As a prospective tenant, you have the right to ask the landlord questions. Before signing a lease, be sure that you are satisfied with the apartment, services provided by the landlord, and the security of the unit.
Before you begin your housing search it is also important that you determine your needs and your budget. You should consider the following:
Where do you want to live?
- Consider the distance to the campuses
- Determine where the nearest bus stop is located, and other conveniences?
What type of housing do you prefer?
- Apartment – Independent rental unit within a building, separated from other units, with private cooking and living facilities.
- House or two-family/duplex building or a multi unit building.
- Studio/one/two or three bedroom-apartments are rented by unit and not by beds
- Shared Rentals – Individual room listings in houses and apartments where others already reside. You will move into a situation with others you probably do not know. In most of these rentals, you and the others in the house share the kitchen, living room and other common areas.
The following are questions you need to answer for yourself:
- What size unit are you looking for?
- How much can you afford for rent and utilities?
- Do you need a place to park your vehicle?
- Do you want a unit that is furnished (furnished are considerably more expensive) or unfurnished?
- What length of a lease do you need?
- How many roommates would you consider? Keep in mind that only 3 unrelated individuals may live together.
- Do you want to have a pet?
Safety & Security
Personal safety is an important and vital concern when living in any urban area. The Washington University Police Department provides valuable information along with a check list for off-campus living (PDF).