As soon as you move into your housing unit, inspect the premises with the inventory list included in the Off-Campus Housing Guide. This form should be made part of the contract you sign and is one of your best defenses in any dispute over deductions in your security deposit when you move out. Be as thorough and detailed as possible. Check the obvious (i.e., conditions of walls, furnishings, fixtures, appliances, condition of floors and ceilings, etc.) along with the subtle aspects (i.e., light bulbs, appliances, number of ice trays, nail holes or mars in the walls, electrical outlets, etc.). Note what is acceptable, as well as problem areas. When repairs are needed, be sure to have the manager or owner sign a statement describing the nature of the repairs. A few photos showing the apartment when you take possession may be beneficial when you are ready to move out. Always keep a copy of the list after it is signed by you and the apartment manager. Before you unpack, check carefully for roaches, ants, or signs of rodents. If your landlord is responsible for extermination, make sure the premises have been treated recently. It is safer and more effective to spray for roaches and ants before you put belongings in cabinets and storage areas.
Arrange for utilities. Be sure you understand which utilities and services are needed for your unit.
Notify them in writing of your change of address. You may pick up a card at your home post office or one nearest you in Waco.
REMEMBER: The first month in an apartment will be expensive. It is important to realize this and plan for the additional money required to get started. Based on estimates for installation charges and deposits for telephone and utilities, plus rent and initial groceries, this may amount to over $750. Since this is also the time you are likely to pay for tuition and books, plan carefully.
Your belongings as a tenant are not protected from theft, fire, or water damage under the owner's insurance. You may be covered under your parents' homeowner's policy even though you are living "off the premises." Check to determine if any limits are imposed by the policy. A basic tenant's insurance policy, that will protect you against the loss of the contents of your dwelling resulting from fire, theft, or water damage, can be purchased from most major insurance companies.