Off-campus Student Services

How can Off-campus Student Services help?

Off-campus Student Services provides students with guidance on how to safely live off campus, get involved in the community, be a responsible neighbor and enjoy the off-campus experience.  

Our team also works with neighbors and neighborhood associations to improve the quality of life for everyone in Albany. Students can apply to be an Off-campus Ambassador.

For routine questions or help, contact us at [email protected] or 518-442-5501

If you’re having problems with student neighbors, please call UAlbany’s Off-campus Hotline at 518-442-5888 and we'll return your call during business hours. 

We also encourage students who live off campus to sign up for the City of Albany’s text alerts


Three students smile as they walk along a downtown Albany city street.


Off-campus Housing Marketplace 

UAlbany students can use the Off-campus Housing Marketplace portal to: 

  • Explore rental listings 

  • Find roommates 

  • Post sublease ads 

  • Review renter education videos 

Note: Rental listings are not inspected, approved or supervised by UAlbany employees, and the University does not become party to matters between private landlords and tenants or prospective tenants. This service is maintained for your convenience. 


Tenant Tips

Take these steps before looking for an apartment, signing a lease or moving in: 

  • Ask to see the apartment’s Residential Occupancy Permit (ROP). An ROP is required for all rental properties in the city of Albany and shows the apartment has been inspected by the city for structural and safety requirements. If you have questions, you can contact Albany’s Department of Buildings & Regulatory Compliance at 518-434-5995

  • Get a written lease and ensure you, your apartment mates and landlord all agree on the conditions. Undergraduate students with questions about leases can contact the Student Association’s Student Legal Services team. Any student can contact the Legal Aid Society’s Albany office

  • Check on your potential landlord’s reputation. Talk to the current and/or past tenants of the apartment. Look up reviews online.

  • Know what will happen to your pre-lease deposit. If the landlord requires you to put down a deposit to hold the apartment before the lease is signed, make sure the landlord tells you in writing whether the deposit will be returned when the lease is signed or put toward the security deposit, first month’s rent, last month’s rent or another expense. 

  • Get all promised repairs in writing. If the landlord tells you something inside the apartment will be fixed before you move in, ask them to put those details in writing. 

  • Create a written agreement with your apartment mates. Document any arrangements you’ve agreed on — including how rent, utilities and other expenses will be split and paid — in the lease or another written document.

  • Complete an apartment inventory and condition report with your landlord before moving in. This document should confirm the condition of your apartment at the time you move in. Be sure it's signed and dated by the landlord and all tenants. 

  • Pay your rent by check and, if possible, get a receipt. Be sure to add what month(s) the check covers. Landlords must give tenants a written receipt for rent paid in any form other than a personal check. You may request a receipt for rent paid with a personal check.

  • Get renter's insurance to protect you and your belongings. You can either check with your parents or family members about getting a “rider” on their homeowner’s insurance, check with your car insurance provider about add-on options or call a local insurance agent to get your own renter’s insurance. 

  • Check the apartment for working smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.


Local & State Laws 

Students living off campus should be aware of the City of Albany ordinances and New York State laws.

Police may issue appearance tickets or arrest serious offenders, and violations may carry penalties such as fines and/or jail time. 

Additionally, students who violate the student code of conduct, Community Rights & Responsibilities, will be referred to the Office of Community Standards

  • Fake IDs: Buying, or trying to buy, alcohol with an altered or fake ID is a felony in New York State.

  • Noise: Albany prohibits unreasonable noise at all times but particularly between the hours of 8 p.m. and 6 a.m.

  • Open Containers: It’s illegal to possess an open alcoholic beverage container in a public place in New York State.

  • Underage drinking: People under the age of 21 may not possess or consume alcohol.


Additional Off-campus Living Guidance 

City of Albany Snow Emergencies

During major snowstorms, the City of Albany may declare a Snow Emergency — a status that changes parking rules for 24 hours at a time — so the city can clear streets.  

To receive text or email alerts on city snow emergencies, sign up with Nixle

During a Snow Emergency: 

  • Normal parking regulations are temporarily suspended. 

  • Parking is only allowed on the even side of the street for the first 24 hours.  

  • After 24 hours from the start of the snow emergency residents must move their vehicles to the odd numbered side of streets for the next 24 hours or until the emergency is declared over. 

  • Once the snow emergency is officially declared over, all normal parking rules and regulations will be in effect. 

Cars in violation will be towed and fined. If your car is towed, please call the Albany Police Department at 518-438-4000

City of Albany Heating Ordinance

In the city of Albany, landlords are required to maintain adequate heating in all habitable rooms during the cold weather months. Your apartment should be at least 65 degrees Fahrenheit. 

