Housing & Utilities

Housing And Utilities

Before You Sign your Lease

A lease is an oral or written, signed contract between a landlord and tenant, and is legally binding. A lease can benefit both the landlord and the tenant because the obligations of each are in writing. A lease is negotiable before signing. It is difficult to break a lease so it is very important that you read your lease carefully to be sure you understand the terms specified.  Leases obligate you to pay rent for each month of the term of the lease even if you move out of the apartment.

If you have any questions or if you have trouble understanding the lease, please make an appointment with Student Legal Services. They are happy to review your lease before you sign it and their services are free of charge to students.

Renter’s Insurance

Renter’s insurance is a type of insurance that protects your apartment and possessions from damage or loss due to fire, water, theft, etc., depending on your policy.  Many off-campus apartment complexes now require renter’s insurance (and provide preferred options through specific companies).  Regardless of whether or not renter’s insurance is required by your apartment complex, OIS strongly recommends that you have renter’s insurance coverage.  The cost is manageable, especially when shared with roommates.

We recommend that you evaluate your options (if your apartment does not specify which type you need) and choose a policy that best fits your needs and budget.  Reputable companies should also have reviews you can read so you can learn from other people’s experience using that company and factor their feedback into your decision.