The Office of Residence Life is committed to assisting commuter, post-baccalaureate, and gradudate students with finding convenient and affordable housing that is close to campus. Use the resources we put together to help in your housing search and planning. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 413-265-2461 if you have more questions.
Skye Mountain Realty
406 Britton St., Chicopee, MA 01020
Orange Park Management
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5 Keys to Living Off Campus:
Moving off campus can be an exciting time - giving you more independence and options than you've had before. You will also be joining a neighborhood likely to have a mix of students and families, homeowners and tenants. Here are 5 suggestions for being a hit with your neighbors:
- Meet Your Neighbors: Introduce yourself, exchange contact information, and keep the lines of communication open. Put yourself in their shoes; do they have young children or go to work early?
- Be Considerate: Keep noise levels down and inform your neighbors if you plan to have a party. Ask your visitors to be considerate, too!
- Keep Your Neighborhood Beautiful: Dispose of trash in provided receptacles and don't use indoor furniture outdoors. Try to observe and respect neighborhood standards.
- Practice Car Courtesy: Park only in designated spaces and keep car stereos turned down. Drive with extra caution in residential areas and definitely don't drink and drive.
- Obey the Law: Observe all state, local, and federal laws and learn about the health codes protecting you and your neighbors. Remember, cities have noise ordinances just like campus quiet hours!
(Adapted from www.housing.umass.edu)
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Questions to Ask
- Are heat, electricity, hot water, cable, internet, trash or snow removal, etc. included in the rent?
- When wil lthe apartment be available and what are the dates of the lease?
- What are the parking arrangements?
- What are the arrangements for trash disposal or pick-up?
- Does the landlord allow subletting?
- What is the lawn/yeard maintenance policy?
- What is the snow removal policy?
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Things to Inspect
- Turn on all the faucets in the house or apartment.
- Flush the toilet.
- Is there a refrigerator?
- Turn on the stove and oven.
- Flip the light switches.
- There are at least two electrical outlets or one outlet and one light fixture in each room.
- Do you see exposed wires?
- Windows should be weather-tight with working locks; they should open and close and have screens.
- Inspect the walls, ceilings, and floors. Are they in good condition, without cracks, holes, or signs of leaking? Are the carpets clean?
- Are there working smoke detectors?
- If the apartment is above the first floor?
- Look for fire escapes.
- Can you control the heat? Is it working?
- Are the buildings and grounds well maintained?
- Are the entryways, sidewalks, and parking areas well lit?
- Are entryways visible from the street?
- Are the residents' names printed on the mailboxes?
- Is the mailbox lockable and in good condition?
- Is parking usually available close to your door?
- Is the area well lit at night?
- Are there designated visitor parking spaces?
- Does the apartment complex provide security services?
- Does it "feel" safe?
- Are shrubs cut below window level?
- Is the unit number visible from the street?
- Does the landlord have a published policy about issuing and replacing keys?
- Do the front and back doors have peepholes?
- Do sliding doors have blocking cleats to prevent opening from the outside?
- Do doors have deadbolt locks?
- Can windows that are left open for ventilation be secured?
- Are door locks located so they can't be reached through a window?
- Are there fire extinguishers?
- Do curtains, blinds, and draperies fully cover windows?
- Are the exterior doors made of core wood or metal?
- Have you or your family considered renters' insurance?
- Check the doors for working locks; check that they aren't blocked in anyway.
- Is there a mailbox?
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After You Move In:
If your landlord takes a security deposit, make sure you receive the following: a dated receipt, Statement of Condition, and a notice of the bank account in which the deposit is being held. You need to receive this within 30 days.
The Statement of Condition describes any faults in the unit (i.e. stain on the living room carpet), so that you cannot be blamed or charged for causing the damage when you move out. If your landlord fails to give you a Statement of Condition, you can complete one on your own. Examine each room and write down any problems that you see.
Make a copy of your Statement of Condition for your records before you send it to your landlord. If the conditions are serious, notify your landlord as soon as possible.
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