Off-Campus Housing

Housing Search Tips

Finding a great off-campus apartment is an adventure that many of our students look forward to, and most are very successful.

MICA’s Office of Residence Life and Off-Campus Housing will provide you with tools, advice, and resources to help you with any problems that might arise while you are living off-campus. However, our office cannot find you an apartment, screen landlords, keep track of your paperwork, pay any rent or fees, sign your lease, or act as a lawyer. Please consider us a resource as you begin your search, but please remember that the adventure of finding and keeping an off-campus apartment is your responsibility. Let us know how we can help!

On-Line Apartment Search

We recommend the following resources to find off campus housing but there are many more out there that might be fruitful. The popularity of these resource listings changes from year to year so please consider using more than one from the list below.  Please keep in mind that there are people who are looking to scam you out of money on the internet! Search at your own risk and if you are unsure about a particular apartment, then don't sign a lease or send money. The following sites are not affiliated with MICA.

If you happen to be in Baltimore, we recommend looking for vacancy signs in windows in the neighborhood of your choice. In addition, multiple apartment complexes in the area often have a variety of different apartment options and usually have vacancies.

Finally, search Facebook for MICA Off Campus Housing - Here you will find students who are looking for apartment-mates, subleasing, have insider knowledge about a particular landlord or address, etc.

The following tips will help you with your search:

  • 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 online.
  • Check online everyday. If you see a listing you like schedule an appointment immediately.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Contact Baltimore Gas & Electric (BG&E) to get information about utilities and average costs for the address you are interested in.
  • It is a good idea to have one person negotiate with the landlord, especially if several share the dwelling.


When you move away to college, you establish a home away from home. Just like in any home, as a college student, your personal property could be damaged by fire, smoke, theft, vandalism, or flooding. A tenant’s personal possessions are not protected from theft, fire, or water damages under the owner’s insurance. You may, however, be covered under your parents' homeowner’s policy even though you are living off the premises. You should check to determine if any limits are imposed by the policy if you are covered. Anyone who rents and is not covered by his or her parents' policy should obtain renter’s insurance. Most renters' insurance policies are similar to the kind of policy you would have if you owned your own home. The major difference is that because you do not own the building itself, the renter’s policy does not cover damage to the structure itself.


MICA does not endorse any particular insurance carrier, but we strongly recommend that you investigate renters' insurance whether you have chosen on or off campus housing. Most national insurance carriers also provide renters' insurance. Please contact our office if you have questions about renters' insurance.

Problems with your living situation will arise from time to time. There are city and state resources that might assist with your issue. The resource below is a great tool to help you stay informed about state and city policies that you can use to your advantage.

Click here for tips from the Maryland Attorney General's office to avoid disputes between tenants and landlords.

On Campus Parking

Students living in campus housing may park in parking lots next to and behind Founders Green. Residents are issued a parking permit and a card that operates the automatic gate. Security cameras monitor the parking lots. Parking permits and cards may be obtained from the Campus Safety Office during regular business hours, 410-225-2355.


On Street Residential Parking

Baltimore City signs are posted regulating on street parking.  Please take the time to read these signs as they vary from block to block.  For those that are eligible for Area #3 Residential Parking Permits, contact Parking Authority of Baltimore City for further information at 443-573-2800, or  The Parking Authority of Baltimore is located at 200 West Lombard Street, Suite B.

You have been thinking about off campus housing; you have figured out your living expenses (Budget Expense Form; you worked out your financial aid; and it is just impossible to live alone! What do you do?

MICA’s Residence Life & Off-Campus Housing Department suggests a couple options:

  1. Search Facebook for MICA Off Campus Housing. Here you will find other students also looking for an apartment-mate.
  2. You can also use or and search for an apartment where a roommate is being requested.
  3. You can also post your need for a roommate on these forums.

Most students find it financially essential to have a roommate. Whether you decide to live with a good friend, an acquaintance, or a stranger, it is important for all parties to agree to and sign a "Roommate Contract."

Roommate Contract

It is strongly suggested that roommates agree in writing to simple ground rules immediately upon moving in by using the Roommate Contract. Finances —especially utility bills — tend to cause problems among roommates. The lease should be in everyone's name but utilities can be placed in only one person’s name. Be sure to include your structure of payment with all cost relating to your apartment. When all conditions have been agreed upon, each roommate should sign and date the agreement to show a financial commitment.