August 2016 Edition

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Living off campus: office of neighborhood life

It has been a great year here at Georgetown University. You and your child have played a critical role in our success.  It is now time for your child to consider where s/he will live this fall semester.  With the myriad of changes to many of the residence halls and recreational spaces on campus, we encourage all students to consider living in our on-campus community. However, for those who choose to live off campus, there are a number of things to consider.

  • Don’t judge a book by its cover: Houses may look good on the outside, but this doesn’t tell the whole story. Take some time to do your research on the property. Go in. Take a look. Shop around. There are many places to rent in and around the Georgetown community. To begin your housing search, please visit our off-campus housing site at You may also find information about your landlord and property at
  • Don’t rush to sign your lease: Landlords may emphasize the urgency to sign a lease, and maybe there is, but before signing any lease, be sure to read through in its entirety and understand all the clauses. Remember, signing a lease means that you agree to abide by everything included. If you are unsure about something, ask someone who can help.  The Office of Neighborhood Life is happy to answer some basic questions and for more in-depth, legal questions, we can get you connected to an advocate at the Office of the Tenant Advocate in DC! To help educate students about leases, the Office of the Tenant Advocate (OTA) holds a “Lease 101” program on campus in the fall.
  • You have rights as a tenant: Always remember that as a tenant in D.C., you have rights, too. In order to safeguard yourself, be sure to do a walk-through of your property with your landlord and document all property conditions; report all issues in a timely manner; keep the property in good condition throughout the year, and leave the property in good condition prior to moving out. If you feel your property doesn’t meet safety standards, the DC Department of Consumer and regulatory Affairs (DCRA) can come into your property and do an inspection – free of charge.  Additionally, all landlords should have a Basic Business License (BBL) which ensures the property meets the minimum health and safety standards required by DC law.  You can find information about whether or not your property has a BBL at
  • Be aware of University policies:  University policies, primarily noise and trash, vary greatly off campus, so please be aware of your responsibilities while living off campus. For more information on off-campus policies, please visit and look for the “Hoya Living Guide”.  It’s full of great information about university policies, city laws and helpful hints to living off campus.

In the end, we’re here to help.  Come visit us or connect with us online:

Office of Neighborhood Life

1300 36th Street, NW (corner of 36th and N Streets)

(202) 687-5138 /

Facebook: @GUNeighborhoodlife / Twitter: @GUNeighborhood