Is your student planning to move off campus? Here's some advice to share with them before they pack

Off campus living

Moving off campus can be exciting, but also daunting, so tips and advice from parents and family can be helpful.

This is the time of year many students look for off-campus rentals for the upcoming school year. If your student is one of them, here are seven tips for you and your student to get you started on the move-out process:

  1. START NOW- Bellingham has a fairly competitive rental market so start looking now.
  2. MONEY – Off campus living has a lot of hidden costs that your student may not be aware of. Work together to create a budget!
  3. ROOMMATES – Talk to your student about setting boundaries and house rules with their roommates on cleaning, socializing and quiet hours BEFORE they move in together.
  4. CHOOSING A PLACE – Apartments and houses come with different perks and responsibilities. Help your student decide what level of responsibility they are ready for and what best fits their lifestyle.
  5. READ THE WHOLE LEASE –Many leases have rules and regulations about quiet hours, pets, garbage and responsibility for lawn care so know what you are getting into.
  6. CERTIFICATE OF REGISTRATION – Make sure the property has been registered with the Bellingham Rental Registration and Safety Inspection Program. Landlords are required to post a certificate of registration in their units or put it in with their leases. You can also learn more about the city’s rental registration program, find a list of registered rental properties and even see some of the inspection results on the city's website.
  7. BE A GOOD NEIGHBOR – Introduce yourself to your neighbors, leave some parking spaces for your neighbors on the street, and let them know if you are having a party.

Questions? The Off Campus Living website is a great resource for students needing practical guidance about living off campus -- and for parents who might want to read up about co-signing leases and landlord-tenant laws.