Living in safe, stable, and affordable housing is important to your success as a Ball State student and your overall health and well-being.  Choosing the right place to live can be overwhelming.  This guide has been developed to help you understand your housing options and aid in your transition to living off campus.

This guide is being provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or as Ball State University endorsing any specific off campus housing option or arrangement. Please contact Student Legal Services or your own counsel if you have questions or concerns about your off campus housing situation.

Is Living Off Campus Right For Me?

There are many factors to take into consideration when deciding to move off campus, including cost, safety, comfort, social engagement, and available support. We know that living in one of our residence halls or University Apartments has great value, providing convenience, a supportive environment, and a variety of services.  Our goal is to make you feel at home.  To learn more about living on campus after your first year please visit Housing and Residence Life.

If you decide to live off campus, we encourage you to make informed decisions about where you live.  The City of Muncie provides tenants with information regarding their rights and resources through The Renter’s Book.

Off Campus Quality Housing Initiative

The Ball State Off Campus Quality Housing Initiative is a program connecting landlords/property management companies and students at the University considering off campus living.

This initiative is a self-certification program allowing landlords/property management companies to be listed on the Off Campus Living website managed by Ball State University. By participating in this program, landlords/property management companies agree to certain criteria regarding the maintenance and upkeep of their properties being rented to Ball State students.  For complete terms of the acknowledgement that landlords/property management companies must sign to participate in the program, please see the listing requirements HERE.

By being identified as an off campus housing option for Ball State students, Ball State is in no way endorsing or approving a landlord/property manager, its properties, or its business practices. All prospective tenants are encouraged to exercise their own good judgment when evaluating a prospective rental unit or landlord and use trusted resources such as the Better Business Bureau and Ball State University's Student Legal Services.

2023 - 2024 Participants 


Owners: Ali & Zachary Starkey
Website: n/a
Phone: 765-729-5004
Building Type(s): Apartment, House, Duplex

Owner: Kyle Tamkin
Website: n/a
Phone: 818-292-6315
Building Type(s): House

Company: Castle Rentals
Phone: 765-810-2805
Building Type(s): House

Company: ENJ Properties LLC
Website: n/a
Phone: 765-532-2843
Building Type(s): House, Duplex, Triplex

Company: F.G. Properties LLC
Website: n/a
Phone: 317-468-5075
Building Type(s): House

Company: Gold Key Solutions
Phone: 765-642-5059
Building Type(s): House, Duplex, Triplex

Company: JBranch Properties LLC
Website: n/a
Phone: 765-748-1316
Building Type(s): House

Company: LIO Properties
Phone: 765-722-2077
Building Type(s): House, Duplex

Company: Muncie Management LLC
Phone: 765-768-3224
Building Type(s): Apartment, House, Duplex

Company: My BSU Houses
Phone: 260-414-7281
Building Type(s): House

Company: Orchard Apartments / BK Management
Phone: 765-637-0208
Building Type(s): Apartment, House, Duplex, Triplex

Company: Silvertree Communities
Phone: 765-254-9861
Building Type(s): Apartment

Company: TayCorp Properties
Phone: 765-281-0049
Building Type(s): Apartment

Company: The Right Location - Matt Tucco
Phone: 317-696-5508
Building Type(s): Apartment

Company: Village Promenade
Phone: 765-295-7898
Building Type(s): Apartment

Company: Z Best Rentals
Phone: 765-744-5690
Building Type(s): House

For questions regarding this initiative, please contact the Office of the Dean of Students by e-mail at

  • When you and the landlord first tour your prospective apartment or house, carefully inspect the condition of the premises. Test appliances such as refrigerator, range, water heater, air conditioner, disposal, dishwasher, washer/dryer, and microwave oven. Check the furnace or other heating system and also the electrical and plumbing systems. Test the lights, faucets, shower, and toilet; see if the windows will open and if they have screens. Inspect the closets, attic, garage, and check the basement for signs of flooding. Examine the furnishings and determine which will remain.

  • Be aware of renting apartments or homes that show signs of age or neglect. Poor maintenance may mean that the premises contain hidden defects as well. Be sure to ask your prospective landlord questions regarding the maintenance of their property.