If your landlord is not maintaining your heating system, contact Albany’s Department of Buildings & Regulatory Compliance at 518-434-5995.

Fire Safety

Smoke detectors are required in every bedroom and within 10 feet outside the bedroom door. Never remove batteries or otherwise tamper with detectors. Your landlord must provide the smoke detectors, but you must maintain and check them regularly. 

All residences must also have carbon monoxide detectors. Tenants should not tamper with or remove a CO2 detector, or the landlord may have the right to impose a fine. 

In the city of Albany, barbecues must be at least 25 feet away from all structures and can never be used on porches or roofs. 

Keep your porch free of debris, couches, stuffed chairs, trash, mattresses or other combustible materials. 

If you have questions, contact the Albany Fire Department at 518-447-7879

Hosting Gatherings

It is your responsibility to stay in control of you and your guests. Failure to do so may result in a citation by police and/or a referral to UAlbany's student conduct system.

If you’re hosting a gathering, be sure to do the following: 

  • Keep your gatherings small, with friends you know and trust.

  • Don't allow strangers inside your home.

  • Inform your neighbors of the party before the event. 

  • Establish a contact person for the party and give their information to your neighbors, in case there is a concern. 

  • Ensure apartment exits aren’t blocked, in case of an emergency. 

  • Avoid overcrowding, which could result in a porch or building collapse. 

  • Ensure your guests use the bathroom inside, never outside. 

  • Clean up the inside and outside of your apartment after the party. 

  • Step outside regularly to monitor the noise level. 

  • Avoid excess alcohol consumption, which increases the risk of personal injury, death, sexual assault and legal problems. 

  • Call 911 in an emergency.

Off-campus Safety

Always report anything suspicious by calling 911. You can also call the Albany Police Department's non-emergency line at 518-438-4000.

Downtown Safety Tips 

  • Avoid walking alone at night. 

  • Go out with friends and come back with them. 

  • Let others know where you’re going and when you’ll be back. 

  • Keep your cell phone handy, in case you need to call 911. 

  • Be aware of your surroundings and don’t let your guard down. 

  • Avoid dark places and other areas where people can hide. 

  • Avoid large crowds. 

  • Walk on the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk, walk on the side of the road while facing oncoming traffic. 

  • Use good judgement and trust your gut instincts. 

  • Do not go into a stranger’s apartment or get into a stranger’s car. 

  • If you're drinking alcohol, rarefully monitor your intake and don’t overindulge.  

Apartment Safety Tips 

  • Close and lock all windows, doors and other points of entry whenever you leave the apartment. 

  • Don’t leave valuables out in the open. Close all first-floor blinds or drapes.  

  • If you’re moving, don’t leave valuables unattended. 

  • If you’ll be gone for an extended period (such as for a vacation or school break):

    • Ask a trusted friend or neighbor to watch your apartment.

    • Cancel all deliveries and ask the Post Office to hold your mail

    • Don’t tell people you don’t know or trust that you’re going away. 

    • Put at least one light on a timer to make it look like someone is home. 

    • Inventory your valuables by taking photos and writing down serial numbers. If possible, bring your valuables, important documents and electronics with you. 

    • Sign up for Albany Police Department’s vacation check program

    • Use security sticks in any slider windows and doors. 

Car & Bicycle Safety Tips

  • Always lock your car and take your keys with you. 

  • Close all windows and lock your trunk. 

  • Never leave your car running unattended. It’s illegal in the City of Albany. 

  • Hide your belongings in a glove compartment or trunk. 

  • Don’t leave valuables, such as electronics and credit cards, in your car. 

  • Park in well lit, busy areas. Avoid leaving your car in unattended parking lots for long periods of time. 

  • Always secure your bicycle with a lock or bring it inside. 

Tenant & Landlord Rights & Responsibilities 

Tenant Rights
  • If utilities are supplied by your landlord, heat must be supplied from October 1 through May 31. A temperature of at least 68 degrees Fahrenheit should be maintained anytime the unit is occupied during this period. 

  • If you have a written term lease, it must be written in clear, coherent language and must specify the duration of the lease, the rental amount and due dates, the conditions of occupancy, and the rights and responsibilities of both parties. 

  • Month-to-month rental agreements and holdovers from term leases may be terminated by either party with one month’s written notice. A month's notice is 30 days’ notice before the rent payment anniversary date (usually the first of the month). 

  • Most leases require tenants to pay a security deposit of one month’s rent, plus other applicable fees as allowed for in the lease. The security deposit must be returned within a reasonable time (about two weeks) after the end of the lease — unless it is needed to pay for repairs beyond normal wear and tear or for any other outstanding fees including, but not limited to, payment of unpaid rent. Tenants are entitled to a statement itemizing any amounts withheld from their security deposit. 

