Off-Campus Living

 

Living off-campus can be a fun and exciting time, but you should also be aware of your rights and your responsibilities as a tenant, roommate, neighbor, and community member. Make sure you also are aware of your surroundings at all times and take all safety precautions to make sure you have a safe and healthy living experience off-campus.

 

First Steps When Looking for Off-Campus Housing

Living off campus is a big decision. Below are a few questions to ask yourself before you start your housing search.

Location and Safety – How close do you want to be to campus? What kind of neighborhood would you like to live in?

Cost – What can you afford?  Costs include rent, utilities, food, entertainment, and all other living costs.

Roommates – Do you want to live alone or with roommates?

Subleasing – Does your landlord allow subleasing in case you need to move?

Parking – Does the property provide parking spaces? Is there a cost for parking?

Leasing Requirements – You may need a cosigner and pay application fee.

 

Viewing a Rental Unit

Safety and Comfort

Crime: Is the rental unit in an area you feel comfortable living in? Visit the unit during the day and at night to see if there is a major difference in the neighborhood environment. Talk to the current tenants about their experiences.

Space: Is the rental unit, and its kitchen, bedrooms, and closets large enough for your needs?

Fire Safety: Are all smoke detectors in working condition? Test them to make sure. Each level must have at least one smoke alarm, including the basement. Each bedroom and living area must have at least one window.

Home Security: Are all doors, locks, and dead bolts in working condition?

 

Condition of the Property

Cleanliness: Is the unit itself in a condition you are willing to live in?

Working Appliances and Plumbing: Is everything in the unit in good working condition? Test the heat, air conditioning, hot and cold water faucets, shower pressure, and toilet to make sure everything works to your satisfaction.  Do all lights and electrical outlets work properly? (You can even ask the current tenants).

Energy Efficiency: Do all windows open and close properly? Test all windows throughout the unit.  Drafty windows could mean higher energy bills.  Are there any leaky faucets?  Leaky faucets could mean higher water bills and possibly future water damage.

Parking

Off-Street Parking: Off-street parking means the landlord has spaces reserved for building residents.  You should ask the landlord how many spots are available and if there is a cost.

On-Street Parking: If off-street parking is not available, you may need to purchase a City Parking Permit.

 

List of apartments in the Jackson and surrounding areas:

Note: The following list is not comprehensive, but should give you a sense of what’s readily available. Inclusion does not indicate an endorsement nor does omission indicate disapproval by Jackson State University.

Apartment

 Name

Address

Phone Number

Hours of Operation

Lease Terms Options

Distance to JSU

One University Place

1100 John R. Lynch St, Jackson, MS 39203

 

(769) 233-8180

9:00am-6:00pm

 M-F

 

12 mo.

0.1 miles

Greenbriar Apartments

225 W. McDowell Rd Jackson, MS 39204

(769) 447-2995

9:00am-6:00pm

M-F

 

6 mo.7 mo. 8 mo. 9mo. 12 mo.

2.2 miles

Blossom Apartments

3100 Woodbine St, Jackson, MS 39212

 

(601) 346-4872

8:00a-5:00p

M-F

 

12 mo.

3.6 miles

Towne Hill Apartments

20 North Hill Parkway, Jackson, MS 39206

(601) 981-5575

8:00am-5:30pm

 M-F

 

7 mo. 12 mo. 15 mo.

6.5 miles

The Advantages Apartments

4901 McWillie Cir, Jackson, MS 39206

 

(601) 366-3108

9:00am-5:00pm

 M-F

 

12 mo.

7.4 miles

Trails@ Northpointe

600 Northpointe Pkwy, Jackson, MS 39211

(601) 956-4353

 

9:00am-5:00pm

 M-F

 

Variable

11.5 miles

Pebble Creek Apartments

5255 Manhattan Rd, Jackson, MS 39206

(601) 362-1079

8:00 am – 5:00 pm M-F

12 mo.

8.2 miles

The Crossings at Ridgewood

5880 Ridgewood Rd, Jackson, MS 39211

(601) 956-7118

9:00 am – 6:00 pm M-F

12 mo.

9.4 miles

Tracewood Apartments

6300 Old Canton Rd, Jackson, MS 39211

(601) 956-3423

8:00 am – 5:00 pm M-F

12 mo.

11.4 miles

Reserve of Jackson

2501 River Oaks Blvd, Jackson, MS 39211

(601) 957-0086

8:00 am – 6:00 pm M-F

12 mo.

11.9 miles

The Park at Moss Creek

5115 Old Canton Rd, Jackson, MS 39211

(601) 956-2790

8:00 am – 5:00 pm M-F

6 mo. 12 mo. 13 mo.