  • A good consumer practice is to compare the rental's cost to the cost of renting an equivalent apartment in the same neighborhood. 

  • Determine the utility costs, especially for heating and cooling, which can be the biggest hidden costs in renting. Check with the utility companies or ask the landlord for copies of previous bills.

  • Also, determine the method of metering the utility consumption; separate metering for each individual apartment is preferable. For older houses converted into several apartments, determine whether there are separate heating and water heating systems for each rental unit, which ensures that you will be paying only for gas and electricity used by the tenants in your unit. If utilities are not separately metered, make sure you will be able to verify how your utility charges will be calculated and that you will be paying only for your own actual consumption.

  • You may wish to ask the current tenants about their experience with the apartment or home. Have they experienced any maintenance problems?  What have their monthly utilities been?  How has their relationship been with their landlord in regards to maintenance requests or support?
  • Even though many landlords may want you to sign pre-printed lease forms in which they have filled in the blanks for ease of use, remember this: all leases are negotiable to a certain extent. A lease is printed on paper, not carved in stone!

  • Your lease should be an accurate reflection of the terms actually agreed upon by you and the landlord. Work with your landlord to strike out any clauses in the pre-printed lease which do not apply or which are in conflict with your oral agreement. If the pre-printed lease does not satisfactorily address a particular term which you and the landlord have negotiated, write a clarification on the back or in the margins. Usually, no formal legal language is required-just make sure that the meaning of the new clause is clear. It is recommended that all parties initial next to any changes to the lease.

  • Before signing, obtain a copy of the lease to take home for review by you, a lawyer, your parents/guardian, or other people you trust. You may wish to avoid renting from landlords who refuse as they may be concealing unfair provisions. Student Legal Services is available to review your lease before you sign it.
  • Read the entire lease carefully. Ask questions of your landlord, but remember that the written language means what it says. You may wish to avoid leases which have unreasonable or intrusive restrictions on your use of the premises-e.g. "no overnight guests allowed, no alcohol on premises." Also, do not sign lengthy, rambling, incoherent leases.

  • Don't allow yourself to be intimidated into signing an unfair lease or one that contains blanks. Remember, you will literally have to live with whatever agreement you make.

  • Subleasing. This is allowed by law unless it is prohibited by the lease; most do contain language such as: "subleasing is prohibited without Landlord's consent." If so, you may want to request that this clause be added: "Landlord may not unreasonably withhold consent." The right to sublease is especially important if you will not be living in the apartment or home during the summer months or if you intend to move out early.

  • Maintenance. It is essential that your lease contain language to this effect: "Landlord is responsible for maintaining the premises and its interior and exterior structures, utility systems, appliances, and furnishings at Landlord's own expense." A clause that reads "Tenant is responsible for maintenance" would mean that if the furnace breaks down in the dead of winter, you would have to pay for repairs. Landlords are required by local Housing Codes and the "implied warranty of habitability" to meet certain minimum standards of health, safety, and fire safety.
  • Attorney's Fees. Many leases state that the landlord may recover attorney's fees in the event of a breach (a breach is a failure to fulfill the contract) by the tenant. To be fair, a lease should give tenants a reciprocal right to collect attorney's fees if the landlord breaches.

  • Rent. The rent and any late fees should be fair and reasonable. The lease should specify the amount of rent (e.g. $700 per person per month); when and where rent is to be paid; and any other special terms such as reduced summer rent. Do not agree to give your landlord postdated checks for rent.

    Although some leases will require you to pay a security deposit and perhaps a first month’s rent at the time of signing, it is preferable to only sign a lease that requires a security deposit. If you do sign a lease that requires last month’s rent at time of signing, it is suggested that you make sure that your lease states that the last month’s rent will not be charged at the end of your tenancy, to make up for the last month’s rent paid upfront. 

    Many leases state that the tenants are "jointly and severally" liable for payment of rent, meaning that each individual tenant can be held responsible for payment of the entire rent, and not just the tenant's one-half or one-third share.  A Roommates’ Agreement executed between roommates is suggested to assist in this process.

