First Steps

Moving off campus is a big decision. However, your search can be made easier if you determine what you would like in a rental before you start looking. Below are a few questions to ask yourself before you start your housing search.

  • Location and Safety - How close do you want to be to campus?? Are you interested in a house, condominium, or apartment? Should it be in walking distance, biking distance, on the bus line or do you have your own transportation? What kind of neighborhood would you like to live in?
  • Cost - What can you afford? Costs include rent, utilities, food, entertainment, and all other living costs.
  • Roommates - Do you want to live alone or with roommates?
  • Amenities - what amenities would you like? Pool, gym, air conditioning, dishwasher?
  • Subleasing - Does your landlord allow subleasing in case you need to move?
  • Parking - Does the property provide parking spaces? Is there a cost for parking?
  • Leasing Requirements - You may need a cosigner and pay application fee.

 

Safety and Comfort

  • Safety: Is the rental unit in an area you feel comfortable living in? Visit the unit during the day and at night to see if there is a major difference in the neighborhood environment. Talk to the current tenants about their experiences. Crime statistics are available through the area Police Department.
  • Space: Is the rental unit, and its kitchen, bedrooms, and closets large enough for your needs?
  • Fire Safety: Are all smoke detectors in working condition? Test them to make sure. Each level must have at least one smoke alarm. Each bedroom and living area must have at least one window.
  • Home Security: Are all doors, locks, and dead bolts in working condition?

 

Condition of the Property

  • Cleanliness: Is the unit itself in a condition you are willing to live in?
  • Working Appliances and Plumbing: Is everything in the unit in good working condition? Test the heat, air conditioning, hot and cold water faucets, shower pressure, and toilet to make sure everything works to your satisfaction. Do all lights and electrical outlets work properly? (You can even ask the current tenants).
  • Energy Efficiency: Do all windows open and close properly? Test all windows throughout the unit. Drafty windows could mean higher energy bills. Are there any leaky faucets? Leaky faucets could mean higher water bills and possibly future water damage.

 

Parking

  • Off-Street Parking: Off-street parking means the landlord has spaces reserved for building residents. You should ask the landlord how many spots are available and if there is a cost.
  • On-Street Parking: If off-street parking is not available, you may need to purchase a City Parking Permit.

 

Agreements between You and the Landlord/Leasing Office

  • Document Agreements: If the landlord agrees to make any changes or repairs to the property, you should document the agreements in writing.

 

Comfort with Landlord

  • Rating Search: Visit Arizona Tenants Advocates for information on apartment communities, landlords and management companies.
  • Current Tenants: Talk to the current tenants or neighbor about their experiences with the landlord and/or management company.
  • Code Compliance: Search property ratings to ensure the living community meets your needs by visiting:

Use our housing search checklist during your search to help you compare several rentals at once.

 

How to find off campus housing

 

Find off campus housing

Students can click here to view rental listings on a web browser.

 

Signing a Lease

Do not sign a lease until you personally enter and view the exact unit you will be renting. A model unit may give you an idea of the available units, but ask to see the specific unit for rent, even if people are currently living there.

Once you have visited a unit multiple times and are seriously considering renting the place, you may need to provide the landlord with certain information:

  • Application fee: You may need to pay an application fee (typically $30-$75 range). The landlord may check your credit report as well.
  • Co-signor: Most landlords require a student under the age of 23 to have a co-signor (typically a parent or guardian).
  • Holding fee: if you will not be moving in right away. This will secure your unit while your application is processed.
  • Sign lease: Before signing the lease, read the lease before signing. The lease affects your rights and responsibilities. After signing the lease, your co-signor will also be asked to sign the lease. Ask for a copy of everything you and your landlord sign.
  • Security deposit: The deposit is usually equal to one month's rent. The security deposit is refundable, as long as the property is returned in the same condition as it was received, minus normal wear and tear. Some landlords may ask for not only the security deposit, but also the first month's rent, up front.
    • If you feel that the landlord's requirements are outrageous and you are being discriminated against, contact the Arizona Department of Housing.
    • If you are an international student and the landlord has different stipulations for you versus an American student, you may want to contact Arizona Department of Housing.
  • Other Fees and Deposits: Make sure that penalties for late payment and any refundable deposits at the end of your lease are clearly spelled out. In addition some leases have terms for pet ownership (i.e. pet rent) in addition to the monthly rent.

