- How close to the campus is the rental property?
- Is the rental property within realistic walking distance to the campus?
- What is the most direct walking route? How long should it take to walk to campus?
- Where is the closest public bus (Amtran) stop to the rental property if I need to be able to ride to the campus?
- Do I need to sign a housing lease? If yes, what is the specific time frame the lease covers?
- Do I pay monthly, by the semester or yearly for the rental property? How much? When is it due?
- Do I have to pay a security deposit? If yes, how much will it be? What exactly does it go towards or cover? Will it be refunded at the end of the rental term?
- Do I have to pay a damage deposit? If yes, how much will it be? What exactly does it cover? Will it be refunded at the end of the rental term if no damage has occurred?
- Is the rental property furnished? If yes, what exactly is provided?
- Do I pay any utility cost (heat, electricity, cable tv/internet, etc.) charges in addition to my rental fee? Which utility companies must I contact if I am responsible for having service established? (Landlords will need to inform student renter as to which utility companies are used at the rental property)
- Are roommates assigned? Do all roommates sign the lease? What if one roommate leaves early-do the others have to then pay extra?
- Are there laundry facilities on-site? If not, where is the closest public laundromat?
- Does the landlord inspect the property regularly? Is notice of inspection prior to taking place required?
- Are pets permitted? If yes, are there any restrictions? Is there an extra financial charge?
- If I am 21+ years of age, is alcohol permitted at my rental property? (Note: The legal age for alcohol consumption in Pennsylvania is 21 years of age or older.)
- If I live in off-campus housing, can I still buy a University meal plan to use in the dining hall locations on campus? [The answer is YES: contact the Office of Housing and Food Services at 814-949-5408 for additional information.
For a complete listing of off-campus housing rentals through the Central Pennsylvania Landlord Association, please visit the Altoona Student Housing site.
You may ride all Amtran busing in Blair County free of charge by showing your Penn State Altoona identification card. You should attend all New Student Orientation and Welcome Week Programming. There will be valuable information covered for you in these programs.
Tips to Consider
Make certain you receive a signed copy of the lease agreement; get any and all promises made by the landlord (for example, new locks, repairs to be made before you move in, furniture upgrades, etc.) in writing. Take photos and create a written listing of any deficiencies before moving in to prevent being charged at the end of your lease. Don’t sign the lease agreement until you are absolutely certain it is where you wish to reside; make certain you can afford the rent and any additional utility costs and are comfortable with the accommodations. Inspect the property, preferably with a witness, prior to moving in; is everything in good condition (appliances, locks, windows, etc.), were all upgrades completed as promised, is all as stated in your lease agreement, etc.? Discuss with your landlord as to which are the utility companies for your property; contact the companies and your landlord prior to arrival to make certain all are in working order.