Moving Off Campus - Northern Michigan University

Moving Off
A Practical Guide
for NMU Students
So…you’re moving off campus
This presentation will address a number of topics relevant to that
The goal is to help you avoid potential pitfalls and better prepare
you to have a successful off-campus transition and renting
Information and printed materials for this presentation were
adapted from resources available from Illinois State University,
Colorado State University, Northern Illinois University, the University of
Oregon, and the University of Buffalo.
Current NMU students also shared their experiences and
contributed advice.
First things first
To move off campus, you need to satisfy NMU’s Housing Requirement.
Available online here:
All single undergraduate students shall live in University residence halls
while enrolled for classes at Northern Michigan University; provided,
however, that this requirement shall not apply to those undergraduates
have reached junior status (56 or more hours of college credit) prior to registration for classes for
the fall semester or
have resided four or more semesters in residence halls, or
are (21) years of age or older on or before the last official day of registration for the fall semester,
are residing at home with their parent(s) or legal guardian(s)*,
are veterans who qualify for veterans’ benefits by virtue of active service in the armed forces, or
are taking 8 or fewer credits during the semester in question.
*With a typical class schedule of nine (9) credits or more, it is expected that the commuting
distance from their home will be no greater than 60 miles.
The Housing Requirement is a Condition of Enrollment (NMU Student Handbook - Student Code
which is available online at which must be met
throughout the academic year, including spring and summer sessions.
Ask yourself…
How much money would you
have to earn each month to
pay rent and utilities? How
stable is your employment?
Would a financial aid overage
check be sufficient?
What other expenses will you
have? Be specific. Take a
real look at your anticipated
expenditures…are your figures
Ask yourself…
Considering things like living
costs, safety, shopping,
laundry, and parking, What
locations are practical?
Is living outside of Marquette
truly more affordable? What
about fuel costs? How much
time will you spend
commuting? Does that
matter to you?
The BEST place! Or is
Ask yourself…
Are you prepared to pay
two months’ rent and
utilities as a deposit?
That’s likely more than
$600 dollars before you
even get to move in!
Ask yourself…
This’ll help:
“Things to Discuss with a
Do you want to live by
yourself or with others?
Are you prepared to live
with your roommates for
the entire lease (usually 12
months)? How well do you
know your future
roommates? Would you
trust them with your safety?
Security? Credit score?
Ask yourself…
Do you know Marquette’s
ordinances and laws?
Are you familiar with your rights
and responsibilities as a
Click to download a copy…and add
it to your favorites!
Ask yourself…
Pets are great! BUT…do you
really need to get a pet right
Are you certain that your lease
allows pets?
Will you be home enough to
adequately watch after your
Stuff happens…what would
happen to that pet if you were
How do you start?
Answer some more questions…and be specific with your answers!
Create a list of potential places and start making calls:
How much can you really afford to pay every month? Not just
rent…utilities, insurance? Is it worth it in the long run to use your
financial aid overage to pay for rent?
What type of place are you looking for? Apartment building? House?
What’s the roommate situation? Do you know and trust these people?
Is it a good decision to live with these people? Why?
Start NOW…the process takes longer than you might think!
Consult local realty companies (
NMU’s Off-Campus Housing Listing (
Word of mouth? Facebook?
Be proactive and schedule appointments for showings. You will
need to make phone calls!
Selecting the right location
Look at more than one place!
Do not sign a lease for the first place you view!
“Location, Location, Location”
 Commuting distance (walking/cycling/driving/bus)
Is it safe?
 Crime stats for the neighborhood?
 Windows close and lock?
 Door locks function as they should?
Parking spaces vs. number of cars?
Condition of property?
 Do toilets flush?
 Does electrical work?
 Exterior of property look OK?
Does it fit your personal and academic needs?
 Privacy?
 Study room?
More to consider
Draft a roommate agreement to address
financial and personal expectations
We should have a
Personal and household. How much? Create an
Excel file.
How will they get paid?
Who will pay them?
When are they due? Create a schedule.
How much rent/utilities/insurance per person?
Personal space and boundaries?
Closet usage?
Cleanliness and other household chores.
How about overnight guests? Other visitors?
PETS…are they the right choice, right away?
About that lease…
READ IT. Read it again. Have roommates do the same.
Ask questions about terms you don’t understand.
Reputation of landlord/company? Check with the city
clerk about complaints/violations…talk with current
tenants if you can. Were their concerns resolved to their
Know your rights and responsibilities…refer to the
Tenants and Landlords guidebook.
Need some help
What are your options if something happens and you
figuring out what all
cannot meet your obligations?
those terms mean?
 Can you sublease?
Click for a guide to
 Do you forfeit your deposit?
“Renter Speak”
Move in reminders
Meet your neighbors.
 Community relations and neighborhood etiquette are
important…your apartment is not a secluded island! Be a respectful
 Even though you live off campus, all NMU students are responsible for
their conduct. Reacquaint yourself with the Student Code.
Renter’s insurance is a smart investment. Before you purchase, find out if
your family’s homeowner’s insurance covers you as a renter.
Take photos to document the condition of the property on move in day.
This protects you against being held responsible for damage you did not
cause, and can save you from losing your deposit.
Consider posting emergency contact information in a common area.
Police. Parents. Fire department. Etc.
Maintain your connection with campus. Aside from attending class,
what will you do to maintain your connections with people no longer
living “right down the hall”?
Money saving tips
Carpool. Bike. Walk. In general,
Marquette is very bike and walk friendly.
Plan your meals in advance…buy some
groceries. You can also bring snacks to
campus so that you don’t have to buy
food from a vending machine.
Turn off the lights when you leave a
room. Close the door to save on heating
Do you really need cable? NMU’s WiMax
is free for students, and available most
places in town.
Still need help?
We are here to help!
Contact the Dean of Students Office:
[email protected]
(906) 227-1700
Information contained in this presentation is the property of Northern
Michigan University’s Dean of Students Office and may not be reproduced,
stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means,
electronic, mechanical photocopying, recording, scanning, or otherwise,
except as permitted by written consent of the Northern Michigan University
Dean of Students Office (

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