Published: May 29, 2023

Are you moving into a new home or apartment off campus? Here are some key tips for a successful move from Off-Campus Housing & Neighborhood Relations (OCHNR)

Get legal advice

Leases are complicated legal documents that can be difficult to navigate. It is important to read your lease closely and understand the details of what you have signed. It is always a good idea to have it reviewed by an expert to understand your responsibilities and rights as a tenant. 

Sign up for a lease review with OCHNR’s lawyer Bruce Sarbaugh, who can help you understand your lease and note any important terms that you may have missed. Student Legal Services (SLS) also provides free lease reviews. SLS can be reached by visiting UMC 311 or calling 303-492-6813.

Follow this move-in checklist

Fill out an apartment condition sheet
When you move into a new apartment, make sure you complete an apartment condition sheet. Your landlord should provide you with this form, but if not, you can use our check-in/check-out sheet. Complete this and take photos before you move in to document the condition of the apartment. This is the best way to get your security deposit back when it’s time to move out and prove you didn't cause any pre-existing damage.

Set up utilities
Check with your landlord and review your lease to see what utilities you are responsible for. This includes things like electricity, water, trash, cable and internet. Some of these utilities may need to be in your name while you are living at the property. If you plan on living with roommates, decide who will pay for which utilities and how the costs will be divided.

Consider purchasing renters insurance
Renters insurance helps protect your belongings and your residence if property is damaged. Plus, it is not expensive. It can be as low as $10 a month and save you money in the long run. If you do purchase renters insurance, take a quick video of your apartment once you are moved in. Open all of your closets, draws, cabinets, etc. to document their condition. This way you have a file ready to go if something does happen and you need to file a claim with your insurance. 

Check in with your landlord
Once the above steps are complete, ask about any additional check-in steps. Some landlords may have documents you need to turn in by a certain day or may need to see proof that you have set up your utilities. Check your lease or with your landlord to understand what you need to do to correctly check in to your new residence. This can include things like setting up renters insurance and turning in check-in sheets. Be aware of any deadlines that your landlord sets to complete these tasks.

Be a good roommate and neighbor

Complete a roommate agreement.
By completing a roommate agreement, you can avoid several common disputes. Consider using the sample roommate agreement form provided by OCHNR, which all roommates should work together to fill out and sign. It covers things like quiet times, pets, parties and overnight guests. 

Know city ordinances
Be aware of city ordinances when you move to a residence in Boulder in order to avoid getting tickets and large fines. One ordinance to be aware of is Boulder’s noise ordinance, where you could be ticketed for unreasonable noise at any time of day. You may also want to go over city ordinances with your roommates before signing a roommate agreement, as you can be fined for something a roommate or guest does while at your home.

Introduce yourself to your neighbors
Download and fill out these contact cards from OCHNR to share with your neighbors or stop by their office in UMC 313 to pick up hard copies. This is a great way to get to know your neighbors and be a part of the community. 

Register your party
Avoid an expensive noise ticket by registering your party with OCHNR. Once you’ve registered, the police will call you with a warning if they receive a noise complaint and you will have 20 minutes to shut things down. Regardless of party registration, you are still responsible for obeying city laws. Students must take an in-person orientation before using the party registration program. Visit UMC 313 or email OCHNR at to learn more.