What is off-campus rental housing?
How can the Off-Campus Housing Service help me locate a place to live?
When should I start my search for off campus housing?
What should I plan to pay for off campus housing?
What should I know before choosing a place to live off-campus?
What should I ask before renting off campus housing?
What should I know before I sign a lease?
Are there meal options for students who live off campus?
What if I need temporary housing?
It is apartment buildings, houses, duplexes, triplexes, townhouses, rooming houses, and cooperatives. It is rental housing owned and operated by private individuals or companies, not by the University of Minnesota. Off-campus housing is located within walking distance of the campus as well as in the greater Twin Cities area.
The Off-Campus Housing Service, part of Housing & Residential Life, is located at Comstock Hall next to Coffman Memorial Union on the Minneapolis campus. You may also access our vacancy listings on our website. Information and rental listings are provided free of charge to members of the University community who choose to live off campus. Listings of most vacancies are received three to six weeks before the date of availability. They may be viewed in the office between 8:00 am and 4:30 pm Monday-Friday or on our website anytime. In addition to vacancy listings, a variety of other services are offered including:
Consumer materials such as campus area maps and parking and transportation schedules
Information about community groups, neighborhood associations, public agencies, housing organizations and owner/ tenant groups
Knowledgeable staff to answer your questions
It is wise to begin looking for housing from three to six weeks before you need to move. Most rentals begin on the first of the month. It is possible to find housing within a few days; however, it may take several days of concentrated searching to locate a rental unit that meets your specific needs.
Due to the high demand for rentals close to the campus, inexpensive housing is limited. Generally, rooming houses and shared housing arrangements are the least expensive type of housing. Apartments, duplexes, and houses have higher rates. Other costs such as telephone installation, fixed utility costs such as natural gas for heating, electricity for lighting and appliances, water and sewer add to the expense of renting larger units. Advance payment for rent and damage/security deposit costs should also be considered. Newer construction will be higher in rent. The following are ranges of rental rates for campus area units. Rates are given per month and based upon 2005-2006 averages.
|Unfurnished Apartments*||Unfurnished Duplexes and Houses **|
|Efficiency/Studio: $450-$900||One Bedroom: $525-$715|
|One Bedroom: $525-$1,150||Two Bedroom: $690-$1,000|
|Two Bedroom: $700-$1,700||Three Bedroom: $890-$1,400|
|Four Bedroom: $1,236-$2,780||Four Bedroom: $990-$2200|
*Generally, rentals include heat and water, not electricity and telephone
**Utilities are NOT usually included in rent for houses and duplexes Rooming Houses
A rooming house is typically a house where the owner rents out one or more bedrooms, with the tenants sharing a bathroom and often a kitchen. Rooms generally range from $250 to $500 per month, per person. They may be rented for the year or on a month-to-month basis.Roommates/Shared bedroom
Rates generally range from $250 to $690 per month, per person.
Leases- The basic agreement between you and the owner of rental property is a lease. A lease is a binding legal agreement that is enforceable through the legal system. If you move before the end of the lease term and the landlord has performed properly, you may be legally responsible to pay for the remainder of the lease.
Deposits (security or damage)- Most owners require you to deposit a sum of money when you rent a unit. Deposits generally range in amount from one half to a full month’s rent. This is designed to reimburse the owner for any damage to the unit or for failure to pay rent. At the end of the tenancy, the owner must return the deposit plus interest or submit an explanation why the deposit or any part of it has been withheld. You should find out the exact purpose for which the deposit will be used and the circumstances affecting its refund. This should be clearly stated in the written lease, which you sign.
Renter’s Insurance- Renter’s insurance is an item you should purchase. Landlord’s property insurance does not cover your personal property. If you cannot afford to replace your belongings if they are damaged, lost, or stolen, then you should look into buying a policy. If you are still on your parent/guardian’s insurance, the least expensive policies can be added to theirs. If these alternatives are not available to you, you can purchase personal property insurance from many insurance agencies.
