Off-Campus Students

Resources and information for those living in or near the Berea community.


living off-campus for 2023-24? check this out:

  • Life and Expectations Off-Campus

    Benefits and Responsibilities of living off-campus

    Moving off-campus can be an adventure. Living away from residence halls entails many new benefits, challenges and responsibilities. If you like privacy, independence and the chance to pick your own roommates then living off campus may be the right choice for you! However, living off campus also comes with increased responsibilities such as paying for rent and utilities. We hope the information that we are sharing will help as you go through the process of finding your own place off-campus!

    BW Expectations

    BW students living off-campus have the opportunity to live more independently with increased rights and responsibility as a student, tenants and community member. For many students this is their first time living in an independent environment within a residential community. Students’ understanding of their rights and responsibilities in this regard may be a foreign concept. However, students must remember that they are no longer living in housing provided exclusively for students, but rather a broader community with a wide variety of residents. The neighborhoods are home to families, young professionals, retired couples and other types of neighbors. BW students need to keep these neighbors and their rights in mind while they are living off-campus. While attending BW, students are representing the University and have the responsibility to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with The Student Code.


    BW Student Code:

  • Moving In & Out

    Moving In


    Contact utility companies several weeks before you move in to ensure phone, cable, internet and electric will be turned on for your arrival date. If not, it may take several days before utility services are available in your rental. See Renting Requirements for more on Utilities.

    Security Deposits

    You should receive a receipt for whatever deposits are paid. Getting a deposit back will be much easier if you keep your canceled check or receipt. Try to never pay in cash, it is harder to trace payments.

    If your landlord requires a deposit, which almost all do, he or she must give you a summary statement of all damages initially existing in your apartment, including all housing code violations. You must then review the list, include any additional discrepancies, sign it, and return the list to your landlord . Your landlord cannot ask for more than two months worth of rent for your security deposit per the Connecticut Housing Law. See Leasing Information for more on Security Deposits.

    Property Inspection

    Before you move into your rental, inspect it and record anything that is in need of repair, damaged, or hazardous with a check-in form. If you find something wrong with the rental and it is not on the check-in form, make a note of it. Ideally, your property manager should be present when you inspect the property. After the inspection is completed, ask your property manager to sign the checklist to ensure that you both agree to the outcome of the inspection. If the property manager is not available for move in, send them a copy of your findings. Furthermore, be sure you and your property manager are in agreement as to how the problems will be fixed. How these problems will be fixed should be listed in your lease.

    Take video or photos during the inspection of your rental. The key is to take time-stamped pictures of everything. Take the same precautions when you move out of your rental to help prove your case regarding the condition you left your place in if it is challenged by your property manager. If you do not hear from your property manager within 30 days after you have moved out of the rental and have provided a forwarding address, (or if you gave a late notice of forwarding address, 15 days after you gave the address), or if you believe your security deposit is being unfairly withheld, email

    If you have questions regarding the health and safety of your property, contact the local Housing Authority through the Town Hall.

    To report a complaint or concern about a public health nuisance or suspected Code violation, you can contact:

    Cuyahoga County Board of Health

    5550 Venture Drive, Parma, OH 44130

    Phone: (216) 201-2000

    Moving Out

    Remember to disconnect utilities when you move out.

    If you are moving out of your rental, read about how to get your security deposit back and who to call about your utilities. Ensure that you schedule a final walk-through with your landlord and go over any and all possible damages.

    Before your final walk-through with your Property Manager/Landlord:

    • Clean, clean, clean - make sure all trash is removed including in cupboards and refrigerator. Wipe down every room including the common area, bathroom(s), and your personal area. The cleaner the place, the easier the final inspections should be.
    • Address all damages. Do not hide a damage that might become a dispute later when you are already gone. If you know of a damage, address it in person and see what your options are.
    • Have all copies of all keys ready to be returned.
    • Talk to your roommates. It is easier if you are all leaving at the same day/time. If someone is moving out later, be sure they are keeping the place clean and ready for inspections.
    • Try to leave on good terms because you might use them as a reference for future rental applications.