  • Term. The lease should specify the exact beginning and ending dates (unless it is a month-to-month lease). Don't sign a lease that begins in May if you're not moving in until August-you are responsible for the security of the apartment or home during that time.

  • Grounds and Furnishings. Make sure the lease specifies whether you will have use of the garage, yard, basement, attic, or storage rooms. Also, if you are renting the apartment or home furnished, the lease should indicate that. The lease should also list as many off-street parking spaces are available to the tenants and if there are any associated costs. 

  • Utilities. The lease should specify which utilities are paid by the landlord, and which by the tenant. If utilities are to be in the landlord's name and they will be billing you for your share, the lease should state when payment is due, how the bill will be calculated, and that the tenant is entitled to have a copy of the original bill and the calculations. If the landlord guarantees that utilities will not exceed a certain amount, the written lease should so state.

  • Improvements. If the landlord promises to repaint, re-carpet, repair, or redecorate, make sure these are written into the lease in very specific terms. The lease should also specify that any such renovations will be completed by the move in date. Get these and all other oral promises in writing, since it can be difficult to prove or enforce an oral agreement later. 

  • Deposits. The security/damage deposit should not exceed the equivalent of one month's rent. Avoid automatic deductions for cleaning, carpet cleaning, or repainting, especially where the deduction is unreasonably high. State law requires that the security deposit along with a written itemization of any deductions must be sent to the tenant within 45 days of termination. Lease language is void if in conflict with this law, except that the refund period may be shorter (usually 30 days).

  • Entry Into Your Apartment or Home. As a tenant, you have the exclusive use and possession of your apartment or home during the term of your lease, just as if it were your very own home. The landlord has no right to enter the apartment or home except:

(1) In case of an emergency such as a fire or flood;

(2) If the tenant gives permission; or

(3) If the lease so authorizes.

Any lease language giving the landlord a right of entry should be reasonably limited, requiring the tenant's advance consent (i.e. the landlord makes an appointment with you) or at least "reasonable advance notice" to the tenant. An authorized entry by the landlord must be for a legitimate purpose, such as to perform requested repairs, perform a monthly inspection, or to show the premises to prospective tenants at the end of the term.

  • First, make sure you have read and understood all provisions of your lease and discussed them with your landlord. Before you sign, make sure there are at least two duplicate originals of the lease available so that both sides will get a copy of the final version at the time of signing. Do not sign unless you know you will be receiving a complete copy with the landlord's signature at that very time. Do not accept a promise to "mail you a copy later," to avoid the lease being misplaced when you may need it later.

  • Both parties should initial any write-ins or strike-outs that appear in the lease. Have all roommates sign at the same time; otherwise one of them may change their mind before signing and leave you stuck with the full rent for the entire apartment or home. Avoid agreeing to have your parents sign as guarantors when able.

  • After signing, the lease is binding on all parties with no changes to the terms of the agreement in any respect unless you agree. Keep your copy of the lease in a safe place! Also, always keep all receipts, canceled checks, and any correspondence you send to or receive from the landlord.

  • Be cautious placing a deposit to "hold" an apartment or home without obtaining a signed agreement stating that your deposit will be immediately refunded in full if you decide not to rent the apartment or home. Any pre-lease agreement should be worded clearly and should specifically state what the parties have agreed. WARNING: A "pre-lease agreement" that says you have agreed to rent the apartment or hoe may actually constitute a binding lease! Do not sign such a document unless you are fully prepared to rent the available space.

When moving into an apartment, room, or house, you should make a record of any pre-existing damages or lack of cleanliness to avoid any potential charges or deductions from your security deposit for damages done by the previous tenants. New tenants should follow these instructions upon moving in:

  • Checking for Applicable Lease Clauses

    Some leases state that the tenant accepts the premises as is, unless the landlord is notified otherwise within a certain period of time. Make sure you are in compliance with these and any other provisions addressing the tenant's responsibilities upon move-in.

