Consider these steps to take when moving into an off-campus property.
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Inspect the property.
- Before you move in, arrange a time to inspect the premises. Bring a rental checklist or room rental checklist with you. Walk through with the rental checklist, and mark the conditions of all rooms, walls, windows, light fixtures, and furniture (if it's a furnished unit).
- Inform your landlord if any part of the property is in poor condition. This will prevent you from having to pay for something that was already damaged when you first moved in.
- Conduct a second walk-through about 2 weeks after living in the rental unit. This is important because you will discover some things only after living in the unit.
Document all defects, and get agreements for repairs in writing.
Consider taking photos as proof of any damages (use a camera that automatically imprints the date on each photo, if possible). Save the photos for when you move out in case you need to withhold costs from your security deposit. When repairs are needed, document them in writing and have the property manager or owner sign to that effect.
Set up utilities and other services.
Utilities or services might include:
- Gas and electricity
- Garbage collection
- Cable T.V./ Internet connection
- Mail delivery
- Renter's insurance
Note: Ask the landlord which utilities you, as the tenant, are responsible for setting up and paying.