Presentation on theme: "Housing and Residential Communities Off Campus Resources."— Presentation transcript:
Housing and Residential Communities Off Campus Resources
Housing and Residential Communities’ Off Campus Resources office is located in the Housing office in Mary Burke Hall, East. Our staff will gladly assist you and your student in locating off campus housing and provide you with a variety of resources to guide you and your student in your search. Our website is Search for housing, roommates, shuttle service, furnished or unfurnished, resource guides, tips, etc.
If Your Student is Still Looking Know what you are looking for – house or apartment. One bedroom, two bedroom, etc. Do they want a roommate? Some properties provide roommate matching. Do they have furniture? Some properties are furnished, others provide furniture options. Will they have transportation? Do they prefer an all-inclusive property? (utilities are included in the rent payment) Drive by the property at night. Is it well lit? Is the property clean and well maintained?
In Alabama, someone can legally enter into a contract at the age of 19 and in most cases, they will need someone to co-sign on the lease. You will pay an application fee and once approved, you will pay the security deposit to hold the space. The security deposit cannot be more than one month’s rent. The first month’s rent will be due when your student picks up the keys to the rental property. Most leases are for a an 11-1/2 month starting the end of July or early August. Most properties allow time for for repairs if needed, before the next tenant moves in. The Lease
Leases can either be joint or individual. Joint leases - landlord isn’t concerned with who pays the rent as long as it is paid on time. Individual leases - your student is only responsible for their portion of the rent. Always read the lease, including the fine print, and ask questions before you sign it if you don’t understand something. Always correspond in writing and keep a copy for your records. This includes maintenance requests. Make sure the property has your student’s correct and cell phone number.
Budgeting Some expenses you/your student should plan for: Rent – needs to be paid on time each month Utilities - unless included in the rent, assume $100- $130/month for utilities for budgeting. Food – Bama Dining does provide a “Commuter” meal plan Laundry Transportation – many properties provide a shuttle service to and from campus, Monday-Friday. They also may have a weekend shuttle for convenience. Renter’s Insurance Misc.
Roommates If your student is still looking for a roommate, s/he can create an account on our website using his crimson address and search for potential roommates. Encourage your student and their roommate(s) to discuss how they will split payments as well as what type of environment they prefer. Discuss study habits, noise levels, visitors, etc. Select someone who will be financially responsible and will pay their portion of the rent/utilities on time. Use the Roommate Agreement located on our website at to start the conversation.
Moving in On move in day you will be asked to pay the first month’s rent if you haven’t already. Before you pay your rent, ask the landlord to walk through the property with you. Document any damages. There is a Rental Inspection Form located on the Off Campus Housing site if one is not provided. If there are pre-existing damages, ask the landlord to sign that s/he is aware of the damages and ask, in writing, that repairs be made within 14 days. Take photos or video before you unpack – ceiling, floors, walls, windows, doors, appliances (inside and out).
Make sure the windows open, close and lock securely, that doors lock securely, the AC/heat work, toilets flush properly, the hot water works and water drains properly. Do the appliances work properly? The more thoroughly you document the condition of the property before you move in, the better prepared you will be should questions come up later on.
Additional Information If the rental property is not “all inclusive,” utilities will need to be turned on and deposits paid. The Off Campus Association can assist with some of the utility deposits. City of Tuscaloosa Ordinance - no more than 3 unrelated people can live together in the City of Tuscaloosa and no more than 2 unrelated in the Historic Districts. Call Tuscaloosa’s 311# to determine restrictions for the property. Become familiar with Alabama’s Landlord/Tenant rights and responsibilities found on our website.
Moving Out Take pictures once you have moved everything out and ask the Landlord to walk through the property with you to document any damages. Refer to the Rental Inspection Sheet used when your student moved in. Be sure to leave a forwarding address in writing with the Landlord so that your security deposit can be returned if your student is eligible for a refund. The Landlord has 35 days after the end of the Lease to refund the security deposit. If there are damages, the Landlord must provide a list of the damages and the repair costs. The cost of the repairs can be subtracted from the security deposit. The list of repairs and costs must be provided within 35 days of the end of the lease.
Useful Websites - click on “publications”, “housing”, then “A Decent Place to Live” and “Alabama’s 2006 Landlord-Tenant Law”