Off Campus Living

Campus Connector

Things To Consider

When moving into the neighborhoods, keep these topics in mind:

Price

Common apartment rent prices in the area are typically $500 - $800 per month per person. If you are interested in paying less money, you should consider house rentals or living further from campus. Tip - If you take the bus or light rail to Northeast Mpls or near the St. Paul campus, you can find cheaper rents but have similar commute times as some of the East Bank Neighborhoods!

Yardcare

House rentals often require tenants to do yard care. Apartment rentals do not. If required, your landlord should provide the tools (lawn mower, rake, snow shovel).

  • City ordinance requires you keep your lawn shorter than 8 inches.
  • Leaves can be put out in compostable bags by your trash container on garbage day from early April to mid November. Leaves may not be swept into the street.
  • Be a good neighbor and be sure to shovel the snow from the sidewalk in front of your house right away during/after a snowfall. They city can fine you for not shoveling after more than 1 inch of snowfall. This is one of the biggest complaints we get from neighbors about student renters.
  • Please shovel the sidewalk snow early and often! Tip: If you don’t have a snow shovel or ice chopper and you need one, contact our office for a free voucher* to use at Oak’s Hardware in SE Como to get one! (*while supplies last)
  • If you plan to be gone over break, make arrangements with a neighbor, friend or your landlord to shovel the sidewalk for you while you are gone.

Pest Issues

What should you do if you have a pest problem? Planet Natural is a great website that will help you identify and get rid of any household pest that you might have.

Bedbugs are a growing problem in rentals near the University.

Utilities

Older homes in the area often have very high gas bills in winter from heat loss through leaky windows and/or doors and high electric bills in summer for the same reason with cooling loss. Always do your research and look up past utility costs for the address you are considering with Xcel energy[link xcelenergy.com] (gas and electric). Be sure to change your HVAC filters each month to improve efficiency and ask your landlord to install a programmable thermostat if you don’t have one already. Check the weatherstripping on doors and consider wrapping your windows on the inside to help. If you need help budgeting, Xcel can set up an Averaged Monthly Payment Plan. But keep in mind, it could be a higher bill (or a credit) in your 12th month as they compare the usage to what you’ve been paying through the year.

Garbage & Recycling

Find out more about Garbage and Recycling here.

Before You Sign Guide

Check out this list of questions to think about before you sign a lease:

Before You Rent

Biker

Safety

These are urban neighborhoods and safety should always be a priority for you as a renter!

  • Lock everything, all the time.
  • Keep your front door locked even when you are home. Tell roommates to take their key or have friends text instead of leaving a door unlocked for them to come over.
  • Don’t let strangers tailgate in behind you into your apartment complex.
  • Lock your bike with a U lock, not a cable or chain lock. Bike theft is the most common theft in the University area.
  • Check out the latest crime maps for your blocks via the Police Department - Minneapolis or St. Paul. The interactive crime map for Mpls is pretty awesome, you can adjust what types of crimes (events) or the time frame or the agency level. Stay informed of what's happening where you live and socialize!

Personal Safety

  • Always plan your walking routes in advance and let your roommates know your typical route.
  • Always walk with a friend or several friends and stay in well lit areas when possible.
  • Know where the Code Blue (emergency) phones are on campus and the edges of campus that are on your route.
  • Don’t be a target. Using your phone or listening to audio with earbuds while walking distracts you from your surroundings as well as walking while intoxicated- these behaviors make you a target for robbery.
  • Make use of the 4-WALK Safe Walk Service from University Security (612-624-WALK (9255) or 4-WALK from any U phone). They walk or bike with you up to a mile to and from campus. Plan ahead and call 15 minutes in advance to request a security monitor.
  • Utilize the Gopher Chauffeur for safe rides home from 10:00 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Fire Safety Tips

  • Check your smoke detectors to be sure they are working. Don’t ever remove the battery, someone’s life may depend on it.
  • Check your carbon monoxide detector to be sure it is working.
  • Have an escape plan for each room/person. Get escape ladders to keep handy if needed for higher floor rooms.
  • Have a fire extinguisher in your unit.
  • Don’t leave candles or incense unattended.
  • Don’t smoke when you are tired or impaired.
  • Don’t ignore fire alarms, move to safety quickly and don’t try to grab any items on the way.

