Southeast Missouri State University has committed, to first- and second-year students attending from outside of our commuting distance, to provide housing and transitional support. To support this commitment, the University has a two-year live on requirement that gives students the time and space needed to successfully transition to university life. While most first- and second-year students at Southeast live on campus, many upper division, graduate, and non-traditional students also live in the residence halls each year.

While the University provides housing for as many students as possible, a majority of upper division, graduate, and non-traditional make arrangements for their own housing in the surrounding Cape Girardeau community. To assist students in finding off-campus housing there are some resources you can use as you explore your off-campus housing options. 

Southeast Missouri State University does not warrant, recommend, or endorse any "specific properties". As with all endeavors, please make sure you read your rental agreement carefully before you make a commitment and check with the local Better Business Bureau. Note, none of the information provided here has been reviewed for accuracy by the University and is only meant to assist students in contacting off-campus housing property owners/landlords.

Tips for Renting

Provided by Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Visit the Office of Residence Life

Before you sign the lease, make sure that you qualify to live off campus.  To see if you qualify to live off campus visit this page; you can print off the Residency Release Application from this site and mail to us.

Visit and personally checkout the apartment

Before you sign the lease or consider moving anything into the apartment/house, make a personal inspection of your new apartment/house to see if there is any damage left from the previous tenant. Report in writing (make a copy for yourself) anything you find to the landlord, follow up via an e-mail if needed.

Read the entire lease

Carefully read and review all of the conditions of the lease before you sign. Your lease or rental agreement may contain a provision that you find unacceptable -- for example, restrictions on guests, pets, painting of the apartment/house, parking, or running a home business. Be sure to have any changes in the lease written down, don’t accept anything verbally that conflicts with what is written.

Get everything in writing

To avoid disputes or misunderstandings with your landlord, get everything in writing. Always keep copies of any letters/e-mails and be sure to follow up an oral agreement with an e-mail or letter, detailing what was agreed to. In the end, any dispute will be settled based upon what you or the landlord can prove you agreed to, written terms of a lease will trump any conversation that you claim took place.

Know and protect your privacy

Next to disputes over rent or security deposits, one of the most common and emotion-filled misunderstandings arises over the tension between a landlord's right to enter a rental unit and a tenant's right to be left alone. Be sure to review and fully understand this section of your lease. Know what kind of notice is required before the landlord can enter your apartment/house. Under what conditions do they not need to give notice.

Demand repairs

You have every right to live in a habitable rental unit. The vast majority of landlords are required to offer their tenants livable premises, including adequate weatherproofing; heat, water, and electricity and clean, sanitary, and structurally safe premises. Be sure to request the repairs in writing, this is key if a future dispute occurs and you attempt to break the lease agreement.

Talk to your landlord

Keep communication open with your landlord. If there's a problem — for example, if the landlord is slow to make repairs — talk it over to see if the issue can be resolved short of a nasty legal battle.

Purchase renters insurance

Your landlord's insurance policy will not cover your losses due to theft or damage. Renters insurance also covers you if you're sued by someone who claims to have been injured in your rental due to your carelessness. Renters insurance typically costs a few hundred dollars a year and protects your belongings, as well as additional protection in case someone is injured and claims it is related to your negligence. Be sure to speak with an insurance agent for the details of your policy and what is covers and does not cover.