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An Unofficial Guide to Renting

Student working on laptop in their room
Housing and Residence, campus housing, photo Patrick Sweeney

If you’re a new renter in Boise, we’ve got you. Being a responsible renter not only helps you maintain a good relationship with your landlord, but also ensures a pleasant and comfortable living experience for yourself and your neighbors. Is “neighbors” a pun for “Broncos nextdoor”…Neigh-bors?. Get it? Neigh, like a Bronco?

Anyway, here are some tips on how to be a good renter in Boise and resources available to you:

Understand your lease agreement

Before signing a lease agreement, make sure you understand all the terms and conditions. Your lease may seem like a boring legal document, (which it is) but it has some serious obligations attached. Read the lease carefully, ask questions if anything is unclear, and ensure you know your rights and responsibilities as a tenant. You can even set up an appointment with on-campus Legal Assistance if you need to be pointed in the right direction. It’s essential to know your rights as a tenant in Boise. Familiarize yourself with the Idaho Landlord and Tenant Guidelines, which outlines the rights and responsibilities of both tenants and landlords.

Pay rent on time

One of the most important things you can do as a renter is to pay your rent on time.

Like, for real. Make sure you understand the rent due date and the preferred payment method. Late rent payments could result in late fees or even eviction. If you’re struggling to make your rent payments, talk to your landlord or property manager and explore options, like setting up a payment plan. Idaho Housing and Finance Association and Boise City Housing offer a range of resources and assistance for renters, including information on affordable housing, tenant rights, and rental assistance programs.

Take care of your rental unit

This includes reporting any maintenance issues, keeping the unit clean and in good condition, and not causing any damage. Keeping your rental unit clean is not only important for your health and well-being, but also for maintaining a good relationship with your landlord. Keep the unit free of clutter, dispose of trash and recycling properly, and report any maintenance issues or damages as soon as possible. Treat the place like your security deposit depends on it (cus it probably does).

Respect your “neigh-bors” (I’m really leaning into this pun)

Being respectful of your neighbors is essential to maintaining a good living experience for everyone. Keep noise levels down during quiet hours, follow parking rules, and be mindful of shared spaces like laundry rooms and outdoor areas. We’re not saying bake them all cookies, but try to be the neighbors you wish you had.

Get renters insurance

Renters insurance is an affordable way to protect your personal belongings in the event of theft, fire, flood, or a stray asteroid plummeting to Earth. It’s important to understand that your landlord’s insurance only covers the building, and not your personal belongings. Renters insurance is also required by some landlords, so check your lease agreement to see if it’s mandatory. The University works with a 3rd party vendor, Grad Guard, to provide affordable options to students.

Get involved in the community

Boise State and the surrounding community is vibrant and active, so getting involved is a great way to meet new people and explore the city. Look for community events, volunteer opportunities, or join a local group or organization that aligns with your interests. Many of the clubs and organizations on campus can help you get started.

If you’re interested in what options exist off-campus, come by the Off-Campus Housing Fair on March 13, 2024 in the Atrium of the Student Union Building.