Living Off Campus
Living Off Campus
Things to Consider Before Living Off-Campus
The decision to live off-campus and enter into a rental agreement is a big one. You should consider the factors below before making the decision since it will affect more than just where you live, but also what your entire college experience will be. These are real situations and concerns taken from students seeking advice about their off-campus housing issues after the fact.
When budgeting for off-campus expenses, there are some knowns and some unknowns.
The following additional expenses are often not considered:
- Housemates who don’t pay rent or don’t contribute towards other bills
- Housemates that move out, leaving your household responsible for their portion of the rent for the rest of the year
- Finding a new roommate to replace another one and possibly ending up sharing a room with a total stranger
- The cost of breaking your lease, which makes you responsible for rent until the end of the lease or for paying a fee (e.g. $1,500) to be released from the agreement
- Deposits for setting up utilities
- Utilities, internet connections, phone, cable, water, garbage, sewer (fees), etc.
- Fluctuating monthly electricity and gas bills (which increase in the winter)
- Deposit return disputes
- Buying furniture and household furnishings, kitchen appliances and cookware, cleaning supplies and having to dispose of them each June
- The landlord’s lack of response to problems with the rental
- The neighborhood you moved into isn’t safe
- The house you are renting goes up for sale and you have to show it
- The house you are renting is sold and you have to move
- The house you are renting is foreclosed upon and you have to move in 30 days
- One housemate breaks the lease and all tenants are evicted
- Having to move unexpectedly during mid-terms or finals
- Your liability for housemates’ and guests’ behavior or damage to the rental
- Substandard housing, heating, or electrical that won’t support all your devices
- Having less time to sleep and study due to the commute and other household responsibilities
- Feeling isolated from campus; not participating in after-school hour activities and events
- An unreasonable roommate who won’t alter their behavior AND won’t move.
- Roommates who let their friends or ‘significant other’ essentially move in without paying rent, food and a share of other expenses
- Roommates who consistently don’t do their share of household responsibilities
- Really cold houses because roommates can’t agree to pay extra costs of heating throughout the winter
- Your time is valuable and what you choose to do with it matters.
Students living off campus have told us they need extra time to deal with new issues they had not previously given any thought:
- The commute to classes, libraries or recreational facilities once or twice a day, especially during the winter when driving around campus trying to find a parking space
- Grocery shopping, cooking, and cleaning up after your meals
- Cleaning the kitchen, bathrooms, and other common areas in addition to your own space
- Taking care of the yard (yes, you are responsible)
- Attending household meetings and taking care of other responsibilities like paying bills, meeting repairpersons, landlords, or unreasonable housemates
- Finding quiet study areas
In addition to considering your off-campus options, you may also want to look into the various campus housing options available. For more information visit the Office of Residence Life, call (610) 660-1060, or email Reslife@sju.edu.
How to Find Off-Campus Housing
Looking for Off-Campus Housing?
- Students: Sign in to the portal to search local listings, contact property managers, locate potential roommates*, post sub-lets and find resources for off-campus living. We built this site with you in mind.
- Faculty & Staff: The housing search feature is open to anyone in the SJU community. Just sign up with your SJU e-mail address and start searching for a living arrangement that is right for you.
Looking to List Your Property?
- Property Managers: Find a convenient and flexible way to market your properties to the growing SJU community. Use photos, amenities and detailed descriptions to set yourself apart from the competition.**
- Local Landlords: Find an affordable way to market your individual properties to a large audience of high-quality tenants.**
*The roommate search feature is accessible by SJU students only.
**This site is the only official way the market your listings through the University Housing Office. We do not accept paper fliers, brochures or any other print materials.
Check out these informational videos to aid you in your search:
Getting To Campus
If you live close by, your commute likely entails walking to campus. But if you live in Manayunk or further away from campus, you may want to consider purchasing a parking permit or taking public transportation.
Parking on Campus
If you drive to campus, you will need a parking permit to park in any campus lot. Parking permits can be purchased from the Public Safety Customer Service Center in Campion 229. All off-campus students should read, understand and abide by all parking policies and regulations.
For more information on parking, visit the Office of Public Safety and Security.
Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA)
SEPTA is a regional public transportation authority that operates various forms of public transit – bus, subway, elevated rail, regional rail, light rail, and electric trolley bus – in and around Philadelphia. SEPTA serves Philadelphia, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Bucks County, and Chester County. SEPTA also serves New Castle County in Delaware, and Mercer County in New Jersey.
Being a Good Neighbor
Students are expected to be good neighbors. Students are responsible for upholding all federal, state, and city laws and ordinances, especially those relating to trash, noise, traffic, parking, zoning, and the consumption of alcohol.
GET TO KNOW YOUR NEIGHBORS
Do you know the names of your neighbors? Knowing your neighbors can help if there is ever a concern at your house. Neighbors keep an eye out for each other and have called SJU in the past to report suspicious activity at student houses when nobody was home. Introduce yourself. It will go a long way!
KNOW YOUR TRASH & RECYCLING SCHEDULE
Remember to take care of your trash. You should NOT leave trash in your yard or on the driveways/sidewalks adjacent to your house. Trash left inappropriately on your property or outside of the collection schedule will result in neighbor complaints and follow-up by the University. Please consider the impact that such complaints can have on the community, as well as the resources needed to respond. Trash can significantly impact the quality of life, and attract animals. Do your part by keeping your neighborhood clean and safe.
PARK LEGALLY & IN DESIGNATED AREAS
This includes not parking in someone’s spot or blocking their driveway.
KEEP THE NOISE DOWN & BE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR GUESTS
Some students view their houses as temporary when most families have made a long-term commitment to living in the community. Remember to keep the noise level down, especially when people are outside. If you can hear your music from outside, it is too loud. Tell your friends not to walk on other people’s property coming to and from your house.
FOLLOW THE LAW
Remember, consumption of alcohol by anyone under 21 is against the law and the University’s Community Standards. Similarly, furnishing or allowing minors to consume alcohol at your house (BYOB) can result in police citations, arrests, and sanctions from the University (including fines).
BE A HAWK!
Finally, represent Saint Joseph’s University by acting responsibly, respectfully, and like a Hawk at all times. Help when possible, be an active bystander, and contribute positively to your neighborhood.
TOP TEN TIPS ON BEING A GOOD NEIGHBOR:
- Introduce yourself to your neighbor.
- Do not put indoor furniture or appliances on your porch.
- Do not block driveways and follow all parking and traffic rules.
- Keep noise to a minimum, especially at night.
- Do not use profanity.
- Don’t leave empty trash cans on the sidewalk.
- Do not put your trash on the curb for pick up before dusk, the prior day.
- If you have elderly neighbors, offer to shovel snow or rake leaves.
- If you have pets, clean up any animal waste promptly.
- If you have guests, ensure they follow all these guidelines as well.
- Most of all, show respect to your neighbors at all times. You are a HAWK!
Get To Know Your Neighbor Events – Happy hours and block parties throughout the year where you can meet your neighbors. Spring 2020 dates coming soon.
Wynnefield is named for Thomas Wynne (1627-1692) who immigrated from Caerwys, North Wales and became the personal physician of William Penn. Thomas Wynne was one of a large group of Quakers who settled in Philadelphia. His family house, Wynnestay, remains standing in Wynnefield on Woodbine Avenue. Some say it was the first stone-built house in the state of Pennsylvania. The neighborhood is known for its many beautiful single homes, its active community organization, and its racial diversity. Wynnefield has a very active Residents Association (WRA) and tons of ways to get involved in the neighborhood.
Overbrook Farms is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Overbrook Farms Club is the country’s oldest homeowners’ association, founded, along with the community for which it is named, in 1892. Since that date, the Club has worked to preserve and protect the historic fabric of the community and maintain the quality of life of its residents. As the oldest neighborhood civic association in the nation, the Overbrook Farms Club is very active (including hosting a weekly Farmer’s Market) and has updated information up on their website.
Manayunk was named a National Historic District in 1983 and a Classic Town by The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission in 2007. Manayunk is nestled along the banks of the Schuylkill River and the Manayunk Canal and Tow Path. Main Street’s commercial district provides an urban experience with small-town charm. The Manayunk Neighborhood Council is extremely active and hosts many neighborhood events, monthly meetings.