Renting an off-campus apartment takes time and patience. Choosing the right roommate(s) and housing is essential.
Living off campus can be exciting and fun, but also comes with great responsibility.
Students should ask themselves these questions before searching for housing:
- What is your budget? (Refer to the budget section for specific ideas.)
- Will you rely on the shuttle or do you have your own vehicle? How will shuttle service interruptions in the winter affect your ability to attend class?
- Are there ways that living off-campus could impact your academic and cocurricular involvement?
- Am I prepared to handle the time commitment of cooking my own meals and taking care of household chores? Would fulfilling these responsibilities be likely to interfere with my ability to complete all of my schoolwork?
We encourage students to take the following steps as they begin to look for accomodations:
- Decide if you will live alone or with roommates. If you will have roommates, how many? This will determine the number of bedrooms your apartment should have as well as the price range you can afford.
- Determine a budget, consider costs for rent, groceries, utilities (which may include water, trash, heat, etc.), and transportation.
- Talk with friends and peers who live off campus and see how they like the area, their landlord, and if they have any tips for finding a good place to live.
- You and your roommate(s) should discuss the price, approximate location and amenities of an apartment before you even start looking. If air conditioning or pets are a must, ask about this before you make an appointment to view the apartment.
- Consider transportation challenges. Keep in mind that if you rely on the Bard shuttle, disruptions in service will occur throughout the year due to maintenance and weather. Students should have a back-up plan for getting to campus in the event that the shuttle is not running.
- Know your rights. Make sure you are familiar with the New York State Tenants' Rights Guide (PDF).
- Carefully review your lease and ask questions before you sign. It is often best to have someone with legal experience review the lease prior to committing to it. Remember: once a lease is signed, it is a legal, binding document.
The College does not recommend specific landlords nor do we host a blog or landlord rating system. We encourage students to reach out to their peers for more information about prospective landlords, specific properties, and/or realtors. Additionally, students can utilize the online service ApartmentReviews.net or the Bard classifieds.