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Living Off Campus

Helpful tips that even seasoned renters can find useful.

Many of you have already experienced living off-campus by the time you arrive at The University of Pennsylvania. While you may think there is nothing more you can learn about off-campus living, these tips may enhance your experience.

Your First Week  

  • Know the layout of your apartment and where all the fire exits are. Understand the fire evacuation plan your landlord has in place. Test your smoke detectors.
  • Test that your doors and windows close and lock properly.
  • Inspect your apartment for damages. Contact us for a sample form.
  • Be Pet Courteous: not everyone will love your pet, but you still want your pet to be a good neighbor as well.
  • Know your landlord's rules regarding doormats and items hung on your door.
  • Be respectful of other people's space. The hallways, stairwells, and entryways are everyone's space. Don't store items outside your apartment door; especially trash.
  • Get to know the neighborhood. Know the trash and recycling schedule. If your trash collection is outside your building check Philadelphia's rules and regulations. 
  • Obtain renter's insurance. In the case of fire, water damage, or theft, your belongings are not covered by your landlord's insurance.

Living in Your Apartment

  • Try to concentrate on having essentials first before anything. If you are living with roommates, make sure you all coordinate what items each is bringing.
  • Develop a cleaning schedule; whether you have roommates or not. There is nothing worse than having to try and clean all at once because someone is visiting you.
  • Laundry: pay attention to care guides on your clothes-they do matter. 
  • Plan your meals. You can purchase a limited dining plan through Penn Dining Services.
  • Our guides are short tips, for more ideas visit our Pinterest page
  • Always be sure to lock doors and windows.

 Buy Local

While you live off-campus, you can support local growers by buying farm-fresh produce at local markets. Visit Farm to City for a list of locations in the city.

Penn Sustainability Resources

Be a Good Neighbor

Respect your neighbors right to privacy and the quiet enjoyment of their home. Keep noise at a respectful level, follow the trash and recycling guidelines for your neighborhood and keep your property clean.

Get Involved

Nothing feels better than being an actual member of a community. Become engaged in the community, each neighborhood has unique volunteer organizations and civic gatherings. You are an important part of your new community.

Penn volunteer opportunities

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