Moving Off Campus

As we have been receiving more and more questions from students about moving off campus, we thought we would create a quick overview of a few things to keep in mind when doing so.

Rooming:

  • Figure out who you want to room with: Single, randomized, friends, etc.
    • If you want to move in with friends or someone you know, meet with them and come up with a list of needs:
      • Type
      • Location
      • Price: The general rule of thumb price wise to consider is:
        • Heat-look for gas, NOT electric
        • Water
        • Electricity
        • Internet
        • TV/Cable
        • Plowing
        • Lawn Care
        • Trash
        • Maintenance
      • Lease Date: Almost all leases in the Houghton area are for 1 year and will start anywhere between early May through late summer. Think about the time frame that would work best for all of you.
    • If you are looking for a place by yourself or looking for a single room in a house, you can use the previous notes to an extent.
      • Again, look at the type, location, price, and lease or sublease dates. Figure out how much you can spend per month and still have enough for other spending such as groceries, gas, school, etc. Look at the different options and decide what you will feel most comfortable in (you might not get your first choice, but there will always be other options). Make sure you’re in a good location, if you don’t have a car make sure it’s walking distance or maybe if you do have a car you still don’t want to spend a lot on gas each month.

Resources:

  • You can begin by looking at the following sources:
    • Houghton Off Campus Housing (HOCH)
    • Undergraduate Student Government (USG)’s website
    • Facebook Marketplace
    • Michigan Tech Marketplace on Facebook
    • Houghton Rental Housing
    • Copper Country Rentals
    • Craigslist

Questions:

  • As soon as you find a place you are interested in, set up a showing to view it. If you can’t view it (be understanding of COVID-19 precautions), look at the floor plans and pictures of the space. Also, call the landlord or company (or visit their websites) and ask whatever questions you have, such as:
    • Is there laundry on site? Is it shared? Is it free or coin-operated
    • Is the place furnished at all? What will you need to provide of your own?
    • Is there parking on site, if so how many spots? If parking is off site, where is it?
    • Plowing (again-since we live in a snow globe most of the year)
    • How can you pay? By check, cash, online, etc.? When is rent due each month?
    • Is it a joint or individual lease? *Joint lease means everyone is equally responsible for the full amount, individual lease means you are responsible for a separate portion of the overall rental
    • How do you receive/request a lease? Do you need to apply?
    • Are pets allowed? If so are they only ESA/Service animals?

Lease:

  • When you finally receive the lease to sign, really make sure to read through it thoroughly:
    • You should be given time to read it in full and ask questions before signing-don’t feel pressured into anything.
    • If you have any questions, ask them.
    • A lease is a binding document-once it’s signed by both parties, you are held to completing the terms.
    • DON’T sign more than one lease, DON’T sign something you don’t understand, DON’T sign something you can’t afford
    • Again, don’t feel pressured to sign a lease right away, there will always be things available through the fall semester and into the spring, and even later on into the spring semester

Lastly, pay attention to emails/notifications from your landlord. They should be sending you over information on move-in and move-out, and possibly other helpful information that comes along with renting.


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