Tips for Finding Off Campus Housing – Rutgers University Student Guide
As a Rutgers student, renting a house off campus can seem daunting and stressful. It’s time to breathe a sigh of relief! Our property management company in New Jersey has rented to over 1,000 students over the years. Below are some off-campus housing tips for college students. They include; finding the right roommates, finding a place to live and signing a lease.
Finding College Roommates to Live with Off Campus
Who do I want to live with?
Start with considering the size of your group. Maybe you have a group of roommates with four people, five people, or even 12 people! This will give you an idea of what size house or apartment to look for off campus.
What is everyone’s living budget?
It’s important to consider your potential roommates’ living expenses. Just because someone in your group doesn’t mind living in a run-down sardine can off campus for $500 a month doesn’t mean you want to! If you don’t have the expenses to agree to a luxury off campus apartment for $1,200 a month, you don’t have to do that either. Find a common ground with your group and stick to it. Keep in mind the adage, you get what you pay for.
What’s the most important living aspect to everyone, not considering the price of housing?
You won’t find a place that has everything you want within your budget. Consider the following when making your decision and cross off anything that may be a deal breaker. For your Rutgers off campus housing arrangement, do you want:
- A driveway
- Laundry on-site
- A house
- An apartment building
- To be close to Easton Ave
- To live in a quiet area
Finding a Place to Live Off Campus
When do I start looking for a place?
Off campus houses for Rutgers University start being shown for the following school year as early as October. The nicer off campus housing rents during the fall semester, but there is still inventory available in the winter and spring as well – don’t worry if you get a late start!
Where is the Rutgers off campus student neighborhood? Is it a safe area?
Below is the student area for both College Ave students and Cook Douglass students. In general, Rutgers off campus housing locations are safe areas. However, crime is inevitable, so pay close attention to your surroundings.
College Ave Off Campus Housing
Cook-Douglass Off Campus Housing
How do I find off campus housing near Rutgers University?
There are many ways to find off campus houses available for rent. Some properties have signs on them, while others are advertised on websites like Places4Students or Afito. More houses can be found on Social Media like Facebook Groups or on Instagram pages.
At Tverdov Housing, our real estate and property management company features them on our website, on our Tverdov Housing Instagram, and on both Places4Students and Afito. Lastly, our property management signs are posted on every home we manage, so you can’t miss us!
What time is everyone available to view houses?
If you want to impress the landlord or the management company in Central Jersey, have your entire group at the showings. Introduce yourself when you first contact them and most importantly, show up on time. It demonstrates that you’re serious about your college living situation. Figure out what times work for the majority of your group to view the houses and schedule your showings during those times.
How do I know I am dealing with a good landlord?
The best way to tell if you’re dealing with a good landlord is to evaluate the condition of the house. If the house is falling apart, chances are the landlord is irresponsible for their property. Are the current tenants dirty or damaging an otherwise nice place? Is the house in disrepair? If you’re unsure, ask the current tenants about the landlord, if possible.
Our property maintenance team takes pride in keeping our New Jersey properties in good shape. We often encourage our tour groups to speak to the current tenants while we wait outside.
How much do I budget for utilities?
The answer can vary based on the type of heating system (oil heat is the most expensive). However, we generally tell tour groups to expect $50 per person, per month for your electric, heat, gas, and WiFi. Tenants generally pay their own water bill – and these are typically inexpensive, unless you’re using a lot of water, that is.
Signing a Lease for Off Campus Housing
What do I do before signing my lease?
Before signing your lease for off campus housing at Rutgers University, we suggest you ask for a copy to review and keep. At Tverdov Housing, we sit down with every group and spend 20-30 minutes going through the full terms and conditions of your lease before signing it so there is an understanding of what we expect out of our tenants. It is your responsibility to go over the lease with the landlord. Saying “I didn’t know that,” doesn’t cut it after you have signed a legal document.
When should I submit my deposit?
This is what separates the contenders from the pretenders. Have your portion of the security deposit ready when you’re looking for a house. It’s always first come, first served. The groups that make their decision to sign the lease and have their deposit money ready always get the property, as opposed to the group stumbling around trying to get everything together or meet over several days.
Do you have any advice on what to do when we find a house off campus?
The biggest piece of advice we can provide about finding an off-campus house that you like: do not drag your feet. Confirm with your group that you want the property, and then contact the landlord immediately. Schedule a day and time to sign and submit a security deposit as soon as possible. If you wait, another group will come along and take it. You don’t want to lose your off-campus housing dream by 15 minutes! Remember: it’s first come, first served.
Once you have signed your lease, you can rest easy knowing that you have a place to live for next year. If have read this and decided you’re ready to start looking for your Rutgers University off campus housing, then start with us. At Tverdov Housing, we’re a kick ass property management company located in New Brunswick, serving Union, Middlesex, and Somerset counties. Feel free to contact our professional property management team and we will help your group of college friends find your dream home!