I wanted to title this “How to Live in an Off-Campus Apartment Without Getting Evicted, Harassed or Jacked Out of Your Security Deposit,” but that title is way too long, and does not do justice to the advice I’m also giving you about the more nuanced aspects of off-campus living, like procuring free furniture and how to, say, avoid kitchen fires. I lived off-campus in the bucolic college town of Amherst, Massachusetts, where I witnessed off-campus houses that varied from beautiful collective Victorians adjacent to farmland to totally nasty hovels that literally got condemned literally mid-semester. It helps that I am now a full-time home improvement writer and editor, so you can trust me: I’ve been there, and now it’s my life’s work to educate the American public about the finer points of dwelling. I’m going to take you through off-campus apartment living, step by step:
To put it bluntly, I’ve seen students live in some pretty decrepit apartments. While financial necessity may force you into a place that is substandard, there are certain things you should not compromise on. If any of the following is broken or missing, be sure that you notate it in writing on the lease so that you do not get charged for pre-existing damages when you move out. I suggest that if any of the following are problematic, you get an agreement in writing from the landlord stating that he will rectify the problem before you move in:
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