  • Inspecting the Premises

    Before moving in or as soon as possible thereafter, perform a careful inspection of the premises in the presence of two witnesses. If your landlord does not provide a form for move-in inspections, you may use the attached Housing Inspection Form or obtain one in person free of charge from Student Legal Services. You may request your landlord to perform the inspection jointly with you, but many landlords may be unable to do so. Your Housing Inspection Form should record in detail the condition of the walls, floor coverings/carpet, cabinets, countertops, windows, doors, sinks, shower, toilet, light fixtures, switches, outlet plates, etc. Note particularly any damages such as holes, scratches, burns, and stains. Test all kitchen appliances, heating/cooling systems, electrical and plumbing systems, water heater, etc. to make sure they function properly. Check to see that the landlord has performed any promised redecoration, such as repainting, re-carpeting, etc.

  • Making an Inventory of Furnishings

    Make an inventory or list of all furniture and furnishings provided by the landlord, noting the condition of each item thereon. Attach it to the Housing Inspection Form.

  • Taking Photographs

    In the presence of your witnesses, take a complete set of photographs or videotape of the entire premises, both inside and out. Focus particularly on any damages or problem areas. If size is important, place a ruler in the area being photographed. While digital photos often have metadata that indicates the date it was taken, it can be valuable to also hold today's newspaper headline in the pictures or other ways to verify the current date.  Emailing the photographs along with other forms to your landlord is another way to date materials effectively.

  • Giving the Inspection Form to Your Landlord

    Have all tenants and witnesses sign and date the Housing Inspection Form in the blanks on the reverse side. Send a copy of the form to your landlord, and keep the original for yourself.

  • Requesting Repairs in Writing

    If the apartment or home is in need of repairs, notify the landlord immediately. You may telephone your maintenance requests, but always follow up an oral conversation with a letter, email, or text message and keep a copies of your correspondence. In case issues arise in having the maintenance completed, it is important to have a written record of the service requested and the date.

  • Keeping a Record of Cleaning Expenses

If you have concerns about the cleanliness of the apartment when taking possession, document your concerns in writing (via the Housing Inspection Formand with photographs, then reach out to your landlord. Make your landlord aware of your concerns and request a remedy as soon as possible. If you do incur cleaning expenses, make sure to document and keep all receipts. It is possible to ask for reimbursement from you landlord for said cleaning after completed. Make sure to make this request in writing and save documentation of your conversation. Remember: do not withhold rent because of normal cleanliness issues, like sticky countertops or unswept carpet. However, if the issue involves a matter of safety, like black mold, consult with Student Legal Services or another attorney before withholding any rent.

If you rent an apartment, room, or house, your landlord may have a legal duty to maintain the apartment, room, or house in good repair. This duty may be

contained in:

(1) the terms of your lease with the landlord

(2) the city Housing Code, which sets certain minimum standards health and safety for residential housing and the interior and exterior structures, systems, and appliances including: the foundation, walls,roof, stairs, handrails, doors, windows and screens, sanitation, insect and rodent infestation, bathroom, kitchen, plumbing and sewer, water heater, heating facilities, electrical, light, ventilation, and fire escapes/fire safety; and

(3) State law such as the implied warranty of habitability.

However, the tenant is responsible for any repairs necessitated by the negligent or intentional conduct of the tenant or his guests.

Students having maintenance problems should follow these guidelines.

  • Checking for Applicable Lease Clauses

    Most leases will state whether it is the duty of the landlord or tenant to provide maintenance for the apartment or home and its structures, utility systems, appliances, and furnishings. Before requesting repairs, determine what obligations your landlord may have, and make sure that you are in compliance with any clauses that specify how a request for repairs is to be made.

  • Requesting Repairs in Writing

    Notify the landlord of any maintenance problem as soon as it is discovered. Unless the lease specifies otherwise, you may telephone your request to the landlord. Always follow an oral request with a confirmation in writing via letter, text message, or email while maintaining copies of these written records. If the landlord does not respond within a reasonable time, send a second request by certified mail with return receipt requested.