8.2 miles

Summer Park

2010 Chadwick Dr, Jackson, MS 39204

(601) 371-2220

8:00 am – 5:00 pm M-F

12 mo.

3.9 miles

Cypress Point Apartments

1805 Hospital Dr, Jackson, MS 39204

(601) 371-2200

8:00 am – 5:00 pm M-F

6 mo. 12 mo.

3.4 miles

 

Here is a list of websites for more information about apartments in the Jackson and surrounding areas:


Agreements between You and the Landlord

Document Agreements: If the landlord agrees to make any changes or repairs to the property, you should document the agreements in writing. Student Legal Services will help you add amendments to your lease and document any oral agreements between you and the landlord.

Current Tenants: Talk to the current tenants about their experiences with the landlord.

 

Signing a Lease

Do not sign a lease until you personally enter and view the exact unit you will be renting.  A model unit may give you an idea of the available units, but ask to see the specific unit for rent, even if people are currently living there. 

Once you have visited a unit multiple times and are seriously considering renting the place, you may need to provide the landlord with certain information:

Application fee: You may need to pay an application fee. The landlord may check your credit report as well.

Co-signor: Most landlords require a student under the age of 21 to have a co-signor (typically a parent or guardian).

Holding fee: if you will not be moving in right away, this will secure your unit while your application is processed.

Sign lease: Before signing the lease, read the lease carefully. The lease affects your rights and responsibilities. After signing the lease, your co-signor will also be asked to sign the lease.  Ask for a copy of everything you and your landlord sign.

 

Lease Contents Checklist

A lease is a binding contract between the tenant and the landlord. Every lease should explicitly spell out information important to both parties, such as:

  • Rent
  • Late fees
  • Security deposit
  • Length of lease
  • Tenant/landlord responsibilities
  • Subletting
  • Pets
  • Other rules

 

RENT – The lease should stipulate how much the rent is per month, as well as when the rent is due. With rent, the topic of utilities must also be specified: which, if any, utilities are included in the rent per month, or whether the tenants are responsible for the utilities.

LATE FEES – Past due rent should also be addressed: at what time will the rent be considered "late" and what late fee will then be charged? By law, tenants have a grace period of five business days to pay their rent.

SECURITY DEPOSIT – The lease should say how much security deposit is required and conditions for returning it at the end of the term. If not included in the lease, within 30 days the landlord should provide you with written notice detailing the type of account, the current interest rate and the name of the bank at which it is deposited.

LENGTH OF LEASE – Other information that the lease should cover includes the length of the lease, whether it is monthly or whether it is a year-long lease, for example. What is the penalty for breaking the lease?

TENANT/LANDLORD RESPONSIBILITIES – An outline of tenant and landlord responsibilities regarding the upkeep of the property should be specified – for what items are the tenants responsible (lawn upkeep, trash pickup, etc.)

SUBLETTING – The landlord should specify his/her rules with regard to subletting: whether it is strictly "no sublets," subletting with prior written consent, or allowance of subletting with no prior consent.

PETS/SMOKING – Specification on pets and smoking should also be explained on the lease. OTHER RULES – There may be other information in the lease including rules about the use of common areas or the delineation of quiet hours.

 

— This checklist is intended as a guide to assist you in ensuring that your lease covers the most important topics. This checklist is intended for educational purposes and should be used as an aid only. —

 

Questions that should be outlined in your lease:

1. When is the rent due?

2. Are there penalties for late payments? What are they?

3. After the initial term of the lease, will the lease be month to month? If so, how long?

4. What is the penalty for breaking the lease?

5. What utilities are included in the rent?

6. Is your rental property furnished or unfurnished?

7. Do you have your own water heater or is it shared with the landlord/other tenants?

8. How is routine maintenance completed for the unit? Is maintenance on call 24 hours a day?

 If not, who should you call if there is an emergency?

9. Is subletting allowed?

10. Is painting or altering the property in any way permitted (i.e. hanging pictures or shelving units)?

 

Purchase Renter’s Insurance

Protect Your Property: Your landlord's insurance does not cover your personal property in the event it is damaged in a fire or stolen. Check with your auto insurance company or other insurance companies for a price quote. You can also ask your parents to see if their homeowner's insurance covers your property.

Protect Yourself: Ask any legal services to review your renter’s insurance policy (or any potential policy) to ensure that the policy covers your acts of negligence.  Some insurance policies will exclude your acts of negligence from coverage.  So, for example, if you accidently cause a fire in your apartment that leads to damaged personal property, you want to make sure you’re covered by your renter’s insurance.