Off Campus & Family Housing

Housing is not available on campus for couples with children. Students with families should contact the Housing Office to obtain a list of off-campus University recommended housing. Rent can run from US $500 to $2,500/month depending on the size, number of bedrooms, and location.

For other important information on the preparation for a family’s move to Grenada, we recommend that you contact the Significant Others Organization. This is a group of significant others residing with students that have formed a community to provide support for each other, students, and children during their stay in Grenada. You can find a lot of valuable information on their website sites http://www.sgusignificantothers.org/ and you can contact them via e-mail at soorgsgu@gmail.com.

Additional methods of finding good housing off campus are:

  • Word of Mouth: If someone has a house you like, find out when they are moving.
  • SGU Bulletin This is an online bulletin board for the SGU community that contains information such as academic and social announcements, items for sale, rental vehicles, and available properties (Visit SGU Bulletin)
  • Local Real Estate Agencies: Check the Yellow Pages. It is advisable to have any leases checked over by a local lawyer.

It is advised  that off campus housing is at a University recommended site.  A list of University recommended off-campus accommodation can be obtained from the Housing Office in Grenada. For housing lists and additional information, please contact:

Helpful Hints When Seeking Off- Campus Housing
The following qualities should ALL be considered when choosing your "home away from home":

  • Lease: It should be carefully read and possibly gone over by a local lawyer for your protection. Make sure that everything the landlord promises you is in writing in the lease.
  • Summer: If you want to retain the unit in the Fall, get an agreement in writing about rent payment and sub-lease options over the summer. Many landlords want to rent student-occupied housing to visitors during Carnival time in late July and early August. So if you don't rent over the summer, you may have to move all your stuff out of the unit for the summer.
  • Cost: Check with the Housing Office and other students for going rates.
  • Convenience: How close is it to campus, transportation, beach, shopping, other students, and so forth?
  • Water Supply: Are there reserve tanks? Check the water pressure. During the dry season, which is January through May, are you going to be out of water everyday?
  • Extra Costs: These include maid service, gardener, utilities. What kind of arrangements do the present tenants have? Who pays?
  • Phone: If the housing lacks wiring for a phone, don't plan on being able to get one quickly. Is there one nearby for people to contact you? Bring your own phone.
  • Security: Do the premises offer outside lighting, screened windows, and/or burglar bars? You should consider that you need to be able to secure the house while home. Will you be able to get enough breeze and still have the house secure? Do not plan to leave doors or unbarred, accessible windows open even when home. Consider all possible entry points for a burglar and get any access points secured before you rent. Burglaries are almost always crimes of convenience. Do not rent a home that is accessible to burglars.
  • Air Conditioning: Is there air conditioning? There are just as many apartments without air conditioning as there are with it. You need to decide if this is a necessity. Ceiling fans and standing fans may be sufficient. Some apartments have a great breeze, which can be helpful when there is no AC, but not always easy to fall asleep in. If there is no AC, make sure there are screens—this is a tropical island with lots of bugs. Be aware that running AC uses a GREAT DEAL of electricity.
  • Kitchenware: What kitchen appliances are provided? Most utensils and basic cookware come with the majority of student housing, but look at what they offer. Can you live without a microwave? Make sure the apartment includes a refrigerator and stove/oven and has sufficient food storage space. Most apartments on the island do not provide dishwashers or garbage disposals, and the size of refrigerators is small. Stoves and ovens are almost always gas, which is actually great for cooking and saves on the electric bill.
  • Appliances: These include a ceiling fan, air conditioning, washing machine and television; make sure they work. Is there a dryer on the property? If there is no dryer, is there a breezy, shaded place to hang clothes? (There are no laundry facilities for off-campus student on campus). Be aware that dryers use a GREAT DEAL of electricity
  • Bed: What kind of bed(s) is furnished? (Most Grenadian apartments have flat, hard, foam beds with boards underneath. If you know you won’t be able to sleep on these kinds of beds, look for “American beds,” and be prepared to pay extra for them.)
  • Inventory: Make a list of what is in your new home with the landlord. Both of you should sign the list to avoid conflicts when leaving at the end of your rental period. Clarify what happens if an item on the list breaks or is stolen. What will the consequence be? The cost of household items is very high in Grenada, so should find out ahead of time what you will be charged if, for example, the toaster breaks.
  • Availability of Manager: Are maintenance personnel easily contacted?
  • Hot Water: This is not necessarily a standard feature of rental units in Grenada. Note that the cold water out of the tap is about 85°F, which is quite a shock first thing in the morning.
  • Deposits: Clarify the process by which the deposit is returned. The deposit is not usually applied to the last month's rent. Landlords often wait until a tenant moves out and an inspection for damage and inventory has been conducted before returning the deposit.