  • Keeping A Record of Maintenance Problems

    Besides keeping a copy of your written requests for repairs, keep a written journal of each maintenance problem, when and how it occurred, when you requested service, when the repair was made, etc. If your landlord is tardy or uncooperative in making repairs, have two neighbors or friends inspect the problem with you, recording the observation in writing and take photographs or a videotape of the problem in the presence of your witnesses. Photographs, witnesses, and written records can serve as important evidence should it become necessary later to prove the facts surrounding a maintenance problem (e.g. in a lawsuit). While digital photos often have metadata that indicates the date it was taken, it can be valuable to also hold today's newspaper headline in the pictures or other ways to verify the current date. Emailing the photographs along with other forms to your landlord is another way to date materials effectively

  • Taking Enforcement Action

If your landlord has a legal duty to make repairs and fails or refuses to do so within a reasonable time after receiving a written request, you may have several remedies. These include:

(1) Soliciting an attorney to write a letter to the landlord;

(2) Notifying the city Building Commissioner and county Board of Health of possible violations of Housing Codes or health regulations;

(3) Filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau

(4) Filing a lawsuit in small claims court.

In your court claim, you may seek "specific performance" (a court order to the landlord to make repairs) or compensatory damages for breach of lease, or sometimes both. Prior to filing suit, however, you should make every attempt to resolve the problem directly with the landlord. A lawsuit is not a quick, easy, or guaranteed solution, but rather a remedy of last resort.

It is important to understand that Indiana law does not necessarily allow a tenant to withhold rent (or hire a repairman and deduct the bill from the next rent payment) in circumstances where a landlord has failed to make requested repairs. For instance, unless your landlord's breach of his duty has rendered the premises uninhabitable, some courts may treat nonpayment of rent as a breach of lease by the tenant (even though the court may also find that the landlord failed to make the repairs). Student Legal Services recommends that students always consult an attorney before withholding any rent.  In all likelihood, an attorney may advise you to pay your rent “under protest.”  You can do this by writing such in the memo section of the check or indicating that you are paying under protest (and why) in the memo section of your payment portal.

When your lease ends and you move out of your apartment, room, or house, there are a number of steps you can take to maximize your chances of obtaining your security deposit refund in full. Moreover, tenants are now protected by a state law that requires your landlord to do the following within 45 days of the end of the lease:

(1) Mail you a check or money order in the full amount of the security deposit; or

(2) Mail you an itemized list of damages in writing for which the security deposit is being used, accompanied by a check or money order for the difference between the damages claimed and the amount of the deposit.

If your landlord fails to comply with these requirements, you may file suit against them and recover the entire deposit plus court costs and attorney's fees. The statute also says that a security deposit may be used only for: (a) Actual damages that are not the result of ordinary wear and tear; (b) Unpaid rent; and (c) Unpaid utility or sewer charges.

Upon moving out, students should follow these guidelines:

  • Checking for Applicable Lease Clauses

    Many leases specify certain tasks that the tenant must perform prior to move-out, such as cleaning the premises, shampooing the carpets, scheduling an appointment with the landlord for a joint inspection of the premises, and returning the keys. Make sure you are in compliance with these and any other provisions addressing the tenant's responsibilities upon move-out.

  • Cleaning the Premises

    Always leave your apartment or home in as clean a condition as possible, paying special attention to the kitchen and bathroom. Remove food from the refrigerator and clean both it and the stove/oven thoroughly. Remove all items from the closets, basement, and garage. Do not leave any of your furniture in the apartment or home, even if you think the next tenants will want it (unless the landlord authorizes you to do so). Haul away any broken personal furnishings or other rubbish. Set trash bags outside for proper pick-up. Remove stains from the carpets, and if your lease requires you to have the carpets professionally cleaned make sure you keep your receipt. Remember, if you leave any items in the apartment or home, or if it does not look reasonably clean, your landlord may deduct from your deposit. Even if the premises were filthy when you moved in, you should still clean things up before you leave.

  • Making any Necessary Minor Repairs

    Replace any items you damaged, such as window screens, light switches, and curtain rods. Patch any small holes in the wall (such as from hanging pictures) with spackle so that the patch will be unnoticeable. Unless the lease prohibits the tenants from repairing the damages they cause, you can usually save money by making minor repairs yourself.