Additional Information and Rental Facts- A good source of information about landlord/tenant law is the Landlords and Tenants handbook, a publication available from the Minnesota Attorney General's Office. You may also want to use the services of the University Student Legal Services; 160 West Bank Union, (612) 624-1001; or the Minneapolis Housing Service, which provides landlord/tenant housing information over the telephone at (612) 673-3003.
Rent- How much; When it is due; Starting date?
Deposit- How much; How will it be used; How and when is it refunded?
Damages- Who pays for breakage or other damages over and above normal wear and tear- individuals or all occupants?
Subletting- Is it permitted; What is the procedure?
Roommates- Should all roommates sign the lease; Are roommates responsible for only a portion of the rent; If someone moves out must the remaining roommates make up the difference?
Alterations- May the unit be altered, such as painted; Can you hang pictures on the wall (and how)?
Laundry facilities- Are they available and are there any restrictions?
Noise restrictions- For musical instruments, stereo, TV, or social events?
Inspection by landlord- When may the landlord enter your unit; How much notice must be given?
Parking- Is it available; Is it included in the rent or is it an added charge?
Pets- Are pets allowed; Is there an added charge for having a pet?
Utilities- What utilities are included in the rent; How much is the installation fee for those not included; What are the billing and payment procedures?
If the landlord makes any promises or representation about the apartment, have them put it in writing! Make sure the lease reflects the fact that you’ll have new furniture, parking is guaranteed, etc. Verbal contracts can be impossible to enforce; some leases expressly preclude verbal agreements.
Don’t sign a lease until you are certain you want the place. It can be difficult and/or expensive to cancel a lease once it’s signed.
Don’t commit yourself to a place you can’t afford! Each fall, there are students who have rented a multi-bedroom place in the spring and still have not been able to round up enough housemates to make the payments. Anyone who has signed the lease remains legally liable for the full rent.
Be sure to get a copy of the signed lease from your landlord and keep it in a safe place. The landlord is required by law to give you a copy. You may need it for future reference if any problems occur during the term of the lease.
Before signing the lease or paying any money, you should inspect the property with the landlord and a witness. You should also be allowed to inspect the utilities - the appliances, the electrical system, the plumbing, heating and lights - as well as locks and windows. Write down all existing damages. Both you and the landlord should sign and date the list. You may also want to videotape or take photographs to document your descriptions. This list will prevent the landlord from trying to charge you for these damages when you move out. Landlords can refuse to cooperate (these are not “rights” legally enforceable in court), but cooperation is advised. To have a list is in the best interest of both landlord and tenant, since it protects all parties if there is a disagreement about who is responsible for any repairs.
The lease should state who is responsible for paying which utility bills. In some cases, the landlord pays for heat, electricity, and water. Sometimes the tenant is responsible for these bills. If this issue is not addressed in the lease, the tenant and landlord should work out their own understanding. It is good to put this agreement in writing, and have it signed by both parties. Information about utility shut-offs can be found in the complete booklet on Landlords & Tenants: Rights and Responsibilities.[Return to top]
Yes, University Dining Services offers a range of meal plans for commuters and students living off campus. For more information please contact the UDS Meal Plan office at 612-624-0558 or visit their website at: www.dining.umn.edu/MealPlansFlexDine/20102011MealPlansFlexDine.aspx
There may be times when you need a temporary place to stay while you are searching for a suitable housing unit. Housing and Residential Life compiles a list of overnight and short-term accommodations. This list is available in the Housing and Residential Life office or on our website at: www.housing.umn.edu/offcampus/temp.htm Many area hotels offer discounts to visitors attending University of Minnesota activities. To receive the University rate, identify yourself as University of Minnesota visitor when you call for reservations. Please note, hotels have a limited number of rooms available at discount rates. Please visit http://www.parent.umn.edu/hotels.html to see a list of campus area hotels.