Excerpt from City of Minneapolis Campus Fire Safety brochure: Cooking is the leading cause of fire injuries on college campuses, closely followed by careless smoking and arson. Alcohol abuse is often a factor in campus fire fatalities. Alcohol can impair judgment and hamper evacuation efforts.

Light Rail

Parking

Talk to roommates about how many cars you will have. Most apartment complexes charge extra for parking, and houses may only have 2 spots available. Everyone else will need to park on the street. Avoid tickets or tows- don’t block the sidewalk and or your neighbor’s driveway.

Snow Emergency Parking

During winter, Minneapolis or St. Paul may declare snow emergencies after significant snowfall usually by 6:00 p.m.. Avoid being towed, and pay attention to Day 1, Day 2 or Day 3 rules. Download the app (for either city) on your mobile device to get notifications and see real time maps on where you can and can’t park. Take advantage of the Night Owl parking rate at some University ramps for low cost parking on Snow Emergency days (enter between 5:00 p.m. -12:00 a.m. and leave by 7:00 a.m.).

Street Sweeping

Every fall and spring (October and April usually), the city of Minneapolis does street cleaning through the neighborhood streets and posts small no parking signs along roadways at least 24 hours in advance.

  • Cars not moved are towed at owner’s expense (fees start at $138+). Check the map schedule for dates/days for your neighborhood in advance and avoid a tow!
Students Outside

Parties

Responsible Partying

If you're planning a party, just keep in mind that it affects the people who live near you too. Follow these steps to ensure a successful party that won't have the police at your door giving you a fine:

  • Let your neighbors know in advance that you're planning a party
  • Make sure your guests know where they should/shouldn't park
  • Ask your guests to enter and exit quietly
  • Don't serve alcohol to ANYONE under age 21
  • Make sure your house is equipped for the amount of guests you invite - in particular that it has enough bathrooms - NO PUBLIC URINATION
  • Have enough trash/recycling bins to avoid a trashy front or backyard
  • Keep the volume down - your neighbors may be sleeping
  • HAVE FUN!
  • Be sure to clean up right away that night or the next morning.

Party Crashers brochure (PDF)

For more responsible partying tips, contact us at neighbor@umn.edu.

Please keep in mind that the U of MN Code of Conduct does extend off-campus. Meaning if you receive a citation from local police, the Office for Community Standards may contact you about the situation and ask you to come in to meet with them to discuss it.

Minneapolis/St. Paul Ordinances

Social Host Ordinance

You can be charged with a misdemeanor for hosting a party/ event/gathering where people under 21 years old possess or consume alcohol, even if you did not provide the alcohol.

Social Host FAQ (PDF)

Noisy and Unruly Assembly

A noisy assembly ordinance goes into effect at 10 p.m. in residential areas. Parties or gatherings consisting of more than one person that can be heard from the street or are an annoyance can be ticketed for a misdemeanor.

MN Laws

Misdemeanors

Up to a $1,000 fine and/or 90 days in jail.

Underage Drinking

It is illegal for someone under 21 years of age to consume, purchase, attempt to purchase, or possess alcohol with the intent of consuming it.

Fake IDs

It is illegal for someone under 21 to claim that they are 21 years old or older in order to purchase alcohol.

Driving While Impaired (DWI)

It is illegal to drive, operate, or be in control of a motor vehicle if you have been drinking alcohol and have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above 0.08. You can get a DWI with a BAC under 0.08 if it is determined that alcohol caused the driving errors.

* Note! If you are under 21 and are caught driving after consuming ANY amount of alcohol, you can face criminal charges and lose your license.

Disorderly Conduct

This applies to behavior or language that is offensive, obscene, abusive, or noisy and may alarm, anger or disturb others. It applies to public and private places and includes behavior such as fighting and public urination.

Gross misdemeanors

$3,000 fine and/or one year in jail.

Providing Alcohol to Minors

It is illegal to provide alcohol to anyone under 21 years old.

Medical Amnesty

If a student calls 911 for a medical emergency (related to alcohol) for a friend, they both may be exempted from an alcohol related ticket if they cooperate with the police and are not committing any other crimes at the time. The caller must remain on the scene. If you are in any doubt about the health and safety of someone, please call 911.