  • Inspecting the Premises

    After you have removed your possessions and cleaned the apartment or home, perform a careful inspection of the premises in the presence of two witnesses such as friends or neighbors. If your landlord does not provide a form for this purpose, you may obtain a Housing Inspection Form free of charge from Student Legal Services. You may request your landlord to perform the inspection jointly with you, but many landlords may be unable to do so.  Your Housing Inspection Form should record in detail the condition of the walls, floors, carpets, cabinets, countertops, windows, doors, sinks/shower/toilet, light fixtures, switches/outlet plates, furnishings, and appliances such as the oven and refrigerator. Have all tenants and witnesses sign and date the form in the blanks on the reverse side.

  • Making an Inventory of Furnishings

    Make an inventory or list of all furniture and furnishings which the landlord provided, noting the condition of each item thereon. Attach it to the Housing Inspection Form.

  • Taking Photographs

    In the presence of your witnesses, take a complete set of photographs or a videotape of the entire premises, both inside and out. Your pictures should show that the apartment or home is clean and empty. Open the refrigerator, oven, cabinets, and closets and take pictures of the inside. Where size is important (such as the size of a carpet stain), place a ruler in the area being photographed. While digital photos often have metadata that indicates the date it was taken, it can be valuable to also hold today's newspaper headline in the pictures or other ways to verify the current date.  Emailing the photographs along with other forms to your landlord is another way to date materials effectively

  • Giving Your Forwarding Address to Your Landlord

    On the day you move out, give the landlord your forwarding address in writing (i.e. the address to which your security deposit is to be sent). This is required by law. Also, give them a copy of your Housing Inspection Form, keeping the original for yourself. Finally, return the keys to the landlord and get a receipt.

  • Following Up on Obtaining Your Refund

    If you have not heard from your landlord within the sooner of the time period specified in your lease for the return of your deposit or 45 days, send a polite letter inquiring about the refund. If you do not receive a reply, or if the refund is less than the amount owed, consult Student Legal Services or another attorney for further assistance. If necessary, the law allows you to file a lawsuit against your landlord in small claims court to recover your security deposit refund.

The best way of insuring that your roommate experience will be a successful one is to become well-acquainted before making any housing commitments. Follow the "A-L-A-R-M Method" of selecting roommates by asking yourself how well you and your prospective roommates match up on these issues:

Academics - Seriousness about attending class and using the apartment or home for studying

Lifestyle- Cleanliness; early vs. late riser; smoker/non-smoker; playing loud music; hobbies and interests; social circles

Attitudes- Individual values regarding the use of alcohol or drugs; partying; overnight guests; other moral/social/religious issues

Responsibility -Reliability in meeting payment deadlines such as for rent; remembering to lock the door or turn down the heat; respecting another person's privacy and property

Money- How much each of you can afford in terms of rent, utility, and other living expenses

If you discover substantial differences or disagreements on these issues, this should ALARM you to the fact that you may have difficulties in living together.

  • Understanding the Legal Implications of Entering a Lease Agreement

    When you and your co-tenants enter into a lease agreement together, you are incurring a substantial legal obligation. This consists primarily of your duty to pay rent and any utilities for the entire term of the lease, and your responsibility to take care of the premises and protect them from damage or neglect.

    You probably knew this already, but what you may not have known is that many leases contain a clause stating that the tenants are jointly and severally liable. This means that not only are the tenants liable as a group for the full performance of the lease, but also that each co-tenant may be held individually liable for the full performance of all obligations under the lease, not just the cotenant's individual one-half or one-third share of rent.

    In general, make sure you and your roommates have read and understood the lease before signing. For more information, see the section above on "Negotiating And Signing A Lease."

  • Having All Roommates Sign at The Same Time

    At the time you sign the lease you are irrevocably bound to its terms, even if your other roommates do not sign later as promised (unless the lease provides otherwise). Therefore, it is a best practice that all roommates sign at the same time. Avoid the scenario in which one person signs the lease first, then the other roommates change their minds and decide to live elsewhere, leaving the first person stuck for the entire rent.

