Along with some additional freedom, living off-campus comes with many responsibilities. The information below includes tips and information to help you navigate those responsibilities effectively and make living off-campus a positive experience.
Keep the quick tips below in mind if you’ve made the decision to live off-campus.
13 Quick Smart Renter Tips
- In shopping for a place to live, contact the Wood County Health Department at (419) 352-8402 and ask to review their file on the property you are considering renting. This file would contain any previous health-related complaints, such as mold.
- Consider renters insurance. This may be something you need to purchase, or you may be able to add it to an existing home owner’s policy with your parents or family members.
- To increase the likelihood of getting your full security deposit returned to you, photograph, videotape, and/or document the condition of the property when you move in and when you move out.
- Do not agree to any oral modifications of the written lease. All modifications of the lease should be agreed upon in writing—keep a copy for your records.
- Follow all procedures set forward by the property manager for rent payments, and if at all possible, do not pay rent in cash. If this is absolutely necessary, get a receipt from the property manager or office representative to prove you have paid.
- Check smoke detectors monthly. Know where the fire extinguishers are and make sure they are in working condition.
- Contact your property manager at the first sign of any problems at your property, such as neighbors, repairs needed, etc. Additionally, follow-up in writing to your property manager and document everything, keeping a copy for yourself of everything you have sent to or received from your landlord.
- If your property manager does not complete a repair in a reasonable amount of time that affects your health or safety, or your property manager is not fulfilling his/her contract agreed upon in the lease, contact Student Legal Services for advice on an appropriate plan of action.
- Meet all your legal obligations: keep your apartment safe and sanitary; get rid of garbage in a clean, safe, and appropriate manner; use appliances properly; prevent others from damaging your place; introduce yourself to your neighbors and respect their rights to live in a safe, quiet, and clean environment; don’t reasonably withhold consent for your property manager to enter your property.
- Property managers must give reasonable notice, presumed to be 24 hours, to the tenant before entering the apartment (this notice does not apply in emergency situations). However, if your landlord is not providing reasonable notice, contact Student Legal Services for advice on how to remedy the situation.
- When you move out, leave a written forwarding address for your ex-landlord to send your security deposit. Similarly, leave a written forwarding address with the Post Office and Bowling Green State University through MyBGSU.
- Become familiar with the City of Bowling Green Zoning Ordinance and occupancy restrictions.
- Check out the BG News Housing Guide and OCSS Facebook page for current updates!