Important Considerations for Living Off-Campus

  • Landlords rent students apartments as a business. Some landlords will try to take advantage of students in order to make a profit. It is important to make sure this does not happen to you.
  • Items in a lease can be changed if both the landlord and tenants agree to the changes. Make sure any changes or verbal promises that are made are inputted in writing into your lease. If your landlord is not willing to put any promises in writing, it may be better to find a different apartment.
  • Understand that most leases are 12 months and students are only typically in the area for 9 months. If you sign a 12 month lease, you are responsible for paying all 12 months, even if you are not physically in the apartment.
  • If moving in with roommates, understand what type of lease you are entering. If you sign a joint lease, all tenants are responsible for the entire rent—not just the individual portion, even if a roommate moves out.
  • Always have documentation of conversations/complaints made with your landlord. It is also important to document what you have paid to your landlord. If paying in cash, make sure to get a receipt. It may be better to pay by a personal check, so you will have documentation of when you paid and how much you paid.
  • Before moving in, a landlord may ask you for first and last months’ rent and a security deposit.
  • Always take photographs of every room of the property before moving in. This will allow you to prove that you are not responsible for any pre-existing damage.
  • Consider obtaining Renter’s Insurance in the case of fire or theft. You can find more information regarding Renter's Insurance here.
  • You may want to familiarize yourself with Tenant’s Rights in New York State. The State Attorney General published a guide to renter’s rights here: http://www.ag.ny.gov/sites/default/files/pdfs/publications/Tenant_Rights_2011.pdf

Last Updated: 7/3/15