ARRIVING AT BINGHAMTON
As a new international student at Binghamton University, you are expected to arrive
at Binghamton University by January 22, 2014, the program start date on your SEVIS I-20 or DS-2019 (January 21, 2014 for exchange students).
We recommend that you bring sheets, pillow, pillow case, warm blanket and towel with you for your first few days. Additional bedding may be purchased after your arrival.
OFF CAMPUS HOUSING
Binghamton University does not offer on-campus housing for graduate students. In order to arrange off campus housing, we suggest you utilize the Binghamton University Off-Campus College Office.
If you plan to live off campus, many of you will need to depend on public transportation to travel to campus and return home. Be sure the apartment you are considering is near the bus routes that serve Binghamton University campus.
The following resources will be able to provide you with information on public transportation:Off Campus College Transport
- OCC Transport is owned and operated by students at Binghamton University. Only Binghamton students, faculty, and staff are permitted to ride OCCT buses, and your student ID is required to ride. There is no cost.
- BC Transit is the municipal public bus system that also services Binghamton University. It is free to ride with a Binghamton University ID, but you can also pay cash. Regular cash fare is $2.00 and exact change is required. Routes 05, 15, 17, 23, 47, & 57 all serve Binghamton University. All routes begin from and terminate at the Broome County Junction which is located at 81 Chenango Street in downtown Binghamton.
- Area Hotels and Motels
- If you need to arrange a reservation for a room when you arrive in Binghamton, be sure you have reserved place to stay before your arrival.
- You will also want to contact the hotel staff, to ask about the availability of bus
or taxi service to transport you to campus. All of the hotels are not on the bus route.
For some hotels you would need to travel to and from campus by taxi.
- The OCC Housing List and the OCC Housemate / Subletter List are provided to students as a service by the OCC Office. There are also several apartment complexes in the area. University employees do not inspect, approve, or supervise the premises
described, nor does the University become party to housemate/ subletter/ landlord/
tenant matters. OCC does not find housing for students.
- Binghamton Area Newspaper - Press & Sun Bulletin lists apartments that are available for rent.
- Craigslist is a centralized network of online communities, featuring free online classified
advertisements –These posts are not inspected or checked before they are posted. It
is very important to exercise caution when renting apartments on Craigslist.
- Never, under any circumstances, wire money at the request of any prospective “landlord” via Western Union, Money Gram or any other wire service. Even if they tell you to wire the funds to a friend or relative’s name “to be safe,” it’s a trap!
- Never send a scan of your passport or other ID. These thieves will use your identity to scam others.
- Be suspicious if the deal sounds too good to be true. Scammers will often list a rental
for a very low price to lure in victims. Find out how comparable listings are priced,
and if the rental comes in suspiciously low, walk away.
- Student Cultural Associations may be able to give you information about housing available in the Greater Binghamton area. It is generally up to you to find your own housing. Some associations are able to offer assistance.
Things to think about
- A lease is a contract between two parties, the landlord and the tenant. Once signed, a lease contract ensures both parties will perform the promises outlined in the lease (e.g. pay the rent, provide heating, maintain the apartment, give 30 days of notice before vacating the apartment, etc.).
- Landlords rent apartments to students as a business. Some landlords will try to take advantage of students in order to make a profit. It is important to make sure this does not happen to you.
- Items in a lease can be changed if both the landlord and tenants agree to the changes. Make sure any changes or verbal promises that are made are inputted in writing into your lease. If your landlord is not willing to put any promises in writing, it may be better to find a different apartment.
- Understand that most leases are 12 months and students are only typically in the area for 9 months. If you sign a 12 month lease, you are responsible for paying all 12 months, even if you are not physically in the apartment.
- If moving in with roommates, understand what type of lease you are entering. If you sign a joint lease, all tenants are responsible for the entire rent—not just the individual portion, even if a roommate moves out.
- Always have documentation of conversations/complaints made with your landlord. It is also important to document what you have paid to your landlord. If paying in cash, make sure to get a receipt. It may be better to pay by a personal check, so you will have documentation of when you paid and how much you paid. Before moving in, a landlord may ask you for first and last months' rent and a security deposit.
Questions to ask your landlord
- How many people can live in the apartment?
- How much is the security deposit? Is it refundable?
- Are utilities (electricity, water, heat) included?
- What are the average monthly costs for utilities?
- Is garbage included in the rent price? Will you supply the containers and recycling bins?
- Is laundry included on site? Does it cost extra?
- Are the appliances in good working condition?Will the locks be changed when I move in?
- Do you live in the area to help with maintenance issues or is there a separate maintenance person?
- Do you maintain the upkeep of the house, mowing the lawn, raking leaves, and snow removal?
- Does the apartment have a history of bed bugs?
When visiting the apartment, check to see
- Are there working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on every floor?
- Do all the windows and doors lock? · Is the apartment clean and seem well-maintained?
- Are there signs of pests or rodents? · Is there adequate water pressure in the sink and showers?
- Does it look like there are signs of leaking water?
- Do all the lights, outlets, and appliances work properly?
- Is the carpet or flooring in good condition?
- Do you have control of your heat?
Should I get renters insurance?
- It is your responsibility to ensure your belongings are safe. Things happen, such as theft, fire, loss or damage to your personal items. Therefore, you should consider purchasing renter's insurance.