 

Purchase Renter’s Insurance

  • Protect Your Property: Your landlord's insurance does not cover your personal property in the event it is damaged in a fire or stolen. Check with your auto insurance company or other insurance companies for a price quote. You can also ask your parents to see if their homeowner's insurance covers your property.
  • Protect Yourself: Review your renter’s insurance policy (or any potential policy) to ensure that the policy covers your acts of negligence. Some insurance policies will exclude your acts of negligence from coverage. So, for example, if you accidently cause a fire in your apartment that leads to damaged personal property, you want to make sure you’re covered by your renter’s insurance.

 

Know Your Rights and Responsibilities

  • Responsibilities: As a tenant you have certain responsibilities. For example, you must take out your trash and only put recyclables in the blue bins, keep bathrooms in clean and sanitary condition, maintain the heat above freezing temperatures, keep your living areas clean and in sanitary condition, and avoid insects and other pests from infesting your rental unit.
  • Rights: As a tenant you have rights as well. For example, your landlord must provide heat and water at all times, provide functioning fire safety devices, and provide garbage service and trash receptacles.
  • Off-Campus Housing Guide: The ASU Off-Campus Housing Guide is your resource for a successful off-campus living experience.

 

Remember: when you sign a lease, you’re signing a binding contract. You are responsible for paying the rent until the end of the lease term, and no excuses (i.e., family emergencies, a roommate moving out, or changes in your study plans) release you from this responsibility.

Above all - know your rights and responsibilities, ONLY SIGN DOCUMENTS YOU UNDERSTAND, keep a copy of all documents, rent receipts, complaints and requests for service from management. Be cooperative with neighbors and police, seek out and use the resources available to you should problems arise.

 

Moving In

Moving into an apartment/house can be a very exciting time, as you’ll have a new place to live and a new sense of freedom—as well as a new set of responsibilities. Off-Campus Housing is here to help prepare you for your off-campus move.

 

Move-In Walk-Thru / Move-Out Walk-Thru

  • Video tape your walk-in and walk-out inspection with landlord or apartment representative.
  • Ask the person responsible for walk-thru to be in the video for one second or at least state name while videotaping.  
  • Keep a copy of the video tape and be sure to send a copy to the landlord or apartment complex.
  • Complete a move-in and move-out inspection document.
  • Once inspection is complete, you and the landlord/apartment representative sign the document.
  • Present landlord/apartment complex a copy of the signed document.  Also keep a copy for your files.
     

Schedule utility connections

Generally, it is the tenant’s responsibility to make arrangements for utility connections (such as water, gas, electric, refuse, cable, and Internet). It is beneficial to contact utility companies at least two weeks in advance. Make sure you get on the schedule as quickly as possible.

In addition, it is advisable that individuals do not put all utility bills in one person’s name. If someone does not pay his/her share of the bills one month, you do not want the burden always to fall on the same person. In addition, setting up a utility bill in your name helps build credit, so take this opportunity to build your credit and learn how to pay bills—on time. Also note that many companies may require deposits for new accounts or those with short credit history. Remember to ask ahead about deposits, billing cycles and startup costs!

 

Utilities

 

Purchase renter’s insurance

It is highly recommended that all tenants purchase renter’s insurance. Landlords typically have property insurance to cover the actual structure of the building, but this does not cover your personal property. Many apartment communities require renter's insurance. You need to make sure to have insurance to replace your belongings if they are damaged in a fire or flood, or are stolen. Check to make sure what it covers; you may want to look into additional coverage for your personal property. Most insurance companies will provide competitive rates if you bundle your insurance package (for example, if you have your automobile insurance and renter’s insurance through the same company). Renter’s insurance is very inexpensive; there is no excuse for not having it!

