Guide to Living Off-Campus

Guide to Off-Campus Living

Table of Contents

Being Part of a Neighborhood

You will find that living off-campus is a very different kind of experience from living in a University residence hall. Unlike the residence halls, the neighborhoods surrounding Brown are full of people whose lifestyles, schedules, and living arrangements may vary greatly from yours. This encounter with diversity can be enjoyable if you adapt your lifestyle to the community you have entered and adjust to its priorities. For example, just as you would not appreciate your neighbors making excessive noise while you study for exams, they will not appreciate your making excessive noise while living in the neighborhood.

As a Brown University student, you are governed by the Brown University Standards of Student Conduct. Students have been placed under disciplinary sanction resulting from their wrongful conduct while in their off-campus housing. Engaging in disruptive behavior is the violation students are most commonly charged with in off-campus housing; for example, hosting loud and overcrowded parties.

Your interactions with your neighbors should be guided by the Principles of the Brown University Community, which state, “The University expects that students will not indulge in behavior that endangers their own sustained effectiveness or that has serious ramifications for the safety, welfare, and academic well-being of themselves and others.”

Good communication between you and your neighbors will be the best tool for preventing conflicts. The key is mutual respect and cooperation.

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Off-Campus Eligibility

For information about eligibility to live off-campus, click here.

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Brown-Owned Off-Campus Housing

The Office of Auxiliary Housing rents and manages approximately 175 residential housing units ranging in size from efficiency apartments to multi-bed apartments and houses. These living units surround the campus and occupy an area that extends to Bowen Street on the north, Brown Street to the west, Power Street to the south, and Hope Street to the east. They provide housing for approximately 115 graduate, medical, and undergraduate students. After renewals are calculated, roughly 70 units are available each academic year. 

Heat, hot water, gas, and electricity are included in the rent; cable TV and internet service and the wiring for these services are available through private providers and are the responsibility of the tenant.

The Office of Auxiliary Housing offers a limited number of parking spaces to its tenants for an additional monthly fee. Not all properties have on-site parking. For more information, or to request parking see here.   

In order to secure Brown-owned housing, undergraduates must have off-campus permission. Once off-campus permission has been verified, a rental agreement will be emailed and must be signed within 5 days of receipt or the unit will be forfeited.  Once signed, a security deposit will be charged to the student's Banner account. 

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Finding an Apartment

START EARLY!  You are most likely to find housing that suits your taste, fills your needs, and fits your budget if you allow plenty of time for your apartment search. Undergraduate students should refer to this page to confirm their eligibility to live off campus.  

Be aware that Providence zoning prohibits more than three unrelated persons from living in the same apartment or single-family house. Violating city zoning laws could result in termination of lease/rental agreement or eviction.


  • Undergraduate Student Housing or Graduate Student Housing
  • The Off-Campus Partners website provides resources including current listings of privately owned, furnished, and unfurnished rooms, apartments, houses for rent, sublets, sabbaticals, and shared accommodations in Providence and the surrounding area. There is also a Roommate share section that you may find helpful. Access the site here

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Factors to Consider When Choosing Accommodations


A landlord’s honesty and responsiveness can be major factors in how satisfied you are with an apartment. Find out as much as possible about your potential landlord from:

  • Other students living off campus
  • By Rhode Island law, landlords must provide window coverings in all bedrooms and bathroom windows, a stove and refrigerator hookup, sink and at least two means of egress. Your lease/rental agreement will indicate whether you or the landlord are responsible for clearing snow from walks and driveways, cutting grass, raking leaves, preparing trash, etc. A clear definition of responsibility is important and should be defined in writing.

Safety and Security

To guarantee your safety, certain considerations should be made before renting any apartment. These include:

  • At least two legal means of egress in case of fire or emergency. There are clear guidelines defining a legal egress (for example, trap doors in closets do not count)
  • Accessible and working fire escapes
  • Electrical wiring that is up to code. Exposed wiring and overloaded outlets or extension cords suggest larger problems. Outlets near water sources must have a GFI outlet.
  • Operable smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, certified fire extinguishers, appliances, and door buzzers.
  • Secure, functioning locks on all exterior doors and windows, and dead bolt locks on apartment doors. Building doors should fall shut by their own weight and self-lock.
  • Security screens or metal grates on windows accessible from the ground. Later sections of this guide discuss personal and fire safety at greater length. For more information on codes and enforcement, call the Department of Inspection and Standards at 401-680-5362.



