Starting the Process: Off-Campus Living

Jenn Rieskamp is the Community Liaison Specialist with Off-Campus Life at Colorado State University and Neighborhood Services at the City of Fort Collins.  Jenn can be reached by e-mail at or by calling 970-491-6707.


With the spring semester already underway, there’s a good chance that you may be wondering where your student wants to live next year, who their roommates will be and when they will need to sign their lease. One of the most frequent questions students ask Off-Campus Life is: “When should I start looking for a place to live next year?”

It’s never too early to look, but signing a lease too early can have negative impacts for your student like: being locked into a high rent, wanting to change roommates, finding problems with the residence after signing and more. We always encourage students to take time before signing a lease so that they can research and explore the Fort Collins rental scene.   Please watch this video for more information on the benefits of taking time before signing a lease.

Once your student does start the process, here are some things to consider:

  1. Visit Off-Campus Life: Off-Campus Life is always available to provide resources and information to students who are looking to live off-campus and be active participants in the Fort Collins community. Our office is located in the Lory Student Center, room 274. We are open for in-person assistance Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and are also available via email ( and phone 970-491-2248. Our office is dedicated to helping your student feel comfortable and confident when moving off-campus and supporting them once they make the move. You can also visit us online at
  2. Utilize the Off-Campus Life Student Handbook: This online handbook addresses valuable topics such as where to search for housing, budgeting, leases, roommates, utilities, safety, city codes and ordinances like unreasonable noise and nuisance gatherings, U+2 occupancy limit, snow removal and several others. They can also find helpful information on starting and stopping utilities, party registration, and tips on how to be a good neighbor.  The handbook can be found online at
  3. Attend the Housing Fair on February 5th: Off-Campus Life hosts a Housing Fair every year that allows students to talk, in-person, with landlords, Student Legal Services, apartment complexes, property managers, utilities companies, city resources, and more. This is a great time and place to start looking for somewhere to live. The fair will be held on Wednesday, February 5th in the Lory Student Center Grand Ballroom from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. There is no cost to students or family to attend the fair.
  4. Check-in with Student Legal Services: BEFORE signing a lease, we recommend that students visit Student Legal Services in the LSC, room 284. In the state of Colorado a lease becomes binding the moment your student signs it – Student Legal Services will look for any discrepancies, inconsistences and lease problems before your student signs. Appointments are free, confidential and are one-on-one consultations.
  5. Consider living on-campus: Many CSU students return to campus after their first-year. CSU Housing and Dining Services provides great opportunities for students to continue to live on campus after their first year. Find more information at the Housing and Dining Services website.

Remember, Off-Campus Life is here to help your student successfully live in the great City of Fort Collins.  Visit our office, website or check out our social media pages for more information.