Though it is still early in the semester, some students are
beginning to consider where they will live next year, said Jeannie
Ortega, director of Off-Campus Student Services.
Ortega suggests students seriously begin searching in
“That is the prime time that landlords and property management
companies will know their availability for the following year,” she
OCSS will host a Housing Fair on March 24 in the Lory Student
“It’s a great time to start a housing search,” Ortega said.
“There will be many apartment complex managers and landlords that
will be advertising their places.”
OCSS will also hold information sessions in the residence halls
in late February to inform students of various housing options and
Some things students can do now to begin the housing search are
to create a budget and decide whether and how many roommates they
would like to have, Ortega said.
“Start doing a search based on affordability,” Ortega said. “Do
I want to live in an apartment or do I want to live in a
Housing Solutions, 1212 S. College Ave., offers students
assistance in finding rental homes, condos or town homes, as well
as providing a roommate locator service, Owner Wendy French
Housing Solutions’ big kick-off is the CSU housing fair, French
“We deter people from looking right now, but on March 29 we
start showing our properties,” she said.
French said Housing Solutions is starting to put together their
“People are starting to look, but most don’t want to do a lease
just now, because they often have to put money down right away,”
However, once students begin actively looking at homes and
apartments they should act quickly, French said.
“We’re pretty much out of (homes close to campus) by the end of
April … (and) stuff is pretty well picked over by May,” she
French said that although some renters might offer lower prices
later in the spring, often it is because the home has not been as
Apartment vs. House
Ortega said students should weigh the advantages and
disadvantages of both houses and apartments when deciding the type
of rental they want.
“Some utilities are already covered when you are in an
apartment,” Ortega said.
Other students may prefer to rent or buy a house because “it
feels a little more like home, and there’s a little more space
between you and your neighbors,” Ortega said.
However, she added that students should consider some of the
extra issues that come with a house, such as yard maintenance,
parking regulations and noise issues.
“As you move in, you’re also depending on what the culture of
the neighborhood is around you,” she said.
Other issues can arise if students are living in a neighborhood
that is populated by mostly residential, single-family homes.
“A person in that situation may find themselves in conflict with
other neighbors if their behavior is a little out of the ordinary
for that neighborhood, like multiple cars on the street, lots of
noise and parties,” Ortega said.
One trend that has become increasingly popular is for parents or
students to buy a house, Ortega said. Current low-interest rates
make this a more feasible investment opportunity.
“The thinking behind it is if a parent purchases a home, the
equity that is built up over the four years (a student is in
school) will be enough to pay for their child’s school,” she said.
“The equity of the home, theoretically, they’re hoping will be
equal to the cost of the tuition of the student.”
Lease and legal agreements are another important consideration
for students comparing rental units.
“Students should probably have their lease reviewed by an
attorney before they sign it,” said Kevin Daley, director of
Student Legal Services. “At the very least, they should read their
lease carefully and understand all the terms and conditions.”
Legal Services is updating their Web site to include
approximately 50 to 75 sample leases attorneys have critiqued.
Students can compare their own lease to those online at
Daley said the majority of issues SLS deals with regard a
student’s security deposit.
In order to protect a student’s security deposit, Daley
recommends completing a thorough checklist of the unit prior to
moving in and providing a copy for the tenet and the landlord.
Daley also suggests taking pictures of the condition of the unit
during move-in and move-out.
“Think ahead, use some foresight … towards the end of your
tenancy, write a letter to your landlord and ask for a close-out
inspection,” Daley said. “That way you’re putting it on record that
you expect your deposit back and you want your landlord’s opinion
on what else needs to be done.”
Daley also said students should choose any potential roommates
“If they’re signing with roommates they are likely going to be
responsible for their roommate’s rent and damages,” he said.
In reviewing a lease, Daley said students should look for a
repair clause stating that the landlord will make any repairs that
are not caused by the tenant.
“The first clause I look for in a lease to see if a landlord is
being fair when it has to do with attorney’s fees,” Daley said.
“Should the parties have to litigate in court … if the lease
requires the tenants to pay for the landlord’s attorney’s fees, I
know right off the bat that the landlord is not a very fair
Daley said the lease should declare the losing party should pay
for the winning party’s attorney and court fees.
Off-Campus Student Services Info Meetings
- Feb. 19, 8 p.m. – Corbett Main Lounge
- Feb. 23, 7 p.m. – Durrell Center, DC Bottoms
- Feb. 24, 7 p.m. – Edwards basement
- Feb, 24, 8 p.m. – Newsom TV lounge
- Feb. 26, 5:30 p.m. – Allison Cafeteria