  • The City of Providence traffic regulations prohibit parking on city streets for more than two hours between 1 A.M. and 7 A.M.
  • The fine for violating this ordinance is $15; however, if not paid with 14 days, court charges are added to fines and may considerably raise the cost of a ticket.
  • Parking is prohibited on unpaved surfaces (sidewalks/backyards) and other designated no-parking areas. On-street parking is also prohibited during snow bans to facilitate snow removal.

If your rent includes parking, be sure that fact is written in your lease/rental agreement.


Make a realistic budget that includes the cost of:

  • heat
  • hot water
  • gas
  • electricity
  • parking
  • phone, internet, & cable TV services

Rental costs vary depending on:

  • the apartment’s size
  • the apartment’s physical condition
  • the apartment’s location/proximity to campus
  • whether utilities, if any, are included
  • whether furnishings and appliances, if any, are included
  • whether parking is included

Stay within your budget!


Consider the apartment’s proximity to:

  • campus
  • grocery stores
  • laundry facilities
  • public transportation (for schedules & routes see RIPTA's web site).


Your choice of a housemate/s is very important in determining how comfortable and relaxing your living situation will be.  Providence City Ordinances restrict the number of unrelated persons living together in a single dwelling unit  in the R-1A and R-1 districts, to no more than three (3) college students. Be sure to discuss the following with prospective housemates honestly and thoroughly, clarifying what you can and cannot tolerate and defining your expectations as specifically as possible:

  • cooking
  • food sharing
  • cleanliness
  • noise levels
  • study habits
  • guests
  • smoking
  • responsibilities incurred if one party leaves before the lease/rental agreement expires (remaining tenants may be legally responsible for that person’s portion of the rent and other shared expenses)


The nature of your prospective neighborhood may have a major impact on your daily life. Ask yourself these questions about the neighborhood when considering an apartment:

  • Is it well-populated or isolated? How will this affect me?
  • Is it safe? How will I successfully cope with the level of safety?
  • Is it noisy? How will that noise level affect me?

For information on Providence neighborhoods, please visit

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Establishing Tenant/Landlord Relationships

Rental Agreements

A rental agreement is defined as a written or oral agreement, containing valid rules and regulations, as well as any terms required by law concerning the use and occupancy of a dwelling unit and premises.

Important Facts

  • The only condition that is required to establish a landlord-tenant relationship between two people is that one person pay for the use of living space that belongs to the other person.
  • It is recommended all agreements to rent be written.
  • In addition to annual leases/rental agreements, month-to-month agreements provide a less secure means of renting for these reasons:
    • your landlord needs to give you only 30 days' notice to vacate.
    • your landlord can raise your rent periodically.
    • A month-to-month rental agreement may suit your needs best when you need a place for just the summer or just the academic year.
  • A longer term agreement, also called a lease/rental agreement, provides you with the security of:
    • a fixed amount of rent during the period covered by the lease/rental agreement.
    • a permanent, legally-binding record of the terms and responsibilities of the agreement.
    • a safeguard against eviction, unless you violate the agreement.

An agreement to rent may include any term or condition not prohibited by law. Read your lease/rental agreement carefully to ensure that it does not contain terms or conditions which are unacceptable to you. Once a lease/rental agreement is signed, you are legally bound by it. For a copy of the State of Rhode Island Landlord/Tenant Handbook click here. This handbook is designed to be used as a general reference guide concerning landlord-tenant relationships and responsibilities based on the Rhode Island General Law (RIGL) Chapter 34-18, entitled the "Residential Landlord-Tenant Act". 

” Note: This Handbook is subject to changes/updates. Contact The Statewide Planning Program of Rhode Island with questions.

