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Questions you should ask before signing a rental agreement:

  1. Are smoke detectors installed and are they working?
  2. Are there carbon monoxide detectors?
  3. How often are the detectors tested and the batteries changed?
  4. Are fire extinguishers readily available?  Operational?  Know how to use them?
  5. Were the extinguishers inspected within the last 12 months?
  6. Is there an automatic fire sprinkler system installed and tested to current standards?
  7. Is the electrical system adequate for the appliances?  Are there enough outlets to satisfy your needs?
  8. Do you know how to use the appliances properly and safely?
  9. Are there any flammables stored inside the residence?
  10. Is the BBQ at least 10 feet away from the building?
  11. Is there a no smoking policy in the rental agreement? Is it enforced?
  12. Has the local fire department inspected the residence? When?
  13. Has the city and/or the University received any safety complaints regarding this residence?
  14. Has there ever been a fire in this residence or any other owned by this owner? If yes, what was the cause?
  15. Is the owner a member in good standing in a landlord/tenant association or housing association?

Disclaimer: Please keep in mind that Tufts University assumes no responsibility for contracts/leases between individuals.  The Department of Public Safety is not responsible or liable for the consequences of any off-campus student housing arrangement.  In addition, Tufts does not endorse or sponsor any of the agencies, services, advertisements, properties or landlords associated with off-campus housing.  The information contained here is provided only as a safety tool to assist you in evaluating your off-campus housing choices.  The factors listed  are not meant to be exhaustive. You should discuss any safety concerns about off-campus housing with the landlord of the property.