Living Off Campus

Renting an apartment comes with great responsibility. There are many factors that can affect the success of your off-campus living experience: choosing the right neighborhood, finding an apartment within your budget, determining the roommates you will live with and establishing yourself firmly as a tenant in Philadelphia. When your housing and roommate search is complete and it’s time to move into your apartment, there are ways to ensure that you have a positive living experience for the duration of your lease term and beyond.

Move-In Tips

  • Document the condition of the apartment at move-in time. If possible, tour the unit with your landlord and take note of any major pre-existing structural issues or repairs on a Move-In/Move-Out Checklist.
  • Request repairs in writing and establish appropriate timelines for remedies with your landlord. Read more about what to do when repairs are needed.
  • Evaluate the safety of your building using our Safety Score Checklist.
  • Obtain renter's insurance. In the case of fire, water damage, or theft, your belongings are not covered under your landlord's insurance.

Reporting Repairs and Damages

Once you move in to your apartment, it’s important to document and report damages in a timely fashion. Each landlord has their own system in place for reporting maintenance issues, so make sure you are following the appropriate steps to communicate effectively. Depending on the severity of the damage or if you do not receive a timely response, you may want to follow up with a phone call, email or certified letter.

Move-Out Tips

  • In order to protect your security deposit, tour your apartment with your landlord and document any normal wear and tear or damages incurred during your lease term. Utilize a Move-In/Move-Out Checklist to take note of the condition of the apartment.
  • Provide your landlord with your forwarding address so they can mail you your security deposit.
  • Move out on or before the end of your lease term. If you stay beyond the end of your lease term you are considered a squatter.
  • Cancel all utilities that are in your name or transfer service to your new apartment. Update your renter’s insurance with your new address.
  • Forward your mail online via the United States Postal Service.