  • You may be able to sublet your apartment with your landlord’s permission.

  • You may have a pet if your lease permits pets. If your lease doesn’t mention pets, you should ask your landlord. Per Albany ordinance, dogs must be licensed and kept on leashes in public, and you must clean up after your dog. 

Tenant Responsibilities
  • Remember that you are living in a community with many different types of people. Respect your neighbors and do your best not to disturb them. Loud parties or music, underage drinking, and/or drinking in public can get you arrested and/or referred through the University's conduct system. 

  • If you have a lease, make sure you understand it. Talk to the landlord about your responsibilities and ask any questions you have. If you violate your landlord’s requirements, you may be evicted. 

  • You must notify the landlord immediately — and preferably in writing — if there are problems with or damage to the apartment. This includes any appliances the landlord has provided, any common areas in the building or any pest infestations. 

  • You must allow the landlord access to the apartment, as needed, so they can make inspections and repairs or show the apartment to prospective tenants. You should be given reasonable notice (usually 24 hours) of their visit. However, in an emergency, such as a broken pipe or collapsed ceiling, the landlord may enter the apartment without advance notice. 

  • Make sure you know what night to put your trash and recycling cans on the curb (no earlier than 7 p.m.) and what can be put into the city-provided recycling containers. If it’s the tenants’ responsibility to return the empty cans to the rear of the property and they fail to do so, the city may issue a fine that the tenant will have to pay. 

  • Clean your apartment and take photos before you move out to ensure you receive your security deposit back. Schedule a walkthrough of the apartment to address any issues before you leave.

Landlord Rights

A landlord may use the security deposit as reimbursement for the reasonable costs of repairs beyond normal wear and tear, cleaning or as reimbursement for any unpaid rent. 

Landlord Responsibilities
  • Landlords are responsible for maintaining common areas, unless otherwise specified in the lease (such as a reduction in the rent in exchange for the tenant sweeping, shoveling, mowing, etc.).  
  • Landlords of buildings with three or more apartments must keep the apartments and the buildings’ public area in “good repair” and clean and free of vermin, garbage or other offensive material. Landlords are required to maintain electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating and ventilating systems — as well as any appliances the landlords install, such as refrigerators and stoves — in good and safe working order. Tenants should bring complaints to the attention of the landlord. If repairs are not done, tenants should contact the City of Albany's Department of Buildings & Regulatory Compliance at 518-434-5995.

  • United States Postal regulations require landlords of buildings containing more than four apartments to provide secure mailboxes for each apartment, unless the management has arranged to distribute mail to each apartment. Landlords must keep the mailboxes and locks in good repair, unless provided by the United States Postal Service.

  • Landlords are allowed to check prospective tenants’ credit history, references and background.

  • Landlords should get all the important terms of the tenancy in writing, including in the rental application and the lease (or rental agreement). Landlords should document when and how they handle tenant complaints and repair problems, and what notice must be given to enter a tenant's apartment. 

  • Landlords should stay on top of repair and maintenance needs and make repairs when requested.

  • Landlords should assess their property's security and take reasonable steps to protect it, such as proper lights and trimmed landscaping. 

  • Landlords should respect their tenants' privacy and notify tenants whenever they plan to enter the rental unit — providing as much notice as possible, at least 24 hours or the minimum amount required by state law.   

  • Landlords should try to resolve disputes with tenants without lawyers and lawsuits. Conflicts over rent, repairs, access, noise and other issues that don’t immediately warrant an eviction should be addressed in person to see if the problem can be resolved informally. If that doesn’t work, landlords should consider mediation by a neutral third party, which is often available at little to no cost through publicly funded programs. Disputes involving money, such as unpaid rent or property damage, can be brought to small claims court. 

  • Landlords should inventory and photograph the apartment before new tenants move in. 

Joint Landlord & Tenant Responsibilities
  • Get involved in your neighborhood. Join your local neighborhood association and go to some meetings. Let them know about good and bad occurrences in your neighborhood. And sign up for their email newsletter.  

  • Report all crimes to the local police department, even if you think they won’t be able to do anything. Having accurate crime statistics will help allocate more police resources to your neighborhood, if needed.  

  • Take pride in your neighborhood. Pick up litter you come across. Do some of the small stuff, even though it isn’t really your responsibility.

  • Depending on your rental agreement, you may be required to keep the building’s common areas, lawns and sidewalks clean and safe. Albany law requires that lawns must be cut when grass height exceeds 10 inches and snow must be shoveled within 24 hours after the snow stops falling. If you don’t know whose responsibility it is to mow grass or shovel snow, talk to your landlord.