Good Neighbor Program
The Good Neighbor Program is intended to help support a high quality of life for students and community members living in the communities surrounding Stockton University. A good neighbor is considerate, friendly and participates in actions that enhance life in neighborhoods and communities. While this program provides excellent guiding points to direct students towards being a good neighbor, it is ultimately up to the student to make positive choices and be considerate of the environment in which they reside. Most off-campus leases will require a 12-month commitment, therefore living off-campus is not a decision to be made without proper thought and exploration.
Being a Good Neighbor
Introduce yourself to those who live immediately next door. Wave and say hello to your neighbors, kind gestures go a long way!
If comfortable, provide neighbors with your cell phone number or discuss with them how to best contact you in the case of emergency or other non-emergency matter.
If living in an apartment, condo, or townhouse, be mindful of shared walls. If you live on the 2nd floor or above, take into consideration those living below you.
If you live in a single family residence/neighborhood, be logical about noise levels and the proximity of your neighbors.
Always be cognizant that neighbors may have alternate work schedules, young children who go to bed early, etc.
Make sure to adhere to local speed limits, traffic signage, and crosswalks.
Many neighborhoods have children who might be outside playing. Pedestrians always have the right-of-way when in a crosswalk.
Park only in front of your property, in the driveway, or in your assigned spot.
Make sure not to block access to driveways and mailboxes and always park in the proper direction.
If you do not have enough parking spaces for your unit's occupants, work with the local HOA or property owner to find a solution.
Do not assume neighbors are okay with parking in front of their homes.
Make sure your vehicles aren't parked too close to the stop signs.
Turn your music down when driving through your neighborhood.
When having guests over or when planning a party, make sure to give your neighbors a heads up. Give them your phone number to contact you should they have any concerns.
Ensure guests park in appropriate spots and are courteous of your neighbors' properties.
Be sure you understand occupancy limits so you are not in violation of city/township ordinances.
Tips when hosting parties.
If you have a yard, keep it clean of trash and debris. Check local ordinances for guidelines and regulations. A maintained property demonstrates respect for the neighborhood.
If you live in a location with a community dumpster, make sure you take the trash out regularly, not leaving it on your porch/patio.
If you have trash pick-up, do not have your trash cans/bins overflowing. Only put the cans/bins out the night before or morning of collection day and ensure they are put away the same day. Make sure to use only approved trash bins.
Moving off-campus or away from home mean you will most likely incur expenses you have not previously encountered. Most rental properties will require you to pay utilities, such as: electric, gas, cable/internet, sewer/water.
You will also be responsible for other costs you may not have before, such as: gas and auto maintenance, toiletries, cleaning supplies, and groceries.
This budget sheet will assist you in estimating and tracking your expenses.
Finding and Selecting a Roommate
Make sure you find compatible roommates that you can communicate with about your expectations as well as theirs. Ensure you discuss with potential roommates your daily habits, schedules, pet peeves, etc. Make sure you feel comfortable with each other. Choose your Roommate(s) Wisely!
- How much can you afford to pay?
- How will deposits and joint monthly bills be paid? (security and utility deposits; internet, cable, gas & electric biils, etc.)
- Will you share groceries or supply your own?
- How will you furnish the shared living spaces?
- How much privacy do you need? Do you need a private bedroom? A private bathroom?
- How would you describe what clean means to you?
- How will you handle general cleaning responsibilites? How often is it necessary to clean?
- What are your sleeping habits/patterns? Are you a night owl? A morning person?
- How do you feel about overnight guests?
- How do you feel about noise and music?
- What are your study habits? Do you need total quiet or do you prefer background noise?
- What temperature do you like the apartment/house?
- Have pets been discussed? (if permitted by landlord)
When renting together, you should keep in mind if you jointly sign a lease or other contract, you are taking on legal obligations. University resources for residential students, such as mediation and confict resolution, will not be available.
Know Your RIghts and Responsibilites
You MUST know your tenant's Rights & Responsibilites before you sign a lease with any landlord! There are certain rental bulletins, documents, and acts you can review to help yourself to be well-versed in this area. Refer to the State of New Jersey Department of Community Affairs Landlord-Tenant Information page for current information.
Keep these in mind before signing your lease:
- Read the lease in its entirety before signing anything!
- If you are unsure of anything, ask specific questions.
- If someone else will be assisting with housing payments, make sure they read the lease before you sign.
- Understand the difference between a Joint and an Individual Lease, and which one you
are required to sign.
- An individual lease means each person is only responsible for their portion of the unit lease.
- A joint lease is used with two or more people, and states joint responsibility of the rent payment and damages.
- How much is the security deposit?
- Do you have the Property Manager's/Landlord's contact information?
- Who do you call if there is a maintenance problem?