Already signed a lease somewhere? Then this section is for you! Here we’ll provide you with information about what to do now that you’re in the process of moving in. We can help you with your UDAP and utility questions, provide apps for grocery lists, chores lists, decorating tips, getting to campus and more.


The Utility Deposit Assistance Program (UDAP) is a JMU sponsored program that protects your credit rating and allows you to get utility service connections without a deposit.  JMU becomes your guarantor for payments up to specified limits: $200 for gas, $300 for electric for HEC, $600 for electric for SVEC and $185 for water.  Visit Student Gateway to purchase your UDAP contract or contact Off-Campus Life for further information and instructions.

If the apartment or home you live in has more than one meter to measure utility usage, make sure to stop by Off-Campus Life to complete a multi-meter contract.  OCL can help you fill out this contract and send it to your utility companies.

Setting Up Your Utilities

When you first move in, there are several utilities that you might need to have connected, depending on what type of housing you are in.  Click each item to jump to information on that utility:


If you are moving into a house, apartment or business with an existing service, in most cases all you need to do is stop by the billing office and pay a deposit. Water and sewer services can be connected the day the deposit is made, or one day later. Water services are generally turned on during business hours.

When visiting the billing office to pay your deposit, please bring the following:

  1. Lease.
  2. Your address.
  3. Telephone number.
  4. Social Security number.
  5. JMU students should bring the Utility Deposit Application Payment (UDAP) contract.

More Information: Harrisonburg Water and Sewer


Get your electricity connected by opening an account with Harrisonburg Electric Company (HEC).

Harrisonburg Electric Company

89 West Bruce Street

Harrisonburg, VA 22801


Harrisonburg Electric Commission


Harrisonburg customers typically use the following companies:

Access Media 3:

Basic Talk:



Direct TV:

DISH Network:





Depending on where you live, there are two options for gas services.  Check these websites to see which you need to use.

Natural Gas Service:

Columbia Gas



Propane Gas Service:




Trash pickup begins automatically for residents living on public streets.
Additional information:
For trash pickup questions call the Public Works Department at 540-434-5928.
*If you live on a private street or in an apartment complex please inquire with your home owner’s association or property manager.*


The City encourages residents and businesses to become a part of Harrisonburg’s recycling program.
If you need a recycling bin or have questions, please call 540-434-5928.
Accepted items:

Useful Downloads

Roommate Agreement

OCL offers a sample Roommate Agreement Form (PDF) that can be used as a template for creating one for your own living situation.  This is a great way to divide tasks, talk about utility payments, etc.

Damage Checklist

Many apartment complexes and property managers will supply you with a damage checklist when you move in, but if they don’t we have a Sample Damage Checklist (PDF) you can use and have your landlord sign to keep both of you accountable.
*When completing a damage checklist, be sure to take pictures of any damages for documentation. This will help you avoid future fines related to damages for which the previous residents were responsible.*

Now That You Have Moved In

There are a lot of things to think about!

Grocery List- Apps

There’s an app for everything these days.  Here are seven apps you can use to digitalize your shopping list and make grocery shopping easier: Grocery List Apps

Chores List

While it’s up to you and your roommate(s) to decide how to distribute chores, check out our Sample Chore List (PDF) for an idea of what needs to be cleaned throughout your house.


Now that you’ve finally moved off campus, you will want to live in a place you can make your own.  Check out these tips for decorating your apartment.   Pintrest and other sites have great ideas as well!  Just be sure to check with your landlord or manager before you modify too much.
Homeguides  “How to Decorate a College Apartment”
EHow “How to Decorate your College Apartment”
Apt2B “Tips on Decorating your College Apartment: Living Room”

Need to Rent a Trailer?

Have a lot to move?  A trailer could be your solution.   Harrisonburg has multiple venues that offer trailer rentals and drop offs.  Check out this link to google maps to find out you who you can rent from and where!


Need a Ride? Jump on a Bus!

Harrisonburg offers a great service to JMU students: Free Bus Rides!  Many off-campus living areas are on bus routes that can get you almost anywhere in Harrisonburg.

Check out the HDPT website for schedules, information, and more.  Harrisonburg Department of Public Transportation

Need an app about bus routes for your smart phone?  There are a few options: one was created by a former JMU student!


Want to Eat on Campus?

Don’t know how to cook?  Don’t want to cook?  Miss JMU food?  Don’t worry!  Check out these Commuter Meal Plans.


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 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.



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.

Moving In

You’ve found the perfect place to live and have signed your lease.  Now what?  Moving into off-campus housing can be just as much work as finding a place to live.  There are things to know about connecting utilities at the apartment, documenting any damages and concerns with the apartment when moving in, and knowing what supplies you’ll need to make that new place home.  If you are in the process of moving in, this section is for you.

You’ll find help with how to purchase a UDAP contract and connect utilities, as well as resources to help you get settled such as shopping lists, apps for grocery lists, chores lists, decorating tips, resources for getting to and from campus, and more.

Looking for a Job?

Living off-campus may require you to work to help pay for expenses like transportation, food, and utilities. Working while in school can also help in learning time management skills and in building skills and experience to add to a resume.

As a student, you have options of working on or off-campus.
For on-campus job opportunities, go to JMU Joblink or to Dining Service’s Website to search for any available positions.

You can also visit JMU’s Off-Campus Job Announcements page which provides information on known off-campus work opportunities.

Additional questions regarding student job opportunities can be addressed by visiting the Student Work Experience Center on the 5th Floor of the Student Success Center or checking out their website.