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Advocacy and Success

Before Signing a Lease

Choosing a Location

When considering signing a lease, please consider the following:

Compare housing options. Make a list of what each apartment or house has to offer and considering all that is involved will help you choose the best housing option. Use the template to help you compare different locations.

  • Rent Payments
    • What forms of payment are acceptable for rent?
    • What are the fees for late rent payments, and when are the fees applied?
    • How much is the deposit? What portion of the deposit do I get back when I move out?
    • Is there an application fee?
    • Are there any utilities included in the rent?
    • What are the amenities, and do they cost extra?
  • Lease Term
    • When does the lease begin and end?
    • If I break a lease, what happens? Is there a fee?
    • Where do I plan to live over the Summer?
  • Subleasing
    • Does the property allow subleasing?
    • What are the policies for tenant changes?
  • Cosigning
    • Do I need a cosigner?
    • Who can I ask to be my cosigner?
  • Pets
    • Are pets allowed?
    • What are the costs and policies associated with pets?


Living off-campus means learning to budget your money to ensure that all bills are paid and that you have money for food, household essentials, gas and some social activities. Even if your parents or someone else is paying your rent, there are still things to consider for day-to-day living, so create a realistic budget and stick to it! The sample budget planner can help get you started. There is also a budgeting guide and more information about other costs associated to living off-campus below.

  • Budgeting Guides
    • Sample Budget Planner can help you determine a realistic cost of attendance
    • This budgeting guide can help you plan out your monthly expenses while living off-campus
  • Utilities

    Some off-campus housing options will include utilities in rent, however some do not. It is important that you check with your landlord to see if utilities are included. If they are not included, you may need to set up the utilities for your unit. Your landlord should be able to help you do this, but by simply providing your new address, most utility providers can determine if you are in their service area.

    Some things to consider when getting connected:

    • Know your address. Be sure to include details such as house or apartment numbers when relaying this information.
    • Be financially prepared to provide security deposits to many, or possibly all of your new utility provides. Trying to open several new accounts at once can be a costly endeavor.
    • Determine who will pay the bills. If you live with roommates, someone will have to put the utility account in their name. This person will be ultimately responsible for the account, including late or miss payments. Be sure that all bills and monthly payment responsibilities are discussed in advance.
    • Find out what is required. Many utility providers require a copy of your driver's license or even social security card in order to start a new account. You may have to sign an agreement, or contract, and complete paperwork on site.
    • Is there anyone home? Find out if new service will begin automatically, or if someone must be present to meet with a technician for connections. Are you comfortable being home alone and do you have time to meet them during their operating hours?
    • Getting connected with utility providers is a very important step when moving Off-Campus. Be sure to do your homework and make this experience as enjoyable as possible.

    Below is a list of the Utility Providers in the Clemson area:

    Water Providers:

    Electric/Power Providers:

    Other Utilities:

  • Other fees

    There are many costs associated with living off-campus than just paying rent. Some other costs to consider are listed below.

    • Application Fees
    • Holding Fees
    • Security Deposit
    • Rent
    • Utilities
    • Internet
    • Cable
    • Food
    • Parking and Transportation
    • Renters Insurance
    • Moving Expenses
    • Unforeseen Expenses


Having a car can be a huge convenience, but make sure that you factor in time for parking and then walking to class. It is also essential that you purchase a parking permit through Clemson University Parking and Transportation Services. We encourage you to view the student section of the Clemson University Parking and Transportation Services website to learn about the various details and options. Many students utilize the Park-n-RideTiger TransitCAT bus, and more.

Eating on Campus

Depending on what hours you are on campus, you may want to eat your meals on campus. The Clemson University Dinning Page lists all of the food options on campus, including dining halls, restaurants, and POD Markets. If you plan to eat on campus most days, it may be beneficial to look into a Meal Plan.

Trash and Recycling

Some housing complexes will have dumpsters for trash and areas for recycling. Check with your Landlord for the protocol for trash and recycling. Clemson Students are also able to utilize the recycling services at Kite Hill Recycling Center located on campus.

Office of Advocacy and Success
Office of Advocacy and Success | 202 Hendrix Student Center, 720 McMillan Road, Clemson, SC 29634