    Take notes, pictures and if possible, a video. If there is a disagreement, talk to your landlord about how to best address the issue and refer back to any move in photos or documentation that you might have. It is important to go over everything with your landlord before handing in your keys. If your landlord does not offer this as an option, see if you can do a video walk-through with them or have one of their team members meet with you to review everything.

    Make sure to provide your landlord with your forwarding address. Your lease should have all of the information you need regarding moving out dates and expectations.

  • Roommates & Pets


    Several issues should be considered when deciding who would make a good roommate. Even if you know someone well and you feel that you get along, it doesn’t guarantee that you will live together problem free. The issue isn’t whether or not you will have differences of opinion, but how you handle and resolve the disagreements that will determine your satisfaction in living together. Here are a few compatibility expectations to consider when selecting a roommate:

    • Cleanliness/Housekeeping
    • Privacy
    • Guest Policies
    • Parties
    • Sharing Belongings
    • Paying Bills

    The key to making your roommate experience work is based on communication and the respect you show one another. If you’re not talking or not respecting each other, then you are bound to have problems which will make your off-campus experience difficult.

    A roommate agreement is a great tool to use after deciding who to live with in your apartment or house. The roommate agreement can assist with determining house rules, financial responsibilities, and establish expectations for creating a successful living environment. It may also help resolve informal issues or legal issues if they arise.


    A landlord can prohibit all pets from the property, or allow some and exclude others. The only situation where the landlord cannot prohibit pets or require additional deposits is for assistance animals to help a person with a disability, such as seeing-eye dogs for the visually impaired and assistance/companion animals for mental health consumers. In all other situations, a landlord can either exclude pets or require a pet deposit to cover any additional damage caused by pets.

    Many landlords who allow pets will charge "pet rent" or a "pet deposit". Make sure that you understand what you are paying for, and whether or not the fee will be refundable at the end of the lease. Most pet rent and pet deposit charges are enforceable. If the pet deposit is non-refundable, you may have a claim that it should be treated like the rest of your security deposit and returned to you as long as there is no damage done to the apartment beyond reasonable wear and tear.

    Any "material", or serious, violation of a lease or rental agreement may be grounds for eviction. If your lease prohibits pets, your landlord may be able to evict you if you have a pet on the property.

    Tenants with pets or assistance animals have many responsibilities:

    • You must make sure that your pets are clean, adequately fed and watered, taken to the vet regularly and properly immunized.
    • You may be required to purchase a license for your pet.
    • You must clean up after your pet - waste tends to attract rats and other pests.
    • Do not allow your pet to disturb your neighbors by barking or running loose. It is your responsibility to keep your pet under control.

    Find out if you need insurance for your dog. Owners of many dog breeds that have been deemed dangerous may be required to maintain liability insurance, even if the pet owner has never had a problem with his/her dog. Failure to maintain the proper insurance for your pet may mean that it could be put down.

    If you are aware that your dog is risky (it has bitten or attacked someone in the past), you may be liable civilly and/or criminally if your dog attacks anyone again.

    Remember, if you do not control your pet, you may be liable for fines, court costs, and any injuries inflicted by your pet.

    You will also be responsible for any damage done to your apartment beyond reasonable wear and tear.

    Pets are a lot of responsibility! If you ever find that you are no longer able to take care of your pets, DO NOT ABANDON YOUR PET! Contact the local animal shelters to help them find new homes!

    Berea Animal Rescue Fund

    10015 E River Rd

    Columbia Station, OH 44028


    Phone: (440) 234-2034

  • Leaving for while?

