Information for International Students
The Office of Student Housing is excited to you as you navigate the housing process. Below you’ll find some essential information to understand before you begin your search. As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail our office at email@example.com.
A rental agreement in the United States is called a “lease.” The rental process may be initiated with a rental application which is used to show your interest in renting a specific apartment. Generally, a lease contains a lot of basic information (who, what, when, how much) as well as more specific information about your privileges, the landlord’s obligations, and limitations on your use of the premises.
A lease is a legally binding contract. If you sign a lease, it is not always easy (or cheap) to get out of it. Make sure you want to commit to living in the apartment before you sign a lease. When a tenant breaks a lease they are held responsible for any unpaid rent until the landlord is able to find a replacement.
For more information on what to look for in a lease, click here.
Deposits & Pre-payments
When you sign a lease for an apartment, you should expect to pay three or four month’s rent up front in the form of deposits and pre-payments. A landlord may require:
- First month’s rent
- Last month’s rent
- Security deposit equal to one month’s rent (held until after the tenant moves out; the landlord uses this money to pay for damages caused by the tenant)
- Finder’s fee equal to one month’s rent (if the broker is a licensed real estate agent)
Make sure you get a receipt for any deposits or pre-payments made to the landlord. Always try to pay with a check or money order instead of cash. For more information on Rental Costs, click here.
It is often a good idea to purchase renter’s insurance to protect you and your belongings in the case of fire, theft, or vandalism. For more information about renter’s insurance, click here.