  • Being A Considerate Roommate

    Mutual consideration and cooperation are essential to the success of a joint living arrangement. For example, while there would normally be no objection to an occasional overnight guest, it would be unfair to other roommates to allow guests to stay for weeks at a time or to essentially reside in the apartment or home. Each roommate is entitled to make reasonable use of the premises, but each roommate's use must not interfere with the reasonable use by any other roommate.

    Roommates should respect the privacy of other roommates; refrain from making excessive noise; maintain common areas in a clean and sightly condition; treat other roommates' furnishings and personal property with care; and require their guests to do the same.

  • The "Roommates' Agreement"

    Before signing a lease, two or more prospective roommates will usually agree to find an apartment or home together, execute a joint lease, share the use of the premises, and split the cost of rent and expenses equally. This "Roommates Agreement" will be at least an implied agreement, if not an express oral agreement. A Roommates' Agreement is just as valid, binding, and enforceable as any other contract, even if it is not in writing.

    But as with any other important transaction, it's better to put it in writing, so as to avoid any dispute as to what the parties have actually agreed or whether they have in fact entered into an agreement. The typical Roommates' Agreement would state that the roommates have agreed to enter into a lease and reside together for the term of the lease. It would also address their respective obligations for paying rent and utilities, and their liability if they default or if they cause damage.

  • What to Do About Early Move-Out

Usually, a roommate who moves out before the expiration of the lease remains fully liable for their share of rent and expenses through the end of the term (unless they have been wrongfully evicted, actually or constructively, by the other roommates). Remaining roommates who are required under a joint and several liability clause to make up the unpaid rent may sue the defaulting roommate for breach of the Roommates' Agreement.

Unless the lease prohibits subleasing, a roommate who voluntarily moves out before the expiration of the lease may have the option of obtaining a replacement tenant. This action would be subject to the consent of the remaining tenants, but consent may not be unreasonably withheld.

Many students will experience subleasing sometime during their college years, as either sublandlords or subtenants. 

  • What Is A Sublease?

    A sublease is a rental contract in which a party who is presently renting housing (the tenant) re-rents or "subleases" all or part of the premises to a third party (the subtenant) for a period less than the term of the tenant's original lease. In a sublease, the subtenant has a legal obligation to the sublandlord/original tenant, who in turn remains liable to the original landlord. A typical scenario is one in which a tenant who has signed a one-year lease decides not to reside in the apartment or home during the summer months, and therefore subleases the apartment or home to another person for those months.

  • When May Tenants Sublease Their Apartment or Home?

    Under Indiana law, if the original lease agreement between landlord and tenant does not prohibit the tenant from subleasing the premises, the tenant has an absolute legal right to sublease. However, landlords may include a clause in their leases stating that subleasing is prohibited without the landlord's consent. 

  • The Sublease Agreement

    Although an oral sublease is valid, subleasing agreements should be put into writing, for the protection of both parties. A blank-form sample Sublease Agreement is available in the Student Legal Services office. The typical sublease agreement lists the names of all sublandlords and subtenants, the premises which are being subleased, and the lease term or length of time of the agreement. Next, it specifies the amount of monthly rent to be paid by the subtenant, and the person to whom rent is to be paid (which may be either the sublandlord or the original landlord). The sublease agreement should also state which utilities are paid for by the subtenant, and whether the premises are furnished. In addition, the sublease agreement should contain clauses providing that the subtenant agrees to be bound by the terms of the original lease and assumes all responsibility for damage to the premises or furnishings caused by the negligence or abuse of the subtenant or his guests. The agreement should be signed by all sublandlords and subtenants, and all parties should receive a copy at the time of signing.

  • Security Deposits

    Usually, a sublandlord will want to collect a security deposit from the subtenant, to guard against the sublandlord being charged by the landlord if the subtenant fails to pay all rent due or commits damage to the premises.

    NOTE: The deposit should not be paid to the original landlord unless he has agreed in writing to:   

    1) Refund the sublandlord’s deposit when the sublease begins, and

    2) Refund the subtenant’s deposit to the subtenant at the end of the sublease.  

