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

  —Rosalynn Carter

For Parents


This is a very exciting time as your student is about to make the transition to off-campus living! We understand that, as parents, you may have lots of questions about living in the San Luis Obispo Community. As a result, we have created a resource page to provide information.  However, we strongly recommend that you take the time to go through all sections of this program, not just the parent’s page, to find more detailed information. 

You may also want to encourage your student to get certified as an Educated Renter by taking the assessment.  Locating housing in San Luis Obispo can be difficult since it is such a competitive market. Cal Poly has developed relationships with the property management companies that will view our Educated Renter Certification as an asset.  While having the certificate will not guarantee housing, it is one way your student can differentiate themselves from others that are not Certified Educated Renters.

Parents can also take an active role in helping their student make a good transition to off-campus living. Below are a few ways you can help your student through the process.

During the Searching Process

Have discussions with your student about managing their budget

What can they afford to pay every month for rent?  Will this mean that they will need to share a room with another person or can they afford to have their own room? What will their monthly expenses look like and how can they best manage their money?  

Avoid scams

Be sure that your student does not send money out for a rental unit they have not seen in-person.  

Apply for the rental property

Most parents will be co-signers on the rental application for their student.  We strongly encourage students have everything ready to go when submitting their application and also have their application COMPLETELY filled out.  Most property managers will put incomplete applications to the bottom of the stack.  The same goes if the student is not ready to act with funds and co-signers. If you are going to be submitting the rental check on their behalf, it is always a good idea to put the address on the check.

Questions for your student to ask

Your student may want consider asking the property management company the following questions:

  • Is the unit month-to-month or on a lease?
  • Is there on-site laundry?
  • Is there on-site parking?
  • What utilities are included?

Educate your student on safe housing conditions

Does the rental unit meet safety standards?  Please refer to Unsafe Housing Conditions for a list of safety conditions to watch out for. Consider talking to your student about this.

What if my son or daughter can not find a place on or off-campus?

Consider widening the radius of the search to North or South county San Luis Obispo.  Some cities you may want to consider looking in are Atascadero, Morro bay, Los Osos, Pismo Beach, Grover Beach and Arroyo Grande.  You will find that there is public transportation from these areas to Cal Poly and that information is linked.

While your Student is a Tenant

Being a responsible renter

Consider having discussions about safety, what it means to be a good neighbor and tenant. Building a good rental history can make it a lot easier for your student to secure housing in the future.

What if one of my son or daughter’s roommates decided to move out?  Can we sublet?

You will want to have your student check with their property manager about what the policy on subletting.  If it is allowed, it would be a good idea to look into some of the pros and cons before deciding to move forward with it.  

While your Student is Vacating the Rental Unit

If your student completed a rental condition check list at the time of move-in, they should request a walk through from their landlord before vacating to have a better chance of getting their deposit back. This will give them the opportunity to fix and clean all items before vacating the rental.

Resources for Parents

Parent and Family Programs at Cal Poly:
Parent Helpline: (805) 756 - 6700

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


Contact Us

Dean of Students

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Should you have any concerns or questions regarding university policies, your rights as a student, or need assistance locating resources please contact this office.

Dean Of Students

Strategic Plan

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