When you’re ready to start shopping around for off-campus housing, contact Residence Life and ask for their off-campus housing list – which includes the names of landlords who rent apartments or houses approved by the City of Moorhead. Start looking early to ensure you can find a place you like.
You might also be interested in Residence Life's free off-campus contracts. These contracts are designed to protect the rights of you as a renter and your landlord. We highly recommend using a contract in all rental agreements.
The Moorhead Fire Department suggests looking for the following in an apartment:
- Complete kitchen facilities, including hot and cold water, cabinets, and operational stove and refrigerator
- Proper electrical lighting and switches in all rooms
- Ample electrical outlets in all rooms, including at least two in the kitchen, two in the living room and one in the bedroom
- Complete bath facilities with hot and cold water to proper fixtures, a bathtub and/or shower, toilet and privacy
- Proper heating in all rooms and a safe furnace area
- Safe and uncluttered passageway to entrances and exits and, in all basement bedrooms, an emergency exit window that is not more than 48 inches above the floor and has a minimum area of 5.7 square feet – so you or a firefighter could climb through the window in the event of a fire
- Ample ventilation and lighting by windows – bathroom must have a window or mechanical ventilation and all windows must have storms and screens
- General condition of floors, walls and ceilings
- Safe stairs, steps, porches and stairway handrails
- Properly maintained plumbing
- Ample size dwelling space – about 220 square feet for two occupants and another 100 square feet for each additional occupant
- Ample sleeping room space – about l00 square feet for two occupants and another 50 square feet for each additional occupant
- Ample ceiling height of nearly 7 feet or higher
- Smoke detector, required by law
- Fire extinguisher in each unit or on each floor
Ward off a few potential problems down the road by asking questions and writing down expectations and guidelines before you sign a rental agreement. Here are a few things to bring up with your landlord:
- What is the amount?
- Will it be an individual or a joint responsibility?
- When is the rent due?
- Can the rent be raised?
- Are there any late charges?
- What utilities, if any, are included in the rent?
- Is a deposit required? If so, how much?
- When and how is the deposit refunded?
- When can I/we move into the apartment?
- When must I/we be moved out?
- What if one tenant moves?
- How much notice is needed?
- When and for what purpose can the landlord enter apartment?
- Will prospective tenants be shown my apartment when I’m not home?
Repairs and Maintenance
- Who’s responsible for what? Who do I call if repairs are needed?
- Where is parking available and for how many vehicles?
- Are plug-ins available? Is there an extra charge for their use?
- Are pets allowed?
- Is smoking allowed?
- How long can guests stay?
- Can I sublet the apartment?
Ask Your Roommates
Don’t forget to ask your future roommates a few questions before everyone settles in. Just like with your landlord, talking about a few things up front can help lay the groundwork for a better relationship. Here are a few questions to get you started:
- How many people can the apartment accommodate?
- What are the plans for the year for each roommate? Will anyone be gone for a few months to student teach, work at an internship, study abroad, etc.?
- What are my roommate expectations? How will we divide chores and responsibilities? Are there rules for entertaining?
- When can guests visit?