Reading and Signing Leases/Rental Agreements

SPECIAL NOTE: IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU READ YOUR LEASE/RENTAL AGREEMENT AND UNDERSTAND WHAT IT REQUIRES OF YOU BEFORE YOU SIGN IT. Be SURE that you, and any roommates also signing the lease/rental agreement, understand everything that the conditions of the lease/rental agreement will require of you. If in doubt about what a term or condition in your lease/rental agreement means, ask:

  • the landlord/rental agent to clearly explain it.
  • one of the resources listed in the appendix to this guide that provides advice on leases/rental agreements.

A lease/rental agreement should clearly state all the terms and conditions that apply to the tenant(s) who will occupy the living unit being rented. A lease/rental agreement should contain the following:

  • The names of all tenants (also called “lessees”)
  • The name, telephone number and address of the landlord (lessor)
  • The address of the living unit being rented and a description
  • The rental term: the period for which the living unit is being rented, including the dates of commencement and termination
  • The rental rate: how much rent is paid per month, including when, where and to whom it is paid
  • The dollar amount of the security deposit, including the conditions for refunding it as regulated by RI law
  • Who is responsible for paying the utilities
  • Who is responsible for paying for repairs and maintenance
  • A current list of the appliances and any furnishings provided
  • Whether subletting is allowed, and under what terms and conditions
  • Under what conditions, and with how much prior notice, the landlord may enter the living unit
  • Pet clauses
  • Trash and snow removal and recycling requirements
  • If parking is included in lease/ rental agreement, or if it is available separately

Inspect Before You Sign

Before signing a lease/rental agreement, it is EXTREMELY WISE to fully inspect the apartment, preferably with the landlord or rental agent present.

Before finalizing your decision to rent, and prior to moving in, you should perform an inspection to note any deficiencies for which you do not want to be held liable or you wish repaired by the landlord. In the Appendices section of this Guide to Off-Campus Housing is an apartment checklist. If, after inspecting the apartment, the landlord does not consent, in writing, to make any necessary repairs you request by a specified date, it would be wise to reconsider renting the apartment.

Group Rentals


Each person who signs a lease/rental agreement remains responsible for abiding by its terms and conditions, regardless of whether s/he still lives in the apartment/house.

If your lease/rental agreement states that tenants have “joint and severable liability,” then it permits the landlord to take legal action against each tenant separately or against them jointly, if they do not comply with the conditions and terms of the lease/rental agreement. In other words, if you and your two roommates have “joint and severable liability,” and one of you moves out three months before the lease/rental agreement is up and doesn’t pay his/her share of the rent for those months, the landlord may take action to hold each one of you individually responsible for that rent, or to hold any two or more of you as a group responsible.

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Responsibilities and Rights of the Landlord and Tenant


RENT is:

  • Payment of an amount set by a rental contract in return for the right to occupy or use another’s property.
  • Due, typically, on or before the first day of each month.

If you do not pay your rent by the due date, you may be charged late fees after a specified period. If any part of your rent is 15 or more days late, your landlord may send a written notice that:

  • specifies the amount overdue and demands its payment
  • notifies you that if the rent due is not paid within five days, your lease/ rental agreement is terminated.

If you do not then pay the rent due within five days, your landlord can begin taking action to evict you.

An escalator clause in a lease/rental agreement allows a landlord to charge additional rent for specified expenses (usually property taxes or utility charges), if they increase:

  • over a stated period
  • above a predetermined unit cost


  • Your lease/rental agreement should state who is responsible for paying for gas, heat, electricity or water; you or your landlord.
  • If not stated in the lease/rental agreement, payment for utilities is your landlord’s responsibility.
  • Your landlord may not turn off your heat, electricity, or gas at any time during your occupancy except when necessary for repair work.

Security Deposits

  • Can be required by your landlord at the beginning of a new rental term
  • Cannot exceed one month’s rent
  • Must, by law, be returned to you no more than 20 days after you move out, minus any deductions allowed by law, provided that you
    • return the key(s) to the living unit
    • provide a forwarding address

Your landlord must provide you with an itemized list of any deductions withheld from your security deposit for:

  • Unpaid rent.
  • Physical damages other than ordinary wear and tear.

