Holy Cross Blogs

The Right Apartment

While the majority of Holy Cross students live on campus, some juniors and seniors decide to live off campus. Living off campus presents new challenges; there will be bills to pay, daily chores to do, potential roommate conflicts to resolve, and non-student neighbors to meet and live with cooperatively. Off-campus students will tackle many of these issues without the convenience of a residence life staff to assist them. On this site you will find helpful information about locating the right apartment, moving in and out of your apartment, understanding and signing a lease, and important information, phone numbers, and places for off campus students.

Cost: 

  • Is the asking price within the market value for units of the same size and location?
  • Is the price negotiable?
  • Is there a refundable security deposit?
  • Are utilities and/or furnishings included?

Space:

  • How many bedrooms are there?  Does anyone have to share? Who?
  • How many closets are there per person?
  • Is there space for everyone's furniture in the living room?
  • Is there study space?  Room for computers?
  • How many bathrooms are there?  Is that number sufficient for the morning rush before classes?
  • Is the kitchen big enough for everyone to use at the same time?

Exterior:

  • Are there enough exterior lights?
  • Are there screens on every window?
  • Are the windows doubled paned?  Are there working locks on every window?
  • Are there enough fire exits?
  • How many parking spaces are there?
  • How safe is the area at night?

Interior:

  • How is the condition of the walls and ceiling?
  • Does the apartment have carpets or hardwood floors?
  • Are the walls and windows well insulated?
  • How many and where are the electrical outlets? 
  • How many and where are the phone jacks?  Is there more than one phone line?
  • Are there laundry facilities?
  • Is the apartment wired for cable television?

Plumbing:

  • Do the sinks and tubs drain properly?
  • Do the faucet knobs work?
  • Do you get the appropriate amount of hot and cold water?
  • Is there enough water pressure?
  • Are there water stains on the walls, ceilings or floors from leaks?
  • Do the toilets flush properly?

Heat:

  • Is there a source of heat in each room?
  • Can you control the heat?

Safety:

  • Are there dead bolt locks on the exterior door? 
  • Are there two exits in case of a fire?
  • Does the unit meet all safety code guidelines?
  • Is there adequate lighting in the stairwells and hallways?
  • Are there smoke detectors?
  • If the unit uses natural gas are there carbon monoxide detectors?
  • What condition are the appliances in?
  • Is the landscaping well maintained or are there "dark spots" on the property?
  • What is the condition of the walkways, steps, stairs?

Other:

  • What is the reputation of your landlord?  Does he or she have a reputation for being responsive?
  • Is he or she available to you?
  • What conditions have to be met to get your deposit back?
  • Are pets allowed?  If yes, do the current occupants have a pet?
  • Will the apartment be cleaned by a third party before your occupancy?