Apartments or Shared Housing
If you plan to live off campus in an apartment or in shared housing (one or more students living in a house together), you will need to make your own arrangements directly with the landlord or agent.
It is extremely difficult to find a house to rent in the University District. Sometimes students can find a house to rent together. However, most houses require a lease, a security deposit, and the first and last months' rent. It is easier to find an apartment or a room in shared housing.
Click on these links to learn more:
Apartments in the University District
There are many apartment buildings near the university. However, vacancies can be difficult to find, and apartments are usually expensive. In addition to the monthly rent, many apartments require a lease or rental agreement and security deposit.
If you decide to try to rent an apartment, these are just some of the apartments in the University District:
Nordheim Court Apartments
UW-owned, privately managed apartments for UW students. 2-4 bedrooms, fully furnished with bundled rent (includes utilities, internet and cable). Located next to University Village, convenient for shopping, 15-minute walk or five-minute bus ride to the UW.
Tel: (206) 934-1200
Sagen Property Management
Seattle-based residential property management firm that provides leasing and full management services to owners of homes and condominiums, in the Greater Seattle area.
Tel: (206) 365-0000
Upstairs Downstairs Apartment
Private rooms in a 6-bedroom apartment with full kitchen, living room and 1 ½ baths. Rooms can be fully furnished or partially furnished as your needs require.
Tel: (206) 522-0323
2-5 bedroom apartments centrally located near the UW campus. Offers 24-hour emergency maintenance, on site laundry facilities, and modern kitchens.
Tel: (206) 547-2974
Furnished rooms, studios, and 1-2 bedroom apartments just a few blocks west of the UW campus. Close to bus lines, grocery stores, restaurants, theaters, libraries, schools, parks and walking trails.
Tel: (206) 632-9009
Finding an Apartment or Shared Housing
The links below will lead you to popular sites for UW students who are looking for apartments.
These sites are also helpful:
Off-Campus Housing Affairs (OCHA)
OCHA is a resource to educate UW students, faculty, and staff about tenant issues and assists them to find housing via a listing service, which connects potential tenants with Seattle area property managers.
PadMapper is a free site that lets you search for housing by location through home rental listings from a large number of different sources, including Craigslist, Apartments.com, Rent.com, ApartmentFinder.com, and many others.
- Northwest Classified Advertisements Online
This website lists apartments and houses for rent in the Seattle area.
- The University of Washington Daily Classifieds Online
This is the website for the UW student newspaper. Many of the houses and apartments listed in these advertisements are close to the UW and regularly rent to students.
- Off-Campus Housing Affairs (OCHA)
OCHA is a resource to educate UW students, faculty, and staff about tenant issues and assists them to find housing via a listing service, which connects potential tenants with Seattle area property managers. In-person support is available by appointment.
- Rental Bulletin Board in the HUB
Inside the north entrance of the Husky Union Building (HUB), there is a bulletin board where people place advertisements for apartments and rooms. There are many houses in the University District that are rented together by several students. When you rent a room, you can usually expect a
private bedroom and the shared use of a kitchen, bathroom, and living
area. Advertising for rooms often begin with "Room for Rent," "Roommate
Wanted," or "Wanted to Share."
Local newspapers (Seattle Times, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, UW Daily, University Today, Seattle Weekly, and The Stranger) have listings for apartments, rooms, and houses in the classified section of the paper.
- Real Estate Offices
Many real estate offices will help you find housing; however, they charge a fee for this service.
- Walking around the University District
Many students have found the most effective way to find housing is to walk along the streets and look for signs in windows or on buildings or houses. The signs will usually say "Room for Rent," "Apartment for Rent," "Apartment Available," or "Vacancy".
In unfurnished apartments, a stove and refrigerator are usually provided and sometimes there is wall-to-wall carpeting. Inexpensive furniture can be bought or rented, but you may need a car to carry it home or pay a small fee for delivery. Most students prefer the convenience of renting a furnished apartment.
Students may also find convenient and inexpensive furniture rental through CORT Rental Furniture
Signing a Rental Agreement
Most problems new tenants experience are a result of lack of communication rather than bad business practices. Be sure you understand the rental agreement completely before you rent. Talk over everything with your potential landlord. Do not be afraid to ask questions.
- What does the rent include? Does it include utilities: gas, water, electricity, garbage, and telephone?
- On what day of the month is the rent due? Is there a late fee if the rent is paid late?
- Are parking facilities available? Do I have to pay an additional fee to use them?
- If there is a required deposit, what does it cover? Does it cover damages, cleaning? Is it refundable, non- refundable, or partly refundable? If refundable, when will I receive it?
- Is there any damage to the apartment? Be sure you check out the rental with the landlord. Write down every defect that you find (e.g., loose tiles, cracked walls or windowpanes, burnt holes in the rug or counter). If the landlord says that he will make repairs, make sure that this is also written down, dated, and signed by the landlord and you.
- Is there a lease? If yes: Is the lease for the calendar year (12 months), the academic year (9 months), or 6 months? If you are not planning on staying for the full time of the lease, is it possible to sublet or rent it out to a friend? If subletting is possible, be sure it is clearly written in the lease.
- If you sign a lease, the landlord cannot raise the rent for the duration of the lease. If you do not sign a lease, the landlord can raise the rent at any time.
Most rental agreements require advance notice, at least 20 days, if you are planning to leave. This notice should be in writing.