student engagement commuter students | off campus housing

Links and Downloads

Renter's Checklist 
Roommate Agreement 
Fire Safety 
Apartments in Southfield 
Home Buying

The above links are not endorsed by LTU, nor are they all encompassing.

Be a Good Neighbor
General "Do's"

  • Meet your neighbors.
  • Respect their needs and desires.
  • Get to know your neighborhood.
  • Talk to your neighbors about noise/parties, and see if you can create a solution that is mutually respectful and agreeable.
  • Invite your neighbors over for dinner.
  • Understand that you live in a diverse community.
  • Remember that your neighbors live just feet away.

General "Don'ts"

  • Do not harm or destroy mutual property (yard, hallway, etc.).
  • Do not rattle floors with your CD player (or anything else).
  • Do not wait for someone else to clean up a mess.
  • Do not park your car, or your visitor's car in your neighbors parking space.
  • Do not leave your clothes in the washer/dryer longer than necessary.

Be a Good Roommate

  • Ask before you use your roommate’s property.
  • Let your housemates know where you are going and when you will be back.
  • If you damage your roommate’s property, please be sure to replace it, as well as apologize.
  • Try to plan a house brunch or dinner once a month.
  • Let your housemates know if you want to have guests over and how long the visit will last.
  • Let your roommates know if you plan to have a large group of people over.
  • Make sure that he or she gets their messages and mail.
  • Work out a system for paying bills to avoid late fees. It may help to mark bill due dates on a calendar along with any other important information.
  • Clean up any messes that you or your guests make.
  • Try to make sure to clean the unit once a week or as often as necessary. It may help to make a chore wheel so that every member contributes equally.
  • Try to keep the noise level down if your roommate is studying, not feeling well or resting.
  • Even if you are good friends, this is still a business relationship, so it is important to honor your obligations in the lease.
  • Try to put agreements in writing. This may help to alleviate future problems. LTU recommends signing a Roommate Agreement before you move in together.
  • Do something nice for him or her once in a while. Remember their birthdays or other holidays, even if it’s just giving him/her a card.
  • Treat your housemate, as you would want to be treated. Put yourself in their shoes.
  • Discuss your differences calmly.  Example – Are you a morning person and your roommate a night person?
  • Do not engage in conversations with your roommate’s parents about their behavior.
  • Do not let your friends use your roommate’s possessions.

Download a blank Roommate Agreement    or pick one up at the Commuter Support Services Department in C-405.

Having Difficulties with Roommates

  • It may be best to confront the problem, when it first arises to avoid future disagreements.
  • Try to take a moment to think if this might be a difficult time for them, like midterms or finals. Things have a way of looking better after exams.
  • It may be helpful to list the issues and think about what you’re going to say before you say it. Certain words or phrases can intensify the situation and make it difficult to listen to each other.
  • Be reasonable. If your roommate forgets to do a chore, don’t get upset; chances are it won’t happen again.
  • Try not to accuse your housemate/roommate of anything. If you can, ask questions and try to talk through the difficulties. Your housemate could be feeling the same way as you.
  • Don’t discuss problems with friends. This helps to reduce rumors and side conversations.
  • If you and your roommates are having difficulty, seek the assistance of the Commuter Support Services Department.  We can offer advice, consultations, and mediations.

Adapted from HIO at the University of Michigan

Safety at Home

  • Make sure all doors have good dead bolt locks, a chain lock, and a peephole.
  • Be sure all windows have locks, for sliding doors or windows, place a wooden or metal rod between the movable pane and the opposite casing.
  • Use your locks.  Make sure you lock your doors and windows, even when you are leaving for only a few minutes, and when you are inside.
  • Be careful about who you let into your home.  Insist that visitors identify themselves before opening your door.
  • If a service person comes to your door, ask the individual to produce an ID.  If you have any doubts, ask the person to wait outside while you call their supervisor or company to confirm their identity.
  • Never tell a stranger that you are home alone.  If your mailbox is in a public area, create a fictitious roommate and list them on your mailbox.
  • If you suspect someone is in your home when you return, do not enter your residence, contact a neighbor, and contact your local police department.

Adapted from the Off-Campus Housing Office at the University of Michigan

Energy Conservation Tips

  • At night or on a dark winter day, closing draperies will help keep the cold out. On sunny days, open the draperies to let the sun shine in. This is one form of solar energy that everyone can use.
  • Reduce heating costs substantially by turning the thermostat down 5-10 degrees when going to sleep. When going away, turn the thermostat down to 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • When your refrigerator is full, it works more efficiently and you use less electricity.
  • Don't use the oven to heat your kitchen. A range is an unsafe and expensive appliance to use for space heating.
  • Check your faucets. A drop a second can waste hundreds of gallons of hot water a year and waste the energy it took to heat it.
  • If you don't need a light, turn it off. Unnecessary lighting adds unneeded heat in the summer and can add up to a sizeable expense.
  • Low-volume shower heads maintain the full force of your shower while reducing the amount of water used.
  • Drafts are a major source of energy waste. Cover windows with plastic, and insulate doors with insulation lining.
  • Fireplaces are extremely inefficient and usually take away more heat than they produce. Keep their use to a minimum.