When you are looking for off-campus housing, consider the following questions so you can be confident your new accommodation is safe and secure.

Outside The Unit

  • Are the buildings and grounds well maintained?
  • Are the entryways, sidewalks, and parking areas well lighted?
  • Are entryways visible from the street?
  • Are the residents’ names printed on the mailboxes?
  • Is the mailbox lockable and in good condition?
  • Are the lots and surrounding streets free of abandoned cars?
  • Is parking usually available close to your door?
  • Is the area well lighted at night and on weekends?
  • Are there designated visitor parking spaces?
  • Does the apartment complex provide security services (patrols, escorts)?
  • Do neighbors feel safe?
  • Is the building close to high-traffic, well-traveled areas?
  • Are shrubs cut below window levels?
  • Are tree limbs cut above window level so that you can see in and out of your home?
  • Is the unit number visible from the street?
  • Is the property near fire stations and other emergency services?
  • Are the alleys around the residence clean?

In The Unit

  • Are the exterior doors made of core wood or metal?
  • Do the doors have knob locks, chains, deadbolts, and/or peepholes?
  • Is there a security system in the building?
  • Are there a sufficient number of working smoke detectors in the living space and in hallways?
  • Are they hardwired?
  • Are there adequate emergency escape routes in the event of a fire?
  • Are there fire extinguishers?
  • Do curtains, blinds, and draperies fully cover windows?
  • Are there safe places to go in case of a tornado?
  • Does the house or complex have a high turnover of residents?

Entrance to the Unit

  • Can the main entryway be easily seen from the street, even at night?
  • Is the entrance well lighted?
  • Are there sturdy locks on all the windows?
  • Are security bars/screens provided if it is a ground-floor or basement unit?
  • Are doors to the laundry room kept locked?
  • Does the landlord have a published policy about issuing and replacing keys?
  • Does the building have a doorman or buzzer for guests and deliveries?
  • Are locks on the doors of the buildings and apartments adequately secured?
  • Is there a peephole at the door?
  • Do the front and rear doors have 180-degree peepholes?
  • Do doors have deadbolt locks?
  • If door hinge pins are outside, are they non-removable?
  • Does the door securely fit the jamb?
  • Is the strike plate securely fastened to the door jamb?
  • Is the door jamb fastened tightly?
  • Does the bolt extend sufficiently into the strike plate?
  • Are key control procedures used to ensure that locks are changed if keys are lost or not returned?
  • Do you know who has keys to your living space?
  • Do sliding glass doors have blocking cleats to prevent opening from the outside?
  • Can windows be left open for ventilation, and remain secure?
  • Are window air-conditioners secured from the inside?
  • Are door locks located so they can’t be reached through a window?
Student Housing and Meal Plan Resources

Introduction to Residence Life and Housing Housing Application Information on Meal Plans

Commuter Programs

Resource Type: Program Information

Contact Us

Commuter Programs

Ely Center B02

(202) 510-9594

(202) 651-5144

(202) 651-5651

8:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
8:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
8:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
8:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
8:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.

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