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Off Campus Living

Back: Are you ready to move off campus?


Finding a Place

It is recommended that you begin your search three to four months in advance. Begin your search online through Follow the link to Off-Campus Housing, which has a searchable database of legal properties to rent.

When you have found something that seems promising, check out the regulations (zoning laws and town codes) of the town your housing is in. Links are available on the Off-Campus Living website to help you learn more specifics about your township’s codes. Know what the requirements are before you move in so you can avoid fines or even eviction.

When you arrange to visit the property, bring a trusted friend or family member with you to help you do a thorough review. The Off-Campus Living website provides printable versions of Inventory and Renter’s Checklists. These are also very helpful to bring along.

Important Questions to Consider
  • How much can I afford per month for rent?
  • Do I want a roommate(s)?
  • How long will it take me to get to school, work, etc.?
  • What type of transportation will I require?
  • Can I afford the cost of utilities, food, gas, cable, etc.?
  • What is the neighborhood like?
  • Who will be responsible for damages? Repairs? Landscaping?

Please note that Off-Campus Housing does not inspect, approve or supervise any premises listed with its service. The University does not become party to private landlord–tenant matters.



Please note that the following steps are suggestions. You do not have to follow these steps in the order that they are laid out. You do not have to take each and every step outlined. These are only recommendations. 

1. Decide that you are ready and willing to move off campus

2. Shop the market
  • Know your budget (loans, job earnings, parental support)
  • Assess whether rental units are furnished or unfurnished
  • Assess whether utilities are included or excluded
  • Evaluate the commuting situation (car, bus, train)
  • Establish when the landlord can enter the property
  • Determine who takes care of and pays for any repairs, if necessary
  • Assess the parking situation
  • Establish who shovels and clears any driveways of snow
  • Assess rental units for safety
  • Evaluate whether the rental unit is legal or illegal; all listings on the Off Campus Housing website are certified as legal housing by their respective townships
3. Contact your prospective landlord
  • You may also want to meet with them--this will likely happen when you visit the house (we strongly suggest that you see all rental units in person before signing a lease and moving in)
4. Visit the property; conduct a full inspection of the house
  • Print out and bring a copy of the Renter's Checklist when you visit properties
5. Make sure to ask the right questions
  • Don't forget to ask about

    • Utilities

    • Lease duration

    • Lease type

    • Security deposits

    • When and how payment is due

6. Meet with your roommates (if applicable) and establish terms

7. Find out what amenities you will need to bring
  • Furniture

  • Utilities (microwave)

  • Laundromat

8. Review the lease
  • You do not have to, nor do we suggest that you sign a lease when you first get it

  • Do not be afraid to ask questions or propose changes

  • Only sign the lease once both parties, prospective tenant and prospective landlord, understand and have agreed to the terms in the lease
  • Make sure you get a copy of the lease

9. After you sign the lease
  • Make sure it is clear when and how all types of payments will be made (lease, utilities, etc.)
10. Make sure tha all accounts are transferred to your name (utilities), if necessary
  • Electric, PSEG: 1 (631) 755-6000
  • Gas, National Grid: 1 (800) 930-5003
  • Trash service
  • Water Service
11. If need be, change your official address through the NY State DMV and the US Post Office

12. Determine when you are able to move
  • Will you use moving services? Or will you rent a UHaul?
  • Do you need to purchase furniture? Will you need to schedule deliveries?
13. Move in!

14. Determine how best to contact your landlord; ask them to update you if they go on vacation or are unavailable for some reason

15. Assess whether you are provided internet or whether you must sign up for a service
  • Verizon, not available in the Town of Brookhaven

  • Optimum, available in the Town of Brookhaven


Next: Do you know what is considered safe and legal housing?


See for more information and/or to report an incident.