Off-Campus Living


  1. READ THE WHOLE LEASE, Rules and Regulations.
  2. SLOW DOWN! - Take time to read and understand the entire agreement; pay particular attention to charges for rent, utilities - heat, water, electric, internet (speed, Wi-Fi), TV (cable, satellite), parking.
  3. SEEK LEGAL ADVICE before signing - Student Legal Services offers free legal advice to students.
  4. ROOMMATES - If renting with others, understand joint and several liability (the concept of having shared responsibility with others while also being individually responsible for the entire obligation).  If preferable, ask for a separate lease.
  5. ASK FOR WHAT YOU WANT  (new paint, carpets, appliances, etc.)
  6. Get All agreements, PROMISES, & changes in Writing - obtain and keep copies of all pertinent documents/records.
  7. MOVE IN - To document condition of property, do Inspection Report. Deliver copy to landlord, keep copy.  Take pictures/video.
  8. REVIEW LEASE FROM TIME TO TIME - Avoid unpleasant surprises (e.g., Notice of Termination to Landlord 30 or 60 days before end of lease)
  9. RETURN OF DEPOSIT - Give landlord written Notice of Forwarding Address/Delivery Instructions, get receipt.
  10. SEE RULE # 1.


    Resource for Landlord and Tenant Law in Iowa:
    Chapter 562A Iowa Code, Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Law
    Chapter 13 Rental Housing, Ames Municipal Code