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Off-Campus and Commuter Services

Off-Campus Rental FAQs

  • What is a Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) and how does that effect me as a student renter?
    The C of O is an inspection process that local building, fire, and safety officials use when they visit the property that a landlord is intending to rent. The officials review a number of building and safety factors to ensure that your rental is habitable and safe for tenants.
  • What will happen if I am charged with violating the law while living off-campus?
    Monmouth students who live off-campus and are charged with violating a local, state, or federal law(s) may also be charged for violating the Student Code of Conduct. It is important that all students recognize that as members of the MU community they will be held accountable for their behavior while residing in the communities surrounding the University.
  • How can I avoid having problems with my neighbors and/or the local officials?
    Use common sense. Get to know your neighbors as soon as you move in, and don’t assume that you can do whatever you want. While it’s true that you have rights as a tenant, it does not make you immune from respecting your neighbors and adhering to the laws and ordinances pertinent to your community. As soon as you move into your apartment or house, take a few moments and introduce yourself to your neighbors. Give them your phone number and let them know they should feel free to contact you if they have any concerns. It’s a lot easier to have your neighbor call you or stop by your house when they have a concern than to have the police respond. Make sure that you take care of the simple day to day things that can have a big impact on your relationship with your neighbors. This would include taking out your garbage and recycling on the proper day(s), keeping your yard clean and free of rubbish and debris, and keeping the noise down after 8 p.m.
  • What should I do if I am having problems with my landlord?
    Communication is the key to any relationship. If you are having problems getting repairs made or getting your security deposit returned, you want to address these concerns BEFORE they happen. As a tenant you need to make sure that you have a signed copy of your lease before you move in. Your lease should spell out what the tenant must do and what the landlord must do. It should also detail the rules and regulations for that property. A good rule of thumb for working with your landlord is to get every promise in writing. Any time your landlord says something will be fixed, have him or her put it in writing. Any time you contact your landlord to get a repair made, modify your lease, etc., follow up your conversation with a certified letter reiterating your request(s) and what your landlord promised. Keep any and all correspondence related to your rental in a folder. If you continue to have problems with your landlord, you may need to seek legal counsel.
  • What is the maximum amount a landlord can charge as a security deposit?
    New Jersey law (N.J.S.A. 46:8-21.2.) states that the most a landlord can collect as a security deposit is 1 1/2 times the monthly rent. (For example: if your total monthly rent is $1000, the most that he or she can collect is $1,500. If there were three students renting this property, they would each have to pay $500 as a security deposit.) Furthermore, your landlord is required by law to provide you, in writing, with the name of the bank, the account number, and the location of the bank where your security deposit is being held. Finally, when you are moving out of your rental, your landlord is required to return your security deposit with interest, within 30 days, from the date when you moved out of the property, less any rent that you owe, or any charges for repairing damage to the rental. If your landlord deducts any money for damages or back rent, he or she must give you a complete list of the damages he or she claims you made to the property and the cost of repairs. NOTE: Landlords cannot charge cleaning fees to tenants who leave their rental “broom clean.”
  • What are some of the laws and ordinances that I should be familiar with as a student renter?
    Common sense is the best way to approach the laws and ordinances that impact student renters.
    1. Don’t have large, loud parties.
    2. Don’t provide alcohol to people under the age of 21.
    3. Keep the noise down from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.
    4. Make sure that you keep your yard and property clean and free of rubbish.
    5. Make sure that your cats and dogs are licensed, curbed, and picked up after.
    6. Don’t park you vehicles on the sidewalk or lawn.
    7. Make sure that your guests and visitors act responsibly when they are in your apartment or house.
    8. Make sure that your garbage and recycling is in the proper containers and set out for pick-up on proper dates and times.
  • When should I start looking for an apartment?
    Most MU students begin their search for off-campus housing during the spring semester. This is traditionally a time of the year when landlords and realtors begin to notify OCCS of available apartments and houses for rent. Landlords who have rented to MU students in the past know that you will be finishing the academic year soon and they will want to find tenants for their properties.