  • Move-In and Move-Out Photos and Inspections

    Upon moving out, the sublandlord should photograph the premises and fill out a Housing Inspection Form, which can be obtained from Student Legal Services. Upon moving in, the subtenant should follow these same steps, and the premises upon move-in and move-out is to ensure that a party will not be charged for damages caused by another party.

  • The Sublandlord’s Perspective

    Before subleasing, the sublandlord/original tenant must first obtain the landlord’s consent if so required by the lease. Next, since the sublandlord can be held responsible if the subtenant fails to pay rent or commits damage to the premises, it is important to select a reliable and responsible subtenant.  Third, the sublandlord should make sure that any utilities in their name are disconnected, and require the subtenant to reconnect utilities in the subtenant’s own name. Finally, to minimize the chances of loss or damage, the sublandlord should remove all clothing, personal items, and furnishings from the premises.

  • The Subtenant’s Perspective

    Before entering into a subleasing agreement, the subtenant should make sure that the sublandlord has a legal right to sublease the premises, and that the sublandlord has obtained the landlord’s consent if necessary.

Usually, a sublandlord will want to collect a security deposit from the subtenant, to guard against the sub landlord being charged by the landlord if the subtenant fails to pay all rent due or commits damage to the premises.

NOTE: The deposit should not be paid to the original landlord unless he has agreed in writing to  

1) refund the sublandlord's deposit when the sublease begins, and

2) refund the subtenant's deposit to the subtenant at the end of the sublease.

The sublease agreement should list the amount of the deposit, to whom it is to be paid, and from whom the refund will be received. Indiana Code requires landlords and sublandlords to refund the deposit in full, or provide a written itemization of any deductions therefrom, within forty-five (45) days of the termination of the lease or sublease.

While the ability to view listings online has made things much more convenient for both landlords and tenants, the opportunity for scams and fraudulent listings has increased.  When examining listings, look out for common scams and when in doubt ask for further information.  When in doubt, ask to meet with the landlord or designee in-person at the property to answer any concerns you may have.

Too Good to be True

If rent is offered below market value, there is probably a reason.  Scammers often seek to capitalize off of FOMO (fear of missing out) and may try to lock you into a deal as quickly as they can so that you do not have the time to fully look at the fine print.

Sometimes there could be a dramatic story behind the listing, it’s availability, or why something doesn’t feel quite right about the property.  While property demands can be quite high depending on the time of year, beware of landlords attempting to get you to sign a lease immediately because of their unique circumstances or because there are allegedly lots of people waiting to sign the lease if you do not.

Transferring of Funds

Legitimate landlords will not request for you to wire money as a hold or down payment for a property you are leasing.  They especially will not ask for money to be transferred to international accounts abroad.  If the landlord requests during the process that you change to another listing service or account to transfer money to them, it could be a scammer attempting to impersonate a legitimate business.

Connection to Ball State

Landlords and agencies might use color themes or language that makes them seem like they are affiliated with Ball State University or even attempt to imitate Ball State University employees.  Ball State University does not participate or assist with the handling of money between landlords and renters.  Details regarding official Ball State Housing and Residence Life can be found at

Subleasing Scams

Subleasing scams are rampant, so knowing who you are subleasing to or from is important.  Scammers frequently contact students subleasing their apartments from “out of town” and are willing to pay the entire rent by one check.  The scammer will then have an elaborate story as to why the student should wire a portion of that check back to them.  After the money has been wired to the scammer, the student learns that the check is fraudulent.

Utilities –
American Electric Power – Customer Service: 1-800-311-4634

Indiana-American Water - Customer Service: 1-800-492-8373

Muncie Sanitary District – 765-747-4863

CenterPoint Energy (Gas) - Customer Service: 1-800-227-1376

City Numbers –
City of Muncie – 765-747-4845

IU Health-Ball Memorial Hospital – 765-747-3111

Muncie Indiana Transit System (MITS) – 765-289-MITS (6487)

Muncie Fire Department (non-emergency) – 765-747-4877

Muncie Police Department (non-emergency) – 765-286-4050

Muncie Parking Enforcement and Permits (Muncie Department of Public Works) – 765-747-4847