Most universities encourage students to live in campus housing their first year in college. After that, many students find off-campus housing. When you sign up for off-campus housing, you will sign a lease for the housing. It’s important that you understand what you are signing.
Exhibit One contains a list of questions you should ask before you commit to an off-campus contract. Obviously you want to know the cost, but you may not have thought to ask some of these questions. You might want to check off the questions of specific interest to you before you shop for an apartment.
There are websites in many university towns that rank different housing options. You should look at these carefully. Also talk to students living in the apartment facility before you sign a lease.
Finally have your parents review the lease before you sign it. They may have other questions to ask
Off-Campus Housing Questions
1. What are the difficulties of getting to campus?
■ Is there bus service?
■ If not, is there a place to park near campus?
■ What are the costs of getting to campus?
■ How difficult is it to get to campus when roads are snow covered?
2. What is the policy on occupancy?
■ How many are allowed to live in the facility?
■ Are overnight guests allowed?
3. What facilities are provided?
|■ Game Room
|■ Internet Access
|■ Swimming Pool
|■ Rec Center
|■ Air Conditioning
4. What utilities are included in the rent payment?
5. What is the security system?
6. Are pets allowed?
7. What are emergency provisions in case of fire?
8. What are the parking accommodations? Is there a charge for parking?
9. What is the security deposit? What are the requirements for the return of the deposit?
10. What is the term of the lease? Will you need to pay rent in the summer when you are not on campus?
11. What is required to get out of the lease?
12. What happens if a roommate leaves campus and is no longer willing to pay?
13. Are you allowed to sublet in the summer or in case a roommate who leaves?
14. What are the provisions for parties (e.g. limited hours, noise level)
15. How are necessary repairs accommodated?.