Living off campus
There are many students that choose to live on campus, but there is also an option to live off campus (commuting to the University). If you are considering living off campus here are a few things you want to be aware of:
LOOKING FOR A RENTAL ACCOMMODATION
You have various living options when living off campus. There are condominiums (gated communities), rooms within a landlord's home, accessory apartments, and rentals to live in with friends. In order for a landlord to rent their space legally, they need to obtain the proper paperwork to prove they are providing a safe and proper living environment.
When you are reviewing your options and communicating with prospective landlords or realtors, it is strongly advised that you confirm that it is a legal apartment. Additionally, it is highly recommended that you do NOT commit to a rental property without personally viewing the space.
Signs of an illegal apartment: Locks on bedroom doors, overcapacity rooms (sharing the space with multiple people), more than four unrelated people living in an apartment.
For more information and guidelines to help you
find safe and legal housing visit the Off-Campus Living website.
LISTING LOCAL ADDRESS ON SOLAR
For safety reasons it is important that the University know where you are living. You must update your address on your SOLAR account to reflect your local address. In addition, international students must have their most up-to-date local address on their SOLAR account to maintain proper status on their student visas.
FREQUENTLY USED TERMS
Landlord: The owner of a rental property. This individual typically presents the property, accepts rent money, and maintains the rental.
Tenant/Renter: The individual renting the living accommodations.
Realtor: A person who acts on behalf of the property owner in finding the appropriate tenant for the space. Many realtors charge a fee for their services, often equal to one month's rent.
Rent: The agreed upon monthly charge for the accommodation.
Security Deposit: A one time payment held through the duration of a rental agreement to cover any damage. If the property is in good condition the landlord will often return the security deposit. Upon agreeing to rent a space, it is important to discuss with your landlord his/her expectations regarding security deposit return.
Lease: A written agreement between the landlord and the tenant. It is important to review this document closely as it will directly dictate expectations for both parties.
Utilities: These are services that a renter typically requires in a rental space. These are sometimes covered under your rent, if not your landlord should tell you the additional monthly cost or how to order these services yourself. Utilities include: electric, heat, hot water, cable, internet access, etc.
Condominium: A housing complex with several separate living spaces. These communities are often gated (enclosed).
Accessory apartments: A separate living space that exists within a family home.
Curb appeal: The visual attractiveness of a property. This often relates to maintenance of a space including garbage and landscaping.