Many students make the decision to live in rental units in the neighborhoods near campus. Before signing a lease, it's important for students to know their rights and responsibilities as renters. Off-Campus Student Services, located at ASC 253 (651 962-6138), is specifically set up to provide students seeking to rent information and guidance. Valuable resources can also be found here.
Make sure to complete an inspection of your aparment or house before signing a lease. It's important to ensure any and all safety features are in working order. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Doors and locks
- Windows and window locks
- Any exterior lighting
- Smoke detectors
- Carbon monoxide detectors
- Egress windows
- Garage doors and openers
Landlords, by law, are required to make sure a rental unit is:
- Fit to live in
- Kept in reasonable repair
- Kept in compliance with state and local health and housing codes
If, upon entering into a lease agreement, necessary repairs are either not being made, or not being made in reasonable time, you can file a complaint with the St. Paul Department of Safety and Inspections (651 266-8989).
If you live off campus and have an emergency situation at your residence you must contact 911. Follow-up contact can then be made with Public Safety.
It also is in your best interest to be familiar with St. Paul's social host ordinance. It is a misdemeanor to host a gathering in a residence where alcohol is possessed or consumed by underage persons.
Additional safety tips for renters:
- Keep all doors and windows locked, even when you are home.
- Do not keep valuables in plain view of uncovered windows.
- Report any damaged or malfunctioning locks, doors, or windows immediately to your landlord for repair.
- Reinforce doors with deadbolt locks and/or adjustable security bars.
- Reinforce sliding doors or windows with wooden or metal rods placed in the slide track.
- Do not open doors for strangers.
- If you see suspicious persons at your door or on your property, contact the police immediately.