include a monthly premium that will make them more expensive than a 12-month lease due to the added expenses of preparing an apartment for the next renter.

utility overage

[ yoo-til-i-tee ]oh-ver-eyj ] noun the amount of money that a bill exceeds a previously agreed upon maximum total allowed, put in place to protect the owner from excessive use of utilities by the tenet: If your apartment pays for your water bill up to a certain amount, maybe $10, and one month your bill is $25, then the utility overage amount is $15 and you will be responsible for repaying the $15 to the apartment owner.

We hope this dictionary of apartment lingo will help make finding the best apartment easier for you and your student. There are so many advantages of living in an off-campus apartment at FSU, and now that you know these terms you can help your student make the right choice, with confidence!

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