This list should accompany the balance of the security deposit being returned to you.

Deposits other than a security deposit may be required by your landlord, such as

  • a key deposit.

For more information on security deposits, refer to the State of Rhode Island Landlord-Tenant Handbook (click here).

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Care and Use of Premises


Your landlord must provide you with premises that are in a fit and habitable condition at the start of the lease/rental agreement term. You must leave the premises in the same condition, normal wear and tear excepted, when you move out.

Moving In

On moving in, promptly complete a detailed list of any problems you find with the property (a Move In Report) if you have not already done so. This record of existing conditions of the premises ensures that you will not be held liable for them. Submit a copy of the report to your landlord. When you move out, this record will help prevent disputes about the condition of the premises for which you could be liable. A sample Move In Report form is available in the forms section of this website. Should you discover a necessary repair after you have signed a lease/rental agreement and moved in, and your landlord does not respond to your request to repair it, the Building Inspectors Department and the Division of Code Enforcement of the City of Providence can order repairs of defects and give landlords deadlines for doing so. You will find contact information for those offices and many other useful sources of information at the end of this guide.

Repairs and Maintenance

Your landlord is responsible for:

  • making major repairs, in most cases
  • maintaining the premises to comply with all applicable building and minimum housing codes, health and safety requirements, which include:
    • continuous hot and cold running water.
    • a minimum temperature of 67 degrees Fahrenheit, if the landlord is responsible for providing heat between October and May.
    • Repairing and maintaining any portion of the premises which remain under his/her control, including any portion of the building which is not expressly rented to any tenants (including hallways, basements, stairways, fire exits, and exterior areas that are part of the property).
    • Extermination of any vermin in common areas, though you may be held responsible if your actions have caused a living unit to become infested with vermin.

You are responsible for:

  • Repairs required as a result of negligence or purposeful destruction on your part or on the part of your guests
  • Maintaining the premises at an acceptable level of cleanliness

Trash and Recycling

Recycling is mandatory in the City of Providence. Your landlord is responsible for providing trash receptacles with covers that meet city code requirements. You are responsible for:

  • separating recycling from trash.
  • collecting and removing trash from your building to a designated site/curb side.
  • placing your recycling receptacle at a designated site/curb side.
  • placing your recycling and trash out after dark on the night before pick up.
  • removing empty containers from the curb side by dark on trash day. Trash and recycling are collected on the same day, which on the East Side is Monday.

For RECYCLING INFORMATION, visit the RI Resource Recovery Corporation website. The Department of Public Works (467-7950) can provide the trash pick-up schedule for your area.

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General Provisions

Right of Entry

Your landlord must give you 48-hours notice of any intent to enter your living space. You may not unreasonably withhold consent for him/her to enter for such legitimate purposes as

  • Inspections
  • Repairs
  • Showing the unit to potential tenants or buyers

Your landlord may enter without your consent in an emergency or after seven days of your continuous absence, if entry is reasonably necessary for the protection of the property.


Your lease/rental agreement should contain a clearly-stated agreement about subleasing: whether it is permissible at all and, if so, under what conditions.

If you sublease your apartment to others, you are not thereby relieved of the liabilities of a tenant. For example, if the person you sublet to (the “sublessee”) doesn’t pay the rent, you are responsible for paying it.

The sublessee is responsible solely to you, and the landlord will hold you responsible for all damages to the apartment caused by willful acts of the sublessee.

Noise and Disturbance

City ordinances set limits to the number of people who can legally occupy an apartment or building. Violations of these ordinances, such as overcrowding an apartment during a party, are classified as a type of disturbing the peace. Any act of disturbing the peace may result in:

  • Fines, which begin at $200 and increase with repeated violations
  • Eviction

The tenant is responsible for keeping noise at a level that will not disturb other tenants or neighbors. Providence ordinances regulating noise and large gatherings are available here.