 

Update your local address

Update your new, local off-campus address on MY ASU each year. Keeping your local address up to date with the university makes sure that important communications reach you in a timely manner Also make sure you keep the post office up to date with your local address. Visit usps.gov.

 

Other important tips:

  • Sign up for the ASU Alert and Advisory system
  • Preplan your commute to class – know when and how you will make it to your schedule classes each day, also have alternative methods thought out in case or emergencies, traffic or delays.

Roommate Relations

You decided to move out on your own. You and your roommate find a wonderful place to live, you could not be happier. To aid you in keeping your relationship with your roommate a happy one here is some information that you may find beneficial in defining your obligations to each other. Listed below are general thoughts and questions to consider when making a roommate choice. Your choice of roommates will affect you, agreeing to live with someone is a big commitment. Here are some questions that you should consider discussing openly and honestly to have a successful living experience.

A roommate contract is an agreement with specific conditions that each roommate agrees upon before making the decision to live together. This is an easy way to settle future disputes that may occur; this contract can be used to solve disputes.

 

Contracts between roommates often include the following:

  • What time is suitable for study time?
  • Who will be responsible for chores?
  • What items are community items?
  • Will guests be allowed?
  • Will parties be allowed?
  • What happens if someone can’t cover their portion of the rent?
  • How will conflict/disagreements be handled?
  • These are just a few ideas for a contract. Having a contract will help settle some arguments that may come up. However, the best way to settle a disagreement is to openly and honestly discuss the issue at hand. Good luck on finding a roommate, and be sure to check out the Roommate Agreement which you can print out and use.

 

Things to Consider When Selecting a Roommate

  • Friends may not always make good roommates.
  • Consider the other person’s sleeping habits and cleaning habits.
  • Are your work schedules compatible?
  • How will the household chores be divided?
  • Does the person smoke, drink, or use drugs? Will you be able to tolerate this?
  • Does the person have any hobbies? If you roommate plays a musical instrument, will you be able to tolerate this if it is late at night?
  • Does this person have pets?
  • Does this person have a significant other that will stay over?
  • Does this person have friends that will spend a lot of time at your place?
  • Will this person be able to pay their rent, electric bill, phone bill, etc.?
  • How does this person handle conflict and disagreements? From time to time you may find yourself in a debate about things pertaining to your living arrangements.

 

Rental Issues

What to do when you have a rental problem?

AZ Landlord and Tenant Act

 What is my social responsibility?

Social Responsibility is a term describing a student’s obligation to be accountable to all of their stakeholders in all of their daily operations and activities. Stakeholders: The ASU community, Local Neighbors, Friends, Parents, the Environment, Athletic Coach Mentor … 

Your Rights as a Renter



At Lease End

I'm at the end of my lease - now what?

  • Write a letter to the leasing office two months prior to ensure termination of lease.
    • Hand deliver and ensure whoever receives letter, signs your copy for your records.
  • Write a reminder letter to the leasing office one month prior to ensure termination of lease.
    • Hand deliver and ensure whoever receives reminder letter, signs your copy for your records.

 

Off-Campus Connections

Off Campus Connections is a Marketing Package brought to you by ASU Student Media.  The Marketing Package was created to meet the needs of students; while connecting them to resources such as local housing properties and businesses. Our goal is to help inform and support students in developing independent life skills and being responsible community members.



We know that the transition to living off-campus (alone or with roommate), commuting from home, working or managing a family can be complicated. We are here to help you with those challenges.

 

OFF-CAMPUS CONNECTION PARTNERS: 

 

 




Disclaimer:

Inclusion in this website is not an endorsement from Arizona State University or ASU Off-Campus Housing or ASU Student Media/State Press. ASU has not checked or approved these properties for fire, heat, or safety conditions and makes no warranties or representations concerning these items. Individual property owners have the responsibility for ensuring a safe and healthy environment for renters.

We are not responsible for any errors, omissions, or misrepresentations in the information posted on the linked site. Property information, including program requirements, availability, features, safety conditions and rent ranges should be verified independently with the property managers.

