Living off campus can be a rewarding experience that helps develop independence but should be considered carefully. Before committing to a lease, think through some of these challenges to help you make your decision.
- Determine a budget and figure out how financial costs will be paid for, such as monthly rent, utilities, and other expenses like groceries. What will you do if you cannot pay the rent or if you have a roommate who can’t pay rent? Consider these resources from the NJ Agricultural Experiment Station and Office of Financial Aid.
- Look for a rental that is in good condition and will meet your needs. What features are most important to you and what features are you willing to let go? If the rental is not in good condition will you find another place or work with the landlord to have repairs made?
- Look at rentals in person and meet the landlord. Make note of the neighborhood and features of the rental and get a sense of what your relationship with the landlord might be like.
- If you choose to live with roommates, understand the advantages and challenges to living with other people. Find tips for living with roommates in the roommate/cotenancy section.
- Understand the terms of the lease and what you and your landlord are responsible for. Consider things like who pays for utilities, who is responsible for removing garbage or shoveling snow.
Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of living off campus can help you be a responsible renter and good neighbor.
Begin your search as soon as you have decided to move off campus so you can get a sense of available units in the area where you are looking. You may not immediately find a rental that meets your needs so you’ll want to have enough time to look around at other rentals.
If you search the listings on our website and cannot find anything you like, try again later since listings are updated frequently.
Before signing a lease, review the lease contents checklist to make sure you have covered important topics. If you have questions about your lease, you can contact Student Legal Services. After you have found a place and are ready to move in, view the Moving In/ Moving Out section for things to remember.