Your landlord can be held responsible for the behavior of his or her tenants; therefore, making unreasonable disturbing noise may be grounds for your eviction.

To avoid conflict over noise:

  • Be certain not to make noise at times that might disturb others
  • Meet your neighbors
  • Give neighbors your phone number
  • Tell them in advance if you plan to have a party so that they can call you directly, rather than your landlord or the police, should the noise get too loud.


You can be evicted if you:

  • Fail to fulfill one or more of the basic contractual obligations stated in your lease/rental agreement. You can then be evicted during the term of your lease/rental agreement.
  • Don’t move out at the end of your lease/rental agreement period
  • Give your landlord a legal cause to do so, such as disturbing the peace

If your landlord begins the eviction process, please be in touch with Attorney Peter J. Cerilli whose services are contracted on behalf of Brown students. 

For more information regarding evictions, refer to the State of Rhode Island Landlord-Tenant Handbook

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Other Considerations

Moving Out

Before the end of your lease/rental agreement, ask the landlord to inspect the premises for damages. Taking the following action can minimize problems and help speed the return of your security deposit:

  • Making minor repairs prior to your landlord’s inspection
  • Cleaning prior to your landlord’s inspection, so that your apartment is as clean as when you moved in
  • Asking your to landlord to make an itemized list of all damages found, including estimated costs of repair
  • Repairing or hiring someone to repair damage for which you are responsible

If you made a list of deficiencies at the beginning of the lease/rental agreement period which was not repaired during your tenancy, you can use it to avoid charges for which you should not be held accountable.

The overall impression that the landlord gets at inspection can make your moving out much easier. You must provide your landlord with a forwarding address in order to receive your security deposit back, less any charges for damages. Be sure to read the section on security deposits in this guide.

please take a moment to review the City of Providence's "Move-In/Move-Out" Guide. 

Tenant's Insurance

When renting, you may want to consider tenant’s insurance, which covers your personal property from fire, theft, and acts of nature. It may also include liability coverage, which means that if someone is injured in the apartment you are renting, you are insured against financial damages. Property owner insurance, which is insurance taken out by your landlord, will not cover loss or damage to tenants’ personal possessions.

For more information about personal property insurance visit the Brown University Insurance Office

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Street Safety

When living off-campus, you take on greater responsibility for your personal safety. Make use of these resources, which are available for your security:

  • Brown University Shuttle (BUS) at 863-2322 is a cooperative safety-oriented transportation service offered to the Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design communities; that is, the students, faculty, and staff of these institutions and of the hospitals affiliated with Brown Medical School.
  • Brown Safewalk, at 863-1079, provides members of the Brown Community with a point-to-point walking escort.
  • The Brown onCall service at 863-1778 is available to all Brown community members without pre-registration for point-to-point transportation. 
  • Based on an agreement between Brown University and RISD, students may ride on either school’s shuttle with proper Brown or RISD ID. please view the RISD Rides page for routes and schedules.

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Fire Safety

In the U.S., there are approximately 10,000 fire-related deaths per year. While loss of life by fire ranks third among the causes of accidental death, smoke and gas are usually the actual killers. A smoldering waste basket or frayed electrical cord can place you at risk long before actual flames appear. You can lessen your risk by adhering to the following guidelines:

Eliminate Fire Potential

  • Be a careful housekeeper. Keep stoves, frying pans, vents, etc. free of grease. Do not let flammable materials accumulate, and do not block means of egress.
  • When you first enter your living unit, plan how you would escape from each room in the event of fire. By law, there should be two means of egress from each living unit.
  • Make sure you have smoke detectors, which are required by law, and must be supplied by your landlord. If your landlord fails to supply them, purchase smoke detectors yourself. If they are battery operated, change their batteries twice a year, when daylight savings time changes, and test them once a month.
  • Make sure you have carbon monoxide detectors, which are also required under the new RI fire code.
  • Check electrical appliances for frayed wiring, etc.
  • Learn the locations of fire alarms and fire extinguishers, and check the expiration dates on your fire extinguishers to see that they are up to date and have been tested to be in good working order.

