Living off campus isn’t always going to be perfect. If you’re running into issues with your landlord, roommates, or you need to sublease, then this section is for you.

Issues with your Landlord?

If you are having issues with your landlord, the Landlord Tenant Act may be of help for your situation: Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (PDF) We would also love to meet with you one on one to discuss further options such as on and off campus mediation, documenting situations, taking things to court, etc.  Stop by our office, give us a call, or send us an email to set up a meeting.

Issues with Your Roommate?

If you are having issues with your roommates, the best thing you can do is to talk with them.  If you have already tried that and still need more help, come and see us.  We can offer solutions such as: helping you to document situations in your apartment,  on and off campus mediation between you and your roommates, or refer you to the Varner House.  Stop by our office, give us a call, or send us an email to set up a meeting.

Questions about Subleasing?

If you’re studying abroad, graduating early, or just looking for someone to take over your room for a time period, subleasing may be your best option.  Check out our Guide to subleasing (PDF) for basic information.

Many property managers and landlords have specific forms you will need to fill out if you’re planning on subleasing, but if they do not have these forms available check out Subleasing Agreement Form (PDF). If you have any other questions, let us know.  We will be glad to help!

Safety

Whether you are looking for an apartment, signing a lease, already moved in, or on your way out safety is a major concern!  Below is a list of tips on how to make your apartment a safe environment so that you can enjoy your time living Off Campus to its fullest!  

JMU’s EFFORTS TO KEEP YOU SAFE:

  • JMU has created a Safety Task Force to analyze possible solutions and changes to be made to keep the community safe.
  • Public Safety has 4 officers assigned to off campus patrols, not including the 25 officers assigned to on campus patrol.
  • Safety escorts are available to any student on campus, free of charge.  Escorts are provided by carefully screened and trained student employees known as the Campus Police Cadets. Cadets are on duty 7pm - 2am Sunday-Wednesday, 9pm-2am Thursday, and 9pm-3am Friday and Saturday.  Police officers will provide any escorts outside of those time periods.
  • JMU SafeRides is a student run, non-profit organization whose mission is to create a safer community for the city of Harrisonburg. Members work to prevent drunk driving by educating JMU students, fundraising to help support our mission, and providing free rides home for JMU students. If you are a JMU student and need a ride home over the weekend, please feel free to call us at 540.JMU.RIDE (540.568.7433)! No matter where you are in Harrisonburg, we are here for you!
  • Public Safety offers educational crime prevention opportunities throughout the year.
  • Timely Notifications are issued by the James Madison University Police, giving notice of acts that could pose as a Possible Threat, that reportedly occurred on or near the campus of James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia. Until the investigation of the specific act has been concluded, it can be assumed that conditions continue to exist that may pose a threat to members and guests of the community. It is the duty of the institution to warn of possible "dangerous conditions" on its property; an "affirmative duty" exists to warn of possible peril at the hands of some third party.
 

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP:

Secure your property

  • Utilize door locks whenever possible.  If you have lost a key, please contact your property manager to receive a replacement.
  • Close and lock all windows and sliding glass doors.  Place wooden dowel in sliding glass door track.  (You can purchase wooden dowels at a local hardware store.)
  • Utilize blinds and shades, especially at night.
  • Place all valuables out of site when parking your vehicle. Secure them in the trunk and lock your doors.  Try to leave vehicle parked under a light.
  • Call the police, if uninvited guests won’t leave.
 

Host a safe party

  • Report suspicious people or activity immediately to the police. Be a witness, don’t be a hero.
  • Register your party with the Harrisonburg Police Department – 540.434.4436.  Instead of sending an officer out for the first noise complaint, HPD will call the host to correct the problem.
  • Have a guest list – know who is in your home.
  • Call the police, if uninvited guests won’t leave.
  • Have a sober host on the premises at all times.
  • Keep it small. Be aware occupancy limits. Beware of overcrowding wooden decks.
  • Lock doors to private areas (i.e. bedrooms) and secure or hide valuables.
  • Limit the alcohol consumption of guests.
  • Provide non-alcoholic beverages and food.
 

When attending a party

  • Trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable, leave the area.
  • Report suspicious people or activity immediately to the police. Be a witness, don’t be a hero.
  • Stay with friends. Look out for each other.
  • Know the hosts of the party you are attending.
  • Drink responsibly.  Do not drink to excess.
  • Secure a safe way to get home, such as a bus, taxi or JMU SafeRides (540.568.7433).
  • Carry only the ID and money you’ll need for the night.
  • Be considerate of others and respectful of property.
 

Traveling by foot

  • Use well lit and well-traveled areas: Avoid dark and deserted areas, such as railroad tracks, or shortcuts.
  • Do not walk or jog alone.
  • Utilize the sidewalk at all times.  If there is no sidewalk and you must walk in the roadway, always walk facing traffic.
  • Do not approach an unknown car if it follows your, or the driver beckons you while you are walking. Instead, turn and quickly walk the opposite direction.
  • Do not resist or attempt to fool a robber.

Other tips

  • Do not make it easy for thieves. They are on the lookout for items left unattended. It takes only seconds to grab your property and get away.
  • Use common sense.  Trust your instincts and listen to that gut feeling.
  • Report all crimes: When reporting a crime or suspicious activity, give the dispatcher all the information you have. If the crime is occurring during your call, stay on the line until the officer arrives.
 

Report Suspicious Activity Immediately

  • Look out for your neighbors and call the local police immediately if you observe suspicious activity.

JMU Police 540.568.6913

Harrisonburg & Rockingham County Police (Emergency Communications Center)   540.434.4436

Call 911 for EMERGENCIES!

  For additional public safety information visit JMU Public Safety's Website. To see a comprehensive list of JMU Timely Notifications visit Public Safety's Incident Listing page. To see reports on criminal activity throughout Harrisonburg visit the Crime Reports website. Follow us on Facebook at JMU Off Campus Life for more tips.