Off Campus Students
The following resources and tips are provided to assist you as you make your decision to move off campus and to help you live successfully in the off campus neighborhoods.
TWO STRIKES AND YOU ARE OUT!
PLEASE NOTE: If you are a tenant in the Borough of West Chester, you may be warned and/or cited by Borough Police for DISORDERLY CONDUCT based on noise violation at your residence. These warnings and/or citations may result in DISRUPTIVE CONDUCT REPORT (DCR) TO YOUR PROPERTY OWNER. IF YOU RECEIVE 2 DCRs YOUR PROPERTY OWNER WILL BE INSTRUCTED TO EVICT YOU FROM YOUR RESIDENCE. For more information, see the Borough of West Chester Codes: Chapter 66-2, Section 1000.6.
Check out West Chester University's official Off Campus Housing website. This website is FREE for all students to use as an effective method of finding off campus housing, searching for a roommate, and securing subletting opportunities. Property owners may list properties at rates that are very competitive and less than most other advertising media.
Important Information: This listing of rental units is provided exclusively for West Chester University STUDENTS as a service for those seeking off campus housing. The University does not approve, investigate, or endorse the listed properties. For protection, prospective tenants are advised to acquaint themselves thoroughly with the rental units listed before signing any lease agreement. West Chester University reserves the right to remove any listing. The Off Campus and Commuter Association (OCCA), the Residence Hall Association (RHA) and the Graduate Student Association (GSA) sponsor a FREE Student Legal Service for review of leases and tenant rights, along with other legal concerns. To meet with the lawyer, log on to MyWCU. Click on "Student Legal Service Appoint," located under "Student Resource Links."
Student Zoned Housing in the Borough
If you are interested in renting off campus in the Borough of West Chester, please take note of the STUDENT ZONING ordinance: A living arrangement for at least two students to a maximum of four students who are unrelated by blood, marriage or legal adoption. STUDENT: An individual who is enrolled or has made application and been accepted at a university, college of trade school and is taking at least 6 credit hours and whose primary occupation is as a student or who is on a semester or summer break from studies at a university, college or trade school. This applies to undergraduate and graduate students.
You may determine whether the rental property is zoned for students by asking the property owner, contacting the Borough's Building, Housing & Zoning Regulations, or reviewing the Student Home List at the above website.
When Considering a Roommate For Your Off Campus Residence
These helpful questions will help you find the right match for a compatible roommate. Share the responsibility of paying bills and spread them among roommates so all may begin to develop a positive credit history in their own name.
Questions to Ask a Potential Property Owner (Landlord)
These are some helpful questions you may ask a property owner BEFORE signing a lease.
Before Signing a Lease, Consult With Free Student Legal Service
Three student organizations (OCCA, RHA, GSA) support free student legal service on campus. Consult with our FREE Student Legal Service for more information and how to schedule a 15 minute consultation. (link to the STUDENT LEGAL SERVICE page on OCCS).
Before Signing a Lease, Be Sure It Includes the Following
- Names- you, landlord, address
- Description of building with address
- Dates: terms of rental
- Rent: payment procedures, amount, due date, late penalties
- Renewal procedures
- Maintenance & Repairs - responsibility of
- Utilities - what do you pay and what is provided in the cost of the rent
- Termination of Renewal
- Property Owner Access of rental property - specify how much notice prior to entering
- Alternative housing if you cannot occupy the property on the first day of lease or you need to leave rental location due to repair, etc.
Renter's insurance is essential to all who live in any kind of rental unit. It protects your belongings from loss, theft and damage. Renter's insurance also protests you from being sued for medical bills if someone were to hurt themselves in your apartment/house.
Your property owner's insurance covers only damage to their property or injuries that occur outside of the unit.
Just because your roommate has insurance, does not mean you are covered.
Policies only cover the personal belongings of the insured, Check with your parents. Many times their homeowner's insurance will cover a dependent's apartment. In most cases you may get Renter's insurance from the same company that provides your car insurance.
Visit the Public Work's website to more about your trash and recycling pickup times, the leaf collection dates, snow removal, and payment of water & sewage bills (if you are responsible for this utility cost).
Fire Safety - Important Numbers
- West Chester University Public Safety - 610-436-3311
- Borough of West Chester Police/EMERGENCY - 911
- Borough of West Chester Police/Community Relations - 610-696-2700
- Borough's Building, Housing & Zoning Enforcement - 610-696-1773
- Borough's Public Works - 610-696-5282
Part of the mission of West Chester University is to educate students on civic engagement by becoming socially responsible citizens. Students who choose to live in off campus housing in the Borough of West Chester are encouraged to be good neighbors who practice responsible citizenship and are respectful of the rules and laws that govern our community.
To ensure responsible citizenship, the WCU Student Code of Conduct encompasses both on campus and off campus behaviors which include violation of borough, state and federal laws. A student is responsible for their behavior, regardless of where they live, and violations will be processed in accordance with guidelines as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct.
Sanction conditions for off campus violations are designed to affirm a commitment to positive community relations and may include Community Service, participating in a "Town-Gown" event, and/or attending a West Chester Borough Council meeting. The University is dedicated to the goal of students being engaged into the rich fabric of our diverse West Chester community through their positive contributions and conscientious behavior as representatives of WCU.
- Rental Checklist
- Move In Checklist
- Move Out Checklist
- Rights & Responsibilities of Tenant
- Rights & Responsibilities of Property Owner
- Rams Eye View
- Student Renter's Guide from Best Colleges