Off-Campus Moving Information
office of residential life
There is more to moving in and out of your apartment/house than picking up and dropping off your keys. Some reminders are included below…
Here are a few things to think about as moving-in day arrives:
- Once you know where you are going to be living, arrange with utility companies for any services (such as gas, electric, water, telephone, and cable) that are not provided by your landlord. You may ask the landlord or neighbors who provided services in the past. Phone several weeks ahead to ensure that the services will be in effect when you move in.
- Before you move in, it is a good idea to check for rodents and other pests. If your place needs an exterminator, you may prefer that it be done before all of your belongings are moved in.
- If you plan to receive mail at your new location, display your name on the mailbox. Otherwise, the U.S. Postal Service will not deliver there.
- Complete an Apartment Conditions Statement to record the conditions of your living arrangements when you first move in. An Apartment Conditions Statement is a checklist of damages to the apartment noted in detail before you move in, then again when your tenancy terminates. (Use this form with sublettors so that you can continue to keep track of any damages that might occur during the summer.)
Before You Leave for Break
- Disconnect all electrical appliances, including VCRs, TV's, computers, and stereos.
- Lock and secure all windows and doors.
- Take all personal valuables with you, or leave them with a friend or neighbor for the safety of those items.
- Stop mail and newspaper deliveries or have them taken in by a neighbor.
- Pull down shades or close curtains on windows.
- Notify trusted neighbors. Ask them to watch your apartment and to look for unusual or suspicious activities in the area.
- Leave a key with a neighbor who can check in on the apartment for you and will have it in case of an emergency.
- Bag and remove all trash.
- Do not leave a message on the answering machine stating that you are away, or the date that you will return.
- Most importantly: LOCK UP!
Here are a few reminders for when you plan to leave/move out:
- If you are planning to move out, you must give 30 days' notice to your landlord, even if your lease expires. You may want to get the landlord's acknowledgement in writing for your files.
- When your lease has expired, be sure to clean the premises thoroughly before leaving your rented unit. You can expect to be charged late for any damage or additional cleaning. Do no leave any garbage or personal furnishings in the place, for anything that does not belong to the landlord will probably be considered trash and you may be charged for its removal.
- Return all keys to the landlord immediately. If you keep your keys, the landlord may decide not to return your entire security deposit.
- Be sure to cancel all utility services, for you may be charged for use after you have vacated.
- Leave a contact address with the college registrar, the US Post Office, your landlord and all utility companies to Ensure a good reference if ever needed. Be sure to change your address with the University and with your local post office.
- Make an appointment with your landlord to jointly inspect the apartment and compare the condition with the Apartment Condition Inventory sheet you completed when you first moved in. If you cannot get the landlord to inspect the apartment, have an impartial witness inspect it with you. You may also want to take pictures if you feel there may be problems.
- When you move out, be sure to have written proof of the condition of the apartment. Consider taking photographs that demonstrate its cleanliness. It would also be wise to complete another Apartment Condition Statement.
If you are planning to sublet your apartment:
- The Boston College Off-Campus Housing Office will list Fall, Spring, and Summer sublets. Call 617-552-3075. Your listing will stay active for one month. If you call before one month has elapsed, you can simply renew the listing for another month.
- Be sure to include your summer telephone number everywhere you list.
- List your sublets as early as possible.
- Create an attractive notice, including all important details. Xerox several copies and post them all around campus — in laundromats, in supermarkets, and on bulletin boards everywhere else.
- List in local newspapers and with off-campus housing offices at other universities. A few of their telephone numbers are:
Boston University 617-353-3523
Harvard University 617-495-3377
- Some leases prohibit subletting. Check with your landlord as to his/her requirements or procedures before subletting, and check your lease to be sure you are allowed to sublet. If not, get your landlord's permission in writing.
- Unless otherwise instructed, make sure that you sign a sublet agreement. This ensures that the sublessee is legally obligated to you. You are still obligated to your landlord, so if the sublessee does not pay, you will be expected to pay! Remember, you remain liable for all obligations until your sublettor(s) leave.
- Try to get as much rent up front as possible, as well as a security deposit to cover possible damages.
- The landlord has the right to approve any sublessee (the person to whom you are subletting). However, his/her approval must be based on a financial assessment not any discriminatory factors.
- Some landlords charge a fee to allow their tenants to sublet. This is legal.
- It is easier to sublet your apartment if you leave it furnished.
- You might consider lowering the price of your rent and/or negotiating other costs (parking, utilities, etc.) to make your apartment more attractive.
Getting Back Your Security Deposit
- Unless you owe rent or the landlord claims you have damaged the apartment, he/she must return your deposit with 30 days after your tenancy ends. If he/she claims damages, he/she must send you an itemized list of them within 30 days and return any part of the deposit not needed to cover repairs. He/she cannot deduct for "reasonable wear and tear."
- The landlord is required to pay 5% interest on both last month's rent and security deposit or other such lesser amount of interest as has been received from the bank in which the deposit has been held on your security deposit.
If the landlord does not contact you regarding the security deposit interest within 30 days of the date of termination, you can take your landlord to small claims court and sue for up to three times the amount of the deposit.