Housing & Commuting Guide

Getting Started


Start the process of looking for and renting your new apartment by using the following information to prepare yourself and your finances for a smooth experience. 

Prepare Yourself

Securing housing is a big responsibility, and it is important to be prepared for the task. The following steps will help you complete the process:

  • Start the process at least a month in advance
  • Open a local bank account
  • Decide how much you can afford to pay
  • Prepare to pay application fees, first and last month’s rent and security deposit
  • Write down features that are important to you such as security, parking, laundry, pets, etc.
  • Gather web, newspaper and other listings
  • Call for availability and viewing appointment
  • Inspect the properties carefully
  • Fill out an application and be prepared to supply credit information and references
  • Establish a move-in date
  • Sign a lease or contract and get a copy.

House Hunting

Ask these questions before signing a lease:

  • What is the length of the lease?
  • What method is the rent paid in?
  • What are the policies on deposits and refunds?
  • What does the security deposit cover?
  • Who pays the utility bills?
  • Is parking provided? Is there a fee?
  • Who pays for trash removal?
  • Who repairs and pays for wear and tear damage?
  • What is the maximum occupancy?
  • Is laundry done on-site?
  • Are there decorating limitations?
  • Are there smoking restrictions
  • Are there pet restrictions?
  • Are there any cable or satellite restrictions?
  • Is it rent-controlled?
  • When was the last pest/rodent inspection?