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Tips for Searching

  • Begin your search at least 30 days before you need a home.
  • Allow several days to search for housing and become familiar with the city. Take your time inspecting accommodations.
  • Allow time for your references to be checked.
  • Plan to drive or walk through selected neighborhoods to look for vacancy signs in buildings that are not advertised in the newspapers or the Off-Campus Housing List.
  • Check the local newspapers and Off-Campus Housing List regularly. If you see a listing you like, run, don’t walk to the nearest phone and call for an appointment.
  • If a landlord tells you that a listing has already been rented, politely ask the landlord if she or he has additional anticipated rentals available. Have a pen and paper ready.
  • Be assertive. Don’t be pressured into signing a lease on-the-spot, before you’ve had a chance to review it carefully.
  • Always call before visiting apartments, as spaces are filled quickly.
  • Keep in mind that apartment renting is a business transaction. Appearances may influence a landlord’s decision on renting. Look presentable and act politely.
  • If you are coming from out of town to look for an apartment, make arrangements in advance to stay in a hotel or bed and breakfast. See the appendix for a list of possible places to stay.
  • If the present tenant has not moved out yet, try to get that person’s name and contact from the landlord. Then call and get information about utilities, landlord cooperation, etc. from someone who knows.
  • It is a good idea to have one person negotiate with the landlord, especially if several share the dwelling.
  • Good, clean apartments are not cheap, so don’t expect a bargain and don’t waste your time searching for one.