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The housing decision

From the Winter 2009 Parent Newsletter

By the time students return to campus after winter break, they will be thinking about where to live next fall. Those who are currently living in residence halls may be looking for the independence of apartment life; apartment residents can see greener grass in another neighborhood or with different roommates.

Signing a lease is a legal commitment that brings with it more responsibilities than most students have ever undertaken. It establishes a relationship with a landlord and roommates that students cannot simply back away from. If plans change and a student decides not to return to school, the lease is still valid.

University Student Legal Services (USLS) provides students with professional legal services and advice. Before committing to an apartment, students can take the lease to the USLS office in the West Bank Skyway to have it reviewed. USLS partners with the Minnesota Student Association and with Student and Community Relations to provide workshops on the legal rights and responsibilities for renters. The workshops are free and will be scheduled in multiple locations during late January and February; see the USLS website calendar.

Students who find themselves in conflict with their landlord can seek the services of USLS professionals, and the office also works with students on issues related to consumer credit, debt, immigration counseling, and other legal issues. To learn more or download a Tenant Resource Guide, see the USLS website.

To provide parents with more information about apartment living, the housing market near campus, and issues related to off-campus life, the University Parent Program has partnered with several other offices to offer an Online Housing Workshop for parents.