On Discovering a Fire

  • Sound the alarm to alert other residents
  • Call the Fire Department
  • Leave the building promptly by the nearest exit
  • Do not attempt to fight the fire

On Hearing a Fire Alarm Sound

  • Feel the door; if it is cool to the touch, open it slowly.
  • If the corridor or hallway is clear of smoke and heat, exit the building immediately.
  • If the corridor or hallway is blocked by heat or smoke, stay in a room with the door tightly closed.
  • Remain at a window until help arrives.

If you feel that your living area is not reasonably safe from fire, advise your landlord, the Fire Department, and the Providence Department of Inspection and Standards. It is your life; protect it.

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Once you sign a lease/rental agreement, your legal relationship with your landlord is determined by the document you’ve signed. The steps you have taken prior to signing a lease/rental agreement can protect you and your landlord from misunderstandings and the need for legal action. If problems do arise, consult the Appendix of this guide for a list of people and agencies who can offer you advice.

A copy of the State of Rhode Island Landlord/Tenant Handbook can be obtained by going to the State of Rhode Island, Department of Administration, Division of Statewide Planning. The handbook provides general information concerning landlord-tenant relationships and responsibilities, based on Rhode Island General Law (RIGL) Chapter 34-18, entitled the “Residential Landlord Tenant Act.”

The degree to which you communicate with your landlord and neighbors, showing goodwill and a willingness to own your responsibilities, will, to a large extent, determine how these relationships succeed.

Landlord/tenant relationships in the Providence area are generally amicable. If both you and your landlord act responsibly, you will help ensure that off-campus housing for Brown students remains available.

Enjoy your new home!

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Appendix A: Apartment Checklist

We suggest you examine prospective apartments with this checklist in hand.

*Rhode Island law requires that your landlord provide these.


  • __ Are there shades in bathroom and bedroom windows?*
  • __ Is there adequate work/study space?
  • __ Is there adequate storage space?

Living room

  • __ Is there a cable outlet?
  • __ Is there a phone outlet?
  • __ Are there sufficient electrical outlets?


  • __ Does it have a tub?
  • __ Does it have a shower?
  • __ Is there ventilation?


  • __ Number:
  • __ Are there phone outlets where needed?
  • __ Are there sufficient electrical outlets?


  • __ Is there a stove hookup* or stove?
  • __ Is there a refrigerator hookup* or refrigerator?
  • __ Is there a sink?*
  • __ Is there ventilation?


  • __ Is the space for parking adequate?
  • __ Is there a yard or porch?
  • __ Are there screens and storm windows in all windows?
  • __ Are walkways/steps/stairwells in good condition?


  • __ Are the walls, ceilings, and floors in sound condition?
  • __ Do windows and doors open and close properly?
  • __ Is the apartment properly insulated?


  • __ Do any faucets leak, or do water stains show signs of leakage?
  • __ Do the sinks, tub/shower drain properly?
  • __ Do toilets flush properly?
  • __Is water pressure adequate?
  • __Is there sufficient hot water?


  • __ Are there at least two means of egress?*
  • __ Are the fire escapes in good condition?*
  • __ Is there any exposed wiring?
  • __ Are stairwells and halls clear and well-lit?
  • __ Are there smoke detectors?*
  • __ Are there carbon monoxide detectors?
  • __ Are appliances, if provided, in good working condition?
  • __ Fire extinguishers with current certification?


  • __ Are there sufficient locks on all exterior doors and windows?
  • __ Is there a dead bolt lock on the apartment door?
  • __ Does the building door fall shut on its own weight and self-lock?
  • __ Is there a working electric door buzzer?
  • __ Do windows accessible from the ground have security screens?
  • __ Are entrances, walkways, and parking areas well lit?


  • __ Are laundry facilities available for your use?
  • __ Is there a lock on the mailbox?
  • __ If there is an elevator; is it in satisfactory condition?
  • __ Is the apartment handicapped accessible?
  • __ Is the landlord responsible for clearing snow from walks and driveways?
  • __ Is the landlord responsible for cutting grass, raking leaves, etc.?