We do not work with individual students/tenants on a one-on-one basis to place them in housing. We do not guarantee that you will find the housing you are looking for, or will be placed in such housing. We encourage student/tenants to do their own thorough research into each property in order to find the best housing option for their particular needs. When signing a lease or any type of binding contract, it is very important to read all the information. If you do not understand something in the lease, be sure to get a full definition and understanding prior to signing. Generally, once a lease is signed, the student/tenant assumes full responsibility for location, condition, and contractual terms of the off-campus rental.

More information about the packages, contact DeDe@asu .edu




Resources

  

Back to Business
Fall Date: August 25, 2021 / Spring Date: January 26, 2022; 10am to 2pm
Matthew Center/Cady Mall, Tempe campus
Stop by and find out information about on and off campus resources. Enjoy freebies from some local businesses.

ASU Student Media Housing Fair
Fall Dates: November 3-4, 2021 / Spring Dates: March 16-17, 2022; 10am to 2pm
Outside the Memorial Union on Cady Mall
The Off-Campus Housing Fair is a one-stop shop for students, faculty, and staff to research their on or off-campus living options. If you are searching for on or off-campus housing, this is the event to attend! Helpful information with access to representatives from local business and communities are a major part of this event. Get information about on-campus living options from University Housing at the Tempe, Downtown, Polytechnic and West campuses. Learn about ASU services from a variety of on campus departments. Gain valuable information from city offices and local businesses. Fun, educational, and free giveaways!

Taste of ASU
Fall Dates: November 3-4, 2021 / Spring Dates: March 16-17, 2022; 10am to 2pm
Outside the Memorial Union on Cady Mall
Stop by for free samples of food and drinks from local eateries.

Any questions, please contact DeDe Grogan

Community

Part of what it means to be a Sun Devil is to give back! Volunteering not only helps others, but it is a great way to meet like-minded Sun Devils and build your resume. Whether once a month or weekly, there is an opportunity out there for you! Through ASU and through local community organizations you can find many ways to connect right in your neighborhood.

http://www.handsonphoenix.org/

HandsOn Greater Phoenix is a nonprofit organization that empowers people to become engaged, take action and create positive change in their communities. HandsOn has a searchable database of opportunities and organizations for you to choose from.

https://www.volunteermatch.org/

Put in your zip code and find a cause that needs you nearby.

http://volunteer.asu.edu/

See many of the opportunities available through changemaker central @ASU

https://eoss.asu.edu/sparks

Students Providing Awareness Resources and Knowledge to Start college (SPARKS) is a community service organization at ASU. SPARKS members inspire underrepresented (first-generation, minority, and low-socioeconomic) K-12 students to prepare for enrollment and success at ASU.

http://community.asu.edu/index.php

ASU Community Connect serves as a liaison connecting you to resources, programs and events to support your work and improve our communities.

City Codes and Ordinances

Loud Party Concerns

What is a “loud party”

What is a “large party” (5 or more)

What to do if you are planning a party

What neighbors can do if you have a party

The Tempe “Party Patrol” and Police Enforcement

What happens after the party…

 

Social Host Ordinance

Tempe is the first city in the East Valley to pass the Social Host Ordinance. The revised ordinance, Article 3 Nuisance Parties and Unlawful Gatherings, went into effect February 2012. The ordinance was championed by the Tempe Coalition, a partnership between the City of Tempe and Tempe Community Council, which helps youth reach their full potential by reducing underage drinking and drug use within our city.

Under the ordinance, anyone providing alcohol to a person younger than 21 can be held responsible. If the host providing the alcohol to underage youth is younger than 18, the responsible party also includes the juvenile’s parents or guardians.

Consequences for a Social Host violation include:

  • A police service fee of $250 upon first response, though offenders may be eligible for a substance use education class at a lesser cost in lieu of the first-time police service fee assessment.
  • On the second offense, a $1,000 police service fee will be charged.
  • Any further offenses will result in a $1,500 police service fee.

Information provided by the Arizona Youth Survey and data gathered from local youth focus groups indicates that most young Tempe teens obtain alcohol from their home or from the home of a friend. In order to address this, the Tempe Coalition determined that holding adults responsible will greatly reduce this dangerous trend.

