Living off-campus introduces plenty of new choices and new responsibilities. Off Campus Living is here to help you learn about the basics of renting, your rights & responsibilities as a tenant, and creating community. We also point you to important links on safety, commuting, and getting to know the Bellingham area. This website is intended to give you an overview of what you can expect—and what is expected of you—as an official Bellingham resident.
….. Basically, we’re all you need to know about adulting.
Get ready to move off campus
Moving off campus in five easy steps
November – December
Develop a budget and identify how much you can afford to spend on rent, utilities and transportation/ parking every month. This will help you determine how many roommates you should plan for and where to live. Need budgeting help? Contact the Student Business Office!
January – February
Talk about your expectations before you move in with a roommate. Choose a roommate who has a similar lifestyle, sleep schedule and cleanliness standards; someone you can rely on to pay the rent! Check out the Roommates page for more info!
Finding a place
March – April
Finding a place may seem daunting, but Off Campus Living can help! Start your search in the neighborhoods near Western: York, Happy Valley, Sehome or Puget. When you tour a rental make sure it is clean, safe and in good repair. If you have concerns about the rental company, look up reviews online. Check out our Finding a Place page for more tips!
Signing a Lease
April – May
A lease is a legal document that makes you and your roommates equally responsible for paying rent through the full term of the rental agreement. Before you sign a lease, read the whole thing so you are aware of all rules and fees included in it. Always view a rental before signing or putting down a deposit. Check out the Leases page for more info!
August – September
When you move in, complete a damage checklist with your landlord & make sure you both sign it. Any damage not noted will be your responsibility to pay for. Next step: be a great neighbor! Check out the Off Campus Living website for adulting tips!
Take this 30 minute course on CANVAS now! You can learn all you need to know about signing a lease, your rights and responsibilities as a renter, and how to find a safe and comfortable place to live. 30 minutes now will save you time, money and friendships in the future!