Choosing to live off campus is a decision that will have great impact on your time as a student. The appeal for more privacy, more personal space and a greater sense of freedom can change your college experience. It is important to understand the responsibilities with living off campus and the added tasks, such as cooking, cleaning and budgeting.Consider what you are looking for and to be a smart shopper. The following information will help you determine your needs, search rentals, do research and sign a lease.
Determine Your Needs
As a prospective tenant, you have the right to ask questions. Before signing a lease be sure you are satisfied with the place, the services, security, rent, etc.
Search Available Rentals
There are a number of rental units available in the RIT area and several ways to search for them.
- Visit RIT’s Housing Connection to see if there are any vacancies available or to search for a potential roommate.
- Visit rochester.apartments.com or rentrochester.com for listings of local apartment complexes.
- Visit rocrooms.com, a website dedicated to finding housing for the area’s students.
- Check out daily newspapers for listings.
- Ask friends and classmates who rent in the area or have rented.
- Check out ACE and pamphlets provided such as The Commuter Crib Sheet.
Call Potential Rentals
When you find a few rentals that fit your needs, you should call or email the contact person. State what you are looking for and when you would be available to view the rental. If you will be living with others, you should view the rental together to ensure everyone is satisfied.
You should view two or more rentals that fit you needs. When looking at each rental, you should take notes and do not be afraid to ask questions! Examine the apartment thoroughly and be sure to note the utilities included, the repairs that are needed, and who is responsible for lawn care or snow removal.
Research the Rental
Before you sign a lease you should find out information about the unit and the landlord to be sure you will have a successful rental experience. Does it meet housing and property codes? What will the heating bill approximately be in the colder months? Is there parking available? Be sure to visit the location both during the day and night to see the level of safety.
Review and Sign the Lease
Once you decide on a rental that meets your needs, you will need to sign the lease and pay a security deposit. Carefully review the lease and become familiar with common lease terms. Understand all the responsibilities outlined in the lease. Be sure to make a copy of the lease and security deposit check and save it with all other rental information. SG’s lawyer is also available to review your lease and answer and questions you may have.
Things to Consider:
Proximity to campus, bus stops or other things you desire to be near.
What size are you looking for?
How much rent and utilities can you afford with your budget?
Do you need parking?
How long of a lease do you need?
Will you have pets?
Will you be able to take care of snow removal or lawn care?
Do you want a furnished or unfurnished space?
What type of housing are you looking for? Apartment complex, house, studio, or shared rental?