There is nothing more important than a good, safe, secure home.

  —Rosalynn Carter

Search Process

I called a company that I thought was legitimate, but they told me I could only see the property after I mailed them a non-refundable deposit. I knew something was wrong, and it turns out the company was a fraud and there was no property!

— Student

Make sure you know who you will be living with. Keep in mind you will want to pick roommates that you are compatible with. You might want to ask the following questions:
  1. How often do you clean?
    Cleanliness is the biggest issues that roommates will have with one another. Also, be honest with your potential roommate about how often you clean.
  2. What do you do on the weekends?
    This is a good way to find out if you and your roommate are into similar things, how often they are home or gone from home.
  3. Do you like to have friends over and/or overnight guests?
    If you need an abundance of quiet time to study, you may want to think twice if you are living with someone that constantly has friends over.

Look Out For Potential Scams

Is it too good to be true? If you speak with a property management company on the phone, make sure they have a local number or a reasonable explanation why they do not. Also, visit the rental unit in person before writing a check. Many times scammers will put up photos of other people's property, and ask you to mail them a check without viewing the sight in person.

Unit Availability

During the search process, please be aware that some properties currently
listed are available for rent now. If you are searching early, it is
important when reviewing a rental ad that you look to see if a property is
available now or at a future date. Property managers will not “hold” a
property for you to begin renting for a later date. Please do not contact a
property management company whose rental unit’s date of availability does
not match your expected move in date.


You should decide what you are looking for ahead of time. Ask appropriate questions:
What criteria are being used to select a tenant? Who pays utilities? How many applicants are there? Is there on-site parking? Who is in charge of landscaping? Is the rental month-to-month or is there a lease? Is there on-site laundry?

Arrange for co-signers ahead of time and have the funds ready should you get the rental. Many property managers will put an application to the bottom of the pile if the person is not ready.


The lease is a legal document, and by signing it you are agreeing to the terms that the property manager has placed in it. There may be terms in which you might be required to pay additional fees. If you are ever fined by your property manager they will refer back to the lease. Some examples of this might be a late payment fee or a fine if you receive a noise citation from the city.


Next: Leasing Information

Related Content

Educated Renters Guide

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Click here for more information on being an educated renteer, and off campus housing resources

Educated Renters Guide


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