Avoiding Housing Disputes: Please note that if and when disputes between students and landlords arise, SGU is limited in how involved it can be. We have no authority outside of the University, so most disputes have to be settled through a lawyer. If it is legally determined that a student owes landlord money, the honor code requires a student to pay. For this reason, please protect yourself when renting off campus:

CHECK WITH THE HOUSING OFFICE BEFORE SIGNING A LEASE.

They will know if there has been a problem with the apartment before—problems with landlord or with location in terms of crime.

Not all landlords require you to sign a lease. We strongly advise you to protect yourself with a signed lease. Without a lease, the terms of utilities and deposits can change on the landlord’s whim and you have no recourse should a disagreement arise.

If you’re living off-campus we strongly advise that you have your lease looked over by a local lawyer. Because conflicts can be so time consuming and emotionally draining, this precaution is well worth the money. When a contract is signed by a student to rent an apartment off-campus, that agreement is made between the student and the Landlord. Therefore, depending on the nature of the problem, the University must refrain from getting involved when conflict arises. The student(s) may need to seek legal assistance from a lawyer.

Some landlords ask for a deposit on the rent, but most just ask that you pay for the month before you live on the property. If a landlord asks for a deposit, get a receipt and make sure this fact is included in the lease. Make sure that it is specified in writing when your deposit will be returned to you, and what the conditions are on it being returned. The deposit is the most hotly disputed element of the housing agreement (after the fact).

Every month make sure you get a receipt for your rent indicating the time frame for which the rent applies—often there are disagreements about whether a receipt reflects payment for the month prior to or following the date indicated on the receipt.

Ask to see utility bills of former tenants before you rent, and ask to see your own utility bills as soon as possible after you start renting. Often students pay an estimated amount for several months and then are shocked when the actual bill comes following a meter reading and is several hundred dollars due in one lump sum.

When you first rent the apartment make sure you do a walk-through with the landlord and that everything in the apartment is itemized on a list and that the condition of the items is indicated. Both of you should keep a signed copy of that list. You should also ask how much you will owe if specific items are lost or broken while you are there. BEFORE you leave, you should walk through with the landlord and the same list to determine if anything is missing or damaged. Many students leave without doing the walk-though because they run out of time or it is inconvenient and then want to contest charges for items missing or broken after the fact, but they have no proof. Protect yourself and schedule a walk through before you leave.

Clarify the following with your future landlord NOW, and get it in writing:

What are your rights/financial penalties if you want to move out (for example because of noisy neighbors/animals, malfunctioning AC, break-ins, no water)?

Would you be compensated if the AC/electricity/water stops working? How?

What is the policy if you have to take a leave of absence for medical reasons or otherwise? Will you be reimbursed?

How much security deposit is required and how soon will you get it back? Most landlords require first and last month’s rent and/or a security deposit. Clarify whether the security deposit can be used as the last month’s rent. Also, if it is not used for the last month’s rent, most landlords will not return your security deposit until you leave. Clarify when and how it will be returned to you.

If you only stay part of a month do you have to pay for the whole month? At the end of a term, you may leave during the second or even first week of the month. Most landlords require payment for the whole month. Clarify this.

Do you have to pay over summer? Most landlords require you to pay over summer if you intend to keep the apartment.

Clarify the following with your future roommate NOW, and put it in writing:

How will rent be divided?

How will utilities be divided? What if one person wants the AC on all the time or wants to run the dryer all the time and the other wants to save money on electricity?

What happens if one of you gets sick or needs to take a leave of absence for some other reason? Will that person still have to pay the full rent? How about if another roommate is found? Who gets to decide if the replacement roommate is acceptable?

What happens if one person finishes their classes earlier than the other person (for example term 1 and term 4 SOM in summer). Are both parties still equally responsible for the rent?

Can you have guests? How long can they stay for? How many is acceptable?

Specify any conditions of use for any items bought by one roommate that are shared. Does that roommate expect compensation?

What are expectations in terms of noise?—TV watching/visitors/study time/bedtime.

What are expectations in terms of the cleaning load? Hiring someone to clean the apartment a couple of times a week might be the best way to resolve this issue.

Keep receipts and written records—even if you are close friends.

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