Neighborhoods & Community Resources

Moving off-campus means being part of a community – whether it be Phoenix, Tempe, Mesa, Glendale or any of the many great communities in the Valley, we hope you’ll get involved and be a part of the many opportunities around your new home. Here are some resources to help you start exploring.

 

Phoenix

www.downtownphoenix.com/living-here

www.downtownphoenix.com/business/neighborhoods-and-districts

 

Tempe

www.tempe.gov/residents/residents

 

Mesa

www.visitmesa.com/things-to-do/

 

Glendale

www.visitglendale.com/

In Your Residence

When looking for a new place to live, you consider many factors (i.e. price, proximity to campus, and laundry facilities). Safety should also be a major factor you think about before renting an apartment/house.

Ask yourself: Does this home and surrounding neighborhood feel safe? It is important to trust your instincts about the general safety of a property, but there are also specific things you can look for to determine how safe a place is from crime and fire. Click on a topic below to see more.

In Your Residence

Is the property in a safe neighborhood?

To research crime rates of different neighborhoods, go to the local Police Department’s website to look up crime safety facts by zip code, or even apartment complex.

Are address numbers clearly visible?

This helps police, fire fighters, and EMS locate your residence in an emergency.

Are public areas well lit?

Whether you are standing in the parking lot or outside your front door, adequate lighting allows you to distinguish the facial expressions of someone standing 10 feet away at any time of day.

Are parking spaces marked with apartment numbers?

Unmarked parking spaces are best, because the presence/absence of a car is a clear indicator of whether someone is home… A vacant parking space labeled with its corresponding apartment number could lead to potential burglary of an empty home!

Are shrubs and trees around the property well maintained?

Overgrown plant life provides a hiding place for potential intruders, so be particularly wary of shaggy shrubs in neighborhoods with high crime rates!

What is the timeframe for completion of repair work?

Talk to current residents about their experiences requesting repairs… Remember: many repair issues involve your personal safety, so it is important to live in a residence where management responds to maintenance requests in a timely manner.

When was the last Fire Marshal Inspection?

Ask to see a copy of the last inspection, and check what things the property is and is not in compliance with. If the inspection is several years old, do a mini-fire inspection yourself. Hint: Look out for fire hazards, such as dumpsters within 10 feet of the residence, and barbeque grills stored on balconies. Also, check inspection tags on fire extinguishers and sprinkler systems — these tags should show proof of inspections within the last year.

Does the apartment/house have a working smoke detector?

For fire safety, your home must have at least one smoke detector and two emergency escape routes! (There should also be a fire extinguisher either inside the apartment/house, or outside within plain view of the front door.)

Do doors and windows have sturdy locks?

The front door should have a solid metal or wood core, and a deadbolt. (Good deadbolts have at least a 1" throw; this means, when you lock it the bolt should stick out at least 1" into its receptacle.) In addition, all windows and sliding doors should have secondary locks, such as Charlie Bars or Rail Locks, and there should be set screws installed in the rails of sliding glass doors to prevent removal of the door from its frame.

Does the front door have a secondary lock that is only accessible from inside the apartment/house?

This kind of lock helps prevent unauthorized entries by someone with a key while you are at home. If there are no secondary locks like this, ask the landlord whether you can have one installed.

Does the front door have a peephole/door viewer?

If yes, make sure that it is operational, and familiarize yourself with visibility and blind spots. If no, ask the landlord to install one, or find out whether you can install one yourself. At the very least, you should be able to view visitors through a window!

Are locks on the doors changed/re-keyed with each new resident?

Ask to see documentation of the last time the locks were changed. If they are not changed with each new resident, ask whether there will be a charge to re-key the doors in the future. Also, find out if you can have the locks changed by an independent locksmith.

Who has access to your apartment/house key other than you?

Landlords, apartment managers, and maintenance staff often have a spare key to your residence, but it is important that you make sure they securely store this key. In addition, find out the procedures these people follow when entering your home — are they required to give you 24 hours notice before entering, and leave a note once they have been inside? Are these procedures outlined in your lease?

Does the apartment complex have video surveillance cameras in common areas?