Health & Environment

  • __ Regular garbage collection and adequate containers with lids?
  • __ Is the landlord responsible for moving garbage containers to the curb for trash pick-up, or are you?
  • __ Is recycling available, and are containers provided?
  • __ Is smoking allowed in the apartment/house?
  • __ Is a GFI outlet provided in the bathroom, kitchen, or other spaces where there is running water?


  • What do the utility bills tend to be, especially winter-time heating bills?
  • Does the heating system provide adequate heat?
  • Are heating controls provided, and are they effective?
  • Is there sufficient hot water?
  • What are noise levels like?
  • How responsive is the landlord?
  • How well does the landlord maintain the property?
  • How safe is the neighborhood?
  • How secure is the building?
  • What are the other tenants like? Have you had any problems with any of them?
  • What are the neighbors like? Have you had any problems with any of them?

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Appendix B: Where To Go For Assistance

Brown University Office of Auxiliary Housing

Office of Residential Life-retained lawyer

Coalition for Consumer Justice
Advocate for tenant rights and information; publishes a detailed brochure entitled Landlord/Tenant Handbook
50 Brown Street,
Cranston RI 02920

Rhode Island Legal Services, Inc.
Free legal aid to those whose income does not exceed poverty-level limits (students included)
56 Pine Street,
Providence, RI 02903

Department of Inspection and Standards, City of Providence
Addresses housing code complaints
444 Westminster Street,
Providence, RI 02903

Fire Department Headquarters
Non-emergencies: 401-274-3348
Emergencies: Dial 911

Providence Police
Non-emergencies: 401-272-3121
Emergencies: Dial 911

Brown University Public Safety
Non-emergencies: 863-3322
Emergencies: Dial 863-4111

Brown University Shuttle/Safewalk

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Appendix C: City of Providence Phone Numbers

Call these numbers today to take action regarding your community concerns. Call 421-PROV for assistance. The area code for all of the following phone numbers is 401.

  • Abandoned buildings
    Building Inspection & Standards
  • Abandoned vehicles
    Providence Police Department
  • Aircraft noise in R.I.
    Airport Corporation
  • Appliance Disposal
    Department of Public Works
  • Clogged catch basins
    Department of Public Works
  • Damaged street lights
    National Grid
  • Domestic disputes
    Providence Police Department
    272-3121 or 911
  • Drug dealing
    Providence Police Department
    272-3121 or 911
  • Graffiti
    Anti-Graffiti Patrol
  • Housing violations
    Building Inspection & Standards
  • Illegal apartments
    Building Inspection & Standards
  • Illegal parking
    Providence Police Department
  • Illegal posted bills
    Anti-Graffiti Patrol
  • Litter removal
    Environmental Services
    467-7950 or 311
  • Loitering
    Providence Police Department
  • Missing street signs
    Traffic Engineering
  • Noise
    Providence Police Department
  • Overflowing dumpsters
    Department of Public Works
  • Potholes
    Department of Public Works
  • Rats
    Environmental Services
  • Repaving
    Department of Public Works
  • Restriping crosswalks
    Traffic Engineering
  • Snow removal
    Department of Public Works
  • Special event information
    Providence Parks Department
  • Storm damage
    Providence Parks Department
  • Stray/unlicensed animals
    Providence Police Department
  • Trash pick-up
    Department of Public Works
  • Tree replacement
    Providence Parks Department
  • Un-permitted home repair
    Building Inspection & Standards
  • Unsafe structures
    Building Inspection & Standards
  • Weeds and overgrowth
    Department of Public Works
  • Vacant lots
    Department of Public Works

For additional help, you can always call the Citizens Assistance Office at 421-2489. EMERGENCIES : Fire, Medical, Police DIAL 911

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Appendix D: Handy Websites and Links


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Appendix E: Utilities

Electricity / Natural Gas

National Grid
Customer Service: 1-800-322-3223
Report a Gas Emergency: 1-800-640-1595 or 911
Report an Outage: 1-800-465-1212
Or go online:

Cable Communication Services

Cox Cable Company
Or go online

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