Community and Commuter Assistants
Community Assistants and Commuter Assistants (CAs) are student leaders who live off campus or commute from home and serve as a resource to all off-campus students. They plan programs and activities for off-campus and commuter students and act as links between College administration and the students who reside off campus. CAs are expected to act as role models to the off-campus student community and as liaisons for fellow students.
Off-Campus Housing Organization
The Off-Campus Housing Organization (OCHO) represent the concerns of the off-campus students attending Penn College. If you live off-campus or commute from home, you are already a member of OCHO! Attend a meeting to express concerns you have, to create a bond with other off-campus students, and to meet Penn College staff.
Current students: visit the myPCT Portal (login required) for more details about off-campus living and commuter services, and for information about becoming a CA, including the benefits and hiring process.
The Off-Campus Housing List shows rental units based on the following criteria:
- All units meet the minimum requirements of the Williamsport Bureau of Codes, which follows standards established by the International Code Council (ICC). The codes inspection encompasses, but is not limited to, building soundness, and electrical and safety conditions. Properties on the list have been inspected within the last year.
- Units are available for rent exclusively by students at Pennsylvania College of Technology.
- Units are within the Penn College Police active patrol zone.
General Advice for Parents and Students When Looking for an Off-Campus Apartment
- Only look at properties listed on the Off-Campus Housing List.
- Make copies off all your paperwork and photos when apartment searching. Use the Apartment Inspection Checklist to keep track of your searches
- Do not sign a lease until you have met with the landlord face-to-face.
- Do not sign a lease until you have toured your specific apartment.
- Do not sign a lease unless you are absolutely sure that will be attending Penn College and you are sure that is where you want to live.
Finding a Roommate or Apartment
Once accepted, students can utilize the myPCT E-mporium classifieds site (log in required) to look for roommates, rentals, and sales.
Your lease is a legal document which will define every aspect of your relationship with your new landlord, so read it thoroughly before signing. Understand everything that is expected of you and what your legal rights are.
- List the names of all adults who will be living in the apartment.
- Clearly identify the property which is being leased.
- Indicate both the length of the lease (in days, weeks, or months) and the dates.
- Indicate the amount of rent to be paid, when it is to be paid, whether or not you will be billed, and any grace period for paying.
- Indicate any late charge if rent is not paid on time.
- Indicate responsibility for utilities.
- Indicate the amount of any security or other deposit you have made and terms for its return (with interest).
- Indicate circumstances under which the landlord can enter the property and any notification requirements before entering.
- Indicate your liability for rent, etc., in case you leave before the end of the lease.
A Note about Leases
A lease is a legally binding document, and you can be held accountable if the terms are not met.
Reasons for which you cannot break your lease:
- Transferring schools
- Dropping out
- Studying abroad
- Don't like the apartment; found a better or cheaper place
- Roommate conflicts
- Minor repair problems
- High utility bills
- Buying a house
Like homeowner's insurance, renter's insurance protects your personal possessions from loss and protects you from huge legal and medical bills should someone be injured in your apartment.
Myths and Facts
My landlord's insurance covers me. Not true!
Your landlord carries insurance to cover his or her loss if the building is destroyed or damaged in some way. Your landlord is also covered in case someone (including a tenant) is injured on the property, though not in your apartment.
Renter's insurance is expensive. Not true!
The average renter can get complete coverage for a few hundred dollars, or less, per year. Check with your parent or guardian to see what, if anything, their insurance may cover.
My roommate has insurance; I don't need it. Not true!
Your roommate's insurance will cover his/her possessions, but it will not cover yours unless you are listed on your roommate's policy.
How do I get renter's insurance? It's easy!
If you have a car, talk to the agent who does your car insurance. If you don't, ask your friends who their insurance agent is, or head for the yellow pages.
Rent is the main thing your landlord wants from you. The roommates must agree upon who is responsible for which share of the rent, and whether they will pay it to one roommate who pays the landlord or if they will pay it individually.
Check your lease to determine the following things
- WHEN rent is due
- WHERE it is due
- HOW it should be paid:
- check (if you have roommates, see if you can write multiple checks)
- money order
- by mail
- in person
- WHEN is it considered late?
The condition you leave your apartment in is important and will often determine how much of your security deposit is returned. Being organized and taking your time can make all the difference.
- A security deposit is usually equivalent to one month's rent.
- A security deposit DOES NOT serve as your last month's rent.
- Your landlord has 30 business days to return your security deposit after you move out. If he has taken deductions, he must supply you with an itemized list.
- Ask your landlord about refunds if only part of the group moves out at the end of the lease term.
Helpful tips for getting your security deposit back
Make sure the security deposit refund procedures are spelled out in your lease or rental agreement. To protect yourself and avoid any misunderstandings, make sure your lease or rental agreement is clear on the use and refund of security deposits, including allowable deductions.
- Talk with roommate(s) about how bills will be paid.
- Talk with roommate(s) about apartment expectations.
- Talk with your landlord about his or her subletting policy.
Prior to Move-In
- Change your address
- Get renter's insurance
- Ask landlord where to pick up apartment key
- Call utility companies to have bills placed in your name
- Electricity (PP&L): 800-342-5775
- Gas (PG Energy): 800-432-8017
- Water (Water Authority): 570-323-6148
- Local phone service (Verizon): 800-660-7111
- Cable television and Internet (Comcast): 570-279-0859
- Conduct inventory of apartment condition with roommate(s)
- Test smoke detector(s)
- Ask landlord the following items:
- Location of trash & recycling facilities
- Location of laundry facilities
- Mailbox location
- Maintenance call numbers for regular business hours and after hours
- A copy of the lease you signed
Commuter Friendly Services
The Commuter Lounge, located outside Wildcat Express in the Bush Campus Center Room, 102A, offers a relaxing atmosphere with comfortable seating, computers, and resources just for commuters.
- Take a nap.
- Work on homework or take a break at our computers.
- Bring your laptop; we're wireless friendly.
- Check out the Commuter Bulletin Board for updated information.
- Chat with your Commuter Assistant about commuter concerns or questions.
Tired of studying and need to relax? Stop by the CC TV Lounge Room and hang out with other students! Campus Center, Room 100.
Warm up your lunch in the Wildcat Express, conveniently located next to the Commuter Lounge
Parking is availabe throughout campus for commuter. View the campus map for student parking locations.
Programs & Events
Student Activities offers a variety of events and program during the day! Check out the Student Activities portal page for details!
College & Community Resources
- Tenant's Rights - PA Law Help.org
- Lycoming County Recycling Program
- Pennsylvania Bureau of Consumer Protection
- Williamsport Bureau of Codes
- Williamsport Bureau of Fire
- Lycoming County Department of Public Safety
Penn College has a very different recycling program then Lycoming County. Visit these websites for more information:
Off-Campus Health & Safety Concerns
- Penn College Crime Alerts & Timely Warnings
- Williamsport Bureau of Fire & Codes
- Department of Public Safety
Fair and Legal Treatment by Landlords
Off-campus Living Resources
Once settled into your off-campus housing apartment, be sure to check out the Off-Campus Living & Commuter Services portal site. The site offers other resources that you will find helpful, including:
- Apartment Condition & Maintenance
- Landlord Communication
- Important Numbers
- Roommate Information
- Budget Information
- Off-Campus Safety