    Your checklist for taking an extended break from your rental:

    • Remove ALL trash
    • Clean out perishable items from your fridge & countertops
    • Close curtains and have all windows and doors locked
    • Move beds, couches and other flammable objects away from heat sources
    • Unplug electronics - save a few bucks on your next bill!
    • Take your valuables with you
    • Set your thermostat to a temperature no lower than 55 degrees, or speak with your landlord about an appropriate temperature. Pipes can freeze if they are too cold!
    • Plan ahead for your precious pets and plants!
    • Remove laundry from the washer/dryer
    • Remove dishes from sink or dishwasherLet your landlord or property manager know you are leaving so they can check on the property or make repairs while you are away.
    • Let your landlord or property manager know you are leaving so they can check on the property or make repairs while you are away.
  • Health & Safety

    Once you've selected a place to live off-campus, take a few minutes to review the following suggestions that will help you keep your apartment secure. Off-campus safety is based on common sense and personal responsibility. If you are sharing a rental with other people, it is important that everyone has an equal role in making sure that the rental is secured when a roommate leaves for class, heads home for the weekend, spends a night out with friends, or leaves for work.

    Find more information and Safety Tips at:

    Fire Safety U.S. Fire Administration’s Website:

    Campus Safety:

    Inside the Rental

    • Leave a light on when you are gone, or purchase a utility timer that can turn lights off and on automatically.
    • Test smoke detectors every month.
    • Purchase renter's insurance. It is not that expensive and may save you money if there is an accident or a burglary.
    • Keep emergency numbers in an accessible location for all of the tenants.
    • Know your roommates' security habits. You are only as safe as your roommates allow you to be.


    • Always keep doors and windows locked.
    • Ask to see company ID when utility or service people come to your door.
    • Use a peephole to determine who is knocking before you open the door. If you are still not sure who is there, question the stranger through the door.
    • If necessary, get a security system.
    • Keep the blinds or drapes closed when you are gone.
    • If you lose your keys, work with the landlord to replace your locks immediately.
    • Don't put ID tags on your key ring.

    Outside the Rental

    • Have someone check on your place when you are out of town, and have the post office hold your mail. If you subscribe to newspapers, hold those as well.
    • Get to know the area in which your rental is located.
    • Do not walk alone after dark. Contact a friend who can take you where you need to go.
    • Get to know someone in the immediate vicinity who you can call in case of an emergency.
    • Never leave your key outside under a mat or in a place accessible to a stranger.
    • Never leave notes on your door or messages on your answering machine that indicate that you are away.
  • Students in Need

    Food Resources Near Berea

    Food Pantry

    535 Wyleswood Drive

    Berea, OH 44017


    The pantry is open every Thursday from 11:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. They provide individuals and families in need with food, toiletries and household goods once every month. Please contact them via phone or email for eligibility details and an application.

    Campus Plate

    Legal Aid Society of Cleveland

    Students who need legal support may find support via the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland. *Note: this is an additional resource that students may use but the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland is not endorsed or affiliated with BWU or the Office of Residence Life and Housing.

  • FAQs

    What is the difference between on-campus and off-campus housing?

    The difference is that the University owns and manages on campus housing. All of this is done through Residential Life. Off-Campus housing consists of rentals that surround the University and are owned and operated by independent landlords or property management companies.

    When am I eligible to live off-campus?

    • Beginning in Fall 2023 all entering students are required to live on campus for three years unless they receive a valid exemption from the Office of Residence Life. Baldwin Wallace University considers the on-campus living experience an integral and necessary part of the total education of its students. The Residency Requirement has been developed with great consideration. Research has shown that students who live in residence halls build closer relationships with faculty, staff and their peers; become more involved; and are generally more satisfied with their overall university experience.

    Can I still live off-campus if I don’t have a car?

    Yes. There are many rental homes and apartments that are located within walking distance that are available.

    Where should I start looking for off-campus housing?

    There are some helpful resources such as a list of known rental properties in the Off-Campus Student Documents tab below. Additionally, contacting current off-campus students is also helpful as they may have different insights. Also, you may consider online sites such as or


    Off-Campus Student Documents

P: 440-826-2114

Residence Life and Housing

275 Eastland Rd.
Berea, OH, 44017
United States