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Finding Housing in Utah

 

campus sunset

 

As a student or scholar at the University of Utah, you may choose to live either on-campus or off-campus. Review the resources below for information about applying for on-campus housing, finding an apartment or room to rent off-campus, finding a roommate, and your rights as a  tenant in Utah.

university guest house


The University Guest House is a 180-room hotel on campus which provides guests with affordable, comfortable, and convenient accommodation within walking distance of the main campus. A free shuttle service is also available.

We recommend making reservations early, as rooms fill up quickly, especially during the beginning of the semester. To reserve a room, call Toll Free 1-888-416-4075 or 801-587-1000, or you can book online. Identify yourself as a University student when you reserve a room so you can receive a discount.

The Guest House is open 24 hours, 7 days a week.

Other Temporary Housing

For other temporary housing options while you look for a permanent place to stay, please view local hotels and motels in Salt Lake City. It is recommended to use a reputable hotel review site like Trip Advisor to find safe, sanitary accommodations that meet your needs and price range. Keep in mind that very inexpensive hotels may not be located in an ideal location or meet necessary cleanliness standards.

University Housing & Residential Education (HRE)

Peterson Heritage Center

University Housing is offered through Housing & Residential Education.

Important Notice: University Housing is NOT automatically assigned to students. Students must apply directly to Housing & Residential Education, complete the online application, pay the application and deposit fees, and receive confirmation of their accommodations.

Housing and Residential Education is located in Heritage Commons, Upper Campus and is within walking and biking distance of the main campus. Free Campus Shuttle service to all areas of the campus is available.

More Housing Information

Living Learning & Themed Communities

One way to deepen your engagement in Housing at the U is through a variety of special living options. These options can be broken down into two major categories: Living Learning Communities (LLCs) and Themed Communities (TCs). Each type of special living option is designed to bring students with similar interests, majors, goals, and experiences together. When living in an LLC or a TC, students participate in activities associated with the theme.

Go Globlal Floor logoCheck out the Go Global Floor option, which is part of the Sage Point Living Learning Communities. Go Global is an Intercultural Living & Learning Floor which is a collaborative effort between Housing & Residential Education, Learning Abroad and International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS).

 

Things to Remember

dorm life


  • When applying for University housing, please check for: Housing Options, Application Procedures, Dining Plan, Roommate selection, and Room Assignment.
  • Don’t forget to check your UMail account frequently so you don’t miss any important emails from HRE. You can also follow HRE on social media (Facebook, Twitter) for even more updates, move in tips, and prize giveaways.
  • To apply for housing, complete the housing application and pay the non-refundable application fee and follow the instruction.
  • Remember you must receive confirmation of your room or housing assignment for the transaction to be complete.
  • Make sure you bring enough supplies (water, toilet paper, bedding, pillows, etc.) for your first night stay. For a fee, you may also order some of these supplies from Housing through optional services by ordering them in advance.

 

mailYou will receive a mailing address after HRE has placed you in on-campus housing. If you would like to request a mailbox, you may do so through the Optional Services page of your Housing U application. Please click here for more information on reserving an on-campus mailbox. 

 

Break Housing Stayover

Winter Break Stayover: The Winter break is not part of the Winter block Uacademic year housing contract. Students wishing to stay over the break will need to complete a separate agreement in Housing U and make payment before the break begins. Only residents continuing for Spring Semester may sign-up for Stay Over.

Downtown Commons: Students living off campus in the 400 East residence are billed for the full months of December and January. They have full access to their apartments during the Winter Break period and do not need to sign up for Winter Break Stayover.

Please see the Break Housing Stayover webpage for more information about break stayovers.

Living on Campus: What to Bring

Packing list suggestions

While your dorm room will come equipped with all of the necessary furniture (e.g., bed, desk, closet, etc.), many items (e.g., bedding, towels, toiletries, kitchen items) will not be included with your room. Check the on-campus housing packing ideas list for suggestions on what to bring when you move into your dorm room! 

Be sure to talk to your roommate and/or suitemates about shared items you are bringing or planning to rent from HRE.  You may not need four bean bag chairs or three microwaves!

NOTE: For a fee, you may also order some of these supplies from Housing through optional services by ordering them in advance.

University Student Apartments (USA)

The University of Utah owns and operates 1094 apartment units that are primarily intended for students and their families. Utilities, expanded basic cable television, basic telephone service and high speed Internet are included.

  • One, two and three bedroom unfurnished apartments are located in the Medical Plaza Towers, West Village and East Village which are about ten minutes from campus. Shuttle and bus service is available.
  • USA Apartments is a great community of people with many international students. For information, visit www.apartments.utah.edu, or please contact apartments@usa.utah.edu or by phone at: 801-581-8667.
  • PLEASE NOTE: University Student Apartments are in very high demand and are typically reserved for families. Click here for more information about availability and Wait List estimations.