Are these cameras monitored by a security guard at all times, or is the footage simply recorded and viewed at a later date?

Does the apartment/house have its own security alarm system?

If the residence has an alarm system, find out whether the alarm reports to the main office, an alarm monitoring company, or the police department. If there is no alarm, ask whether your lease would allow you to have a security alarm system installed.

Personal Safety Suggestions

  •  Download the free ASU LiveSafe App to connect with ASU Police and receive campus safety messages.
  • Visit ASU’s sexual violence prevention website
  • Register for smart911.com
  • Walk with friends, or in a group.
  • Let friends know where you are going and your expected arrival time.
  • Use well-traveled, well-lit routes.
  • Be observant of your surroundings at all times.
  • Don’t listen to music or text while walking.
  • Walk with friends or use safety escort. Safety Escort Service: 480-965-1515 ASU Police 480-965-3456
  • Like the ASU Police Facebook for safety updates
  • Be aware of the ASU Blue-Light Emergency Call Boxes and where they are on your route.
  • Walk confidently and with purpose at a steady pace.
  • If you do get into trouble, attract attention to yourself in any way you can.
  • Add ASU Police Department phone number into your cell phone. Emergency: 911; Non-emergency: 480-965-3456

Be psychologically prepared to protect yourself:

  • If you ever feel uncomfortable in a situation or with a person, remove yourself from that situation.
  • Be assertive by enforcing your own rights.
  • Don’t be predictable. This way, you can avoid someone learning your routines and using them against you.
  • Don’t be afraid to cause a scene if you feel threatened.

Bike Security:

  • Register your bike with the ASU Police. It is important to register your bike with us even if your bicycle is registered with another program or law enforcement agency.
  • Always lock your bike to a bicycle rack.
  • Secure the U-lock through the bike frame, the rear wheel and the bicycle rack. Click to watch this video.

Public Transportation:

  • Wait at well-lit bus stops.
  • Be aware of your surroundings while waiting for the bus.
  • Let the bus driver know of suspicious activity or harassment on the bus.
  • If it appears someone from the bus is following you, make yourself as visible as possible to others by making noise.
  • ASU Parking & Transportation
  • Valley Metro

When in the Residence Hall:

  • Get to know your neighbors so you can help each other out.
  • Don't leave valuable items out in the open.
  • Don’t advertise that you will not be in your room for extended periods of time.
  • You are responsible for your guests and their actions.
  • Always lock your door whenever you leave, even if it is just for a moment.
  • Do not tamper with any locking mechanisms anywhere.
  • Do not let others follow you into your complex.
  • Report any burnt out lights, vandalism, malfunctioning locks, etc. to management.

In Elevators:

  • Look in the elevator before getting in to make sure no one is hiding.
  • Stand near the controls if possible.
  • If you feel unsafe or uncomfortable, get off at the next floor.
  • If you feel unsafe or uncomfortable while waiting for the elevator with someone, do not get on with that person.

At Parties or Group Functions:

  • Don’t leave a party with someone you don’t know well.
  • Alcohol and drugs limit your ability to make good decisions.
  • Be mindful when accepting an invitation to someone’s residence or when inviting someone to your own.
  • Communicate clearly your personal boundaries.

At Home:

  • Don’t let anyone you don’t know well into your place of residence.
  • Don’t open the door for someone if you don’t already know who they are.
  • Always lock your door when you’re asleep or not in the room, even if you’re only gone for a moment.
  • Avoid isolated areas in your building if you can help it, especially at night.
  • Never indicate to someone that you are alone.
  • Use well-lit entrances to your building. Report any burnt out lights to Management.
  • If anything seems unsafe or out of the ordinary at your residence, go to a safe place and call the police.

Online Social Networking:

  • Remember that anything you put on social media, or any other site can be seen by anyone with an internet connection.
  • Do not put your address, residence hall, room number, contact information, etc. on your personal page.
  • Do not put anything you would not want your family or boss seeing on your personal page.

Read ASU’s suggestions on Online Social Networking Guidelines

Safety Resources

Emergency Contacts

Campus Resources

For Faculty and Staff

For Parents