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Has your student thought about where they are going to live next year? There are several options and resources both on-and-off campus your student can take advantage of to find a place.

Students interested in living on-campus next year will need to fill out a housing application for the Fall 2019-Spring 2020 academic year. Housing applications will close this Friday, Feb. 8, 2019 at noon. Students who submit and application by the deadline will be entered into a lottery system. Submitting an application does not guarantee a space on-campus, but rising sophomores will be given first priority.

For more information about on-campus housing and important dates and deadlines, please visit the Residential Life and Housing website.

Students looking to live off-campus have a variety of options available to them. Off-Campus Student Services offers multiple resources to aid students in their search including a list of available properties posted by local property managers, roommate mixers, budgeting workshops and more. Students should ask several questions before they sign a lease:

Questions to Ask Before You Sign

Deciding what property is right for your student can be confusing and overwhelming. Students look forward to a new type of independance that living off-campus brings, but there are a few questions they should ask before signing a lease.

What type of lease is it? Do I Need a Cosigner?

Leases can cover varying amounts of time and may be an individual or group responsibility. Some leases can be 3-months, or they can stretch as long as 12 months. If your student wishes to stay in their apartment during the summer to work or attend classes, it would be best to get a longer lease. Some leases can be individual, meaning your student would be responsible for their room and wouldn’t be penalized if one of their roommates moved out, or they could be grouped, which means your student could incur increased rent and utilities if one of the roommates does not uphold their part of the lease agreement. Landlords and property managers will require proof of income to assure that tenants can pay rent. This can present a challenge for some students and landlords may require a cosigner as an additional safeguard. It is important to talk to landlords and leasing offices about their cosigner policies throughout your student’s search.

What about utilities or amenities?

Utilities are not always included in the cost of rent. While some properties may include utilities such as water, sewer and trash, electricity and internet/cable in the monthly rent amount, other properties may only cover some or none of these utilities. Before signing a lease students should ask what utilities are included, what companies are available to receive utilities if they are not a part of monthly rent and if landlords know the average cost of the utilities per month in the building.

Alterations and Decorations

Can students paint the walls or hang things with nails? Would the walls need to be repainted before they moved out and any holes filled? Some choices of decoration may seem inconsequential, but students need to be aware of what factors may impact their security deposits.

Categories Advice for Students & Families, VCU Calendar Reminders