See an international student testimonial for USA Apartments below:

 

Home Stay Program

Students have the opportunity of staying with a host family while attending The University of Utah. For further information, please visit www.azhomestay.com or contact: 1-480-633-8191.

NOTE: OvECS Ltd. is a private company and is not an official University of Utah program.

University of Utah

Local Housing

Below are a few possible resources when searching for more permanent accommodations. Before using online housing search sites to find off-campus housing, we strongly suggest that you read our "rental scams" section for important tips on how to avoid common rental listing scams!

  • U of U's Official Off-Campus Housing Site: At the University’s off-campus housing site you may find a place to rent, lease, find a roommate, buy or sell furniture, or post a message.
  • Craig's List: Craig’s List provides an internet based list of properties to rent, lease, or buy in Salt Lake City and the surrounding areas.
  • Salt Lake Tribune: Check the classified section of the local newspaper under "Real Estate, Rentals" for apartments, houses, and condos to rent.
  • KSL: Check the "Homes" section for rental information
  • International Student Council Facebook page:  Many students use this Facebook page to share information about available apartments, to find a roommate, or to buy/sell furniture.
  • You can also check bulletin boards in your department and throughout campus. You may find information about roommates, rooms to rent, or apartments to rent.

Other websites for finding apartments off-campus include: Apartment List, Apartments.com, Padmapper, Hotpads, and many more!

When searching for a place to rent, keep in mind:

  • housing search checklist **IMPORTANT!** Use this list for important things to consider while looking for your new apartment.
  • beware of Rental scams! **IMPORTANT!** Please read this section before you begin your housing search! Learning how to spot common rental listing scams can protect you from becoming the victim of a scammer. Knowing how to avoid scams will save you time and energy during your search for off-campus housing.
  • Most apartments are not furnished, which means you will have to purchase furniture and household items locally.
  • If you want to find a furnished apartment, be sure and include this information on the questionnaire when searching for accommodations.
  • If you do not have transportation, you may want to look for a place to rent which is close by a TRAX station or bus line.

Renting in the US: Are there types of landlords I should avoid?

Yes. Before you enter a rental agreement, be sure that the landlord or property manager conduct themselves professionally. Be sure that the person you are entering the agreement with understands the laws and best practices of being a landlord. Ensure that all agreements and policies are in writing. It is important to have a safe and comfortable place to live, so don't be afraid to ask your potential landlord questions.

Things to consider about your potential landlord:

  • Does he or she return your calls, texts, or emails promptly? For example, it is reasonable to wait a day or so for a response, but if they do not respond after 1-2 days, you may want to find a different place to rent. 
  • Is the landlord organized? If they have an office, is it tidy or messy? Can they easily find the apartment keys and forms? If their space is messy and they can’t find things easily, this may be a sign that they will be disorganized as a landlord.
  • Do they have a process in place if you have a problem? For example, who do you call if there is a maintenance problem? How long does it usually take to get a response?
  • Does the landlord make you feel like you must hurry and make a decision on whether to rent? A professional landlord will give you time to read the lease and ask questions, and will not try to pressure you.
  • Is the landlord local or does he or she have a local representative?
  • For more important things to consider, we strongly recommend you click here to read the section on "choosing a good landlord".

 

The Utah Apartment Association is a membership group for landlords that promotes fair practices and ethics. You may want to consider asking a prospective landlord if he or she is a member of the Utah Apartment Association. (See more information at The Renter Toolkit, pg. 5)

important icon**IMPORTANT!** If you are experiencing problems now with your current landlord, please click here for information on Landlord-Tenant Rights and resources for how to resolve your problem.

Common Rental Scams

 scam

Unfortunately, rental listing scams on housing search websites like Craigslist and KSL.com are common in the US. However, learning how to spot these scams can protect you from becoming the victim of a scammer. Using the tips below, you can save time in your housing search by learning how to avoid scam ads!

Tips for avoiding scams:

  • NEVER send money for an apartment, house, or room rental without viewing the property first. Many scammers know that international students are looking for housing before they arrive in the US; however, no legitimate landlord will ask you for your financial information (like your bank account number) or ask you to wire money (e.g., through Western Union or online through Paypal) before you view the apartment. You should only pay a deposit and/or first month’s rent after you have viewed the apartment and signed the lease.
  • NEVER pay an application fee before viewing the rental. If you go in person to view an apartment and the landlord says they have “forgotten the keys” or claims you cannot go inside before paying an application or ‘viewing’ fee, this is a SCAM. You should never have to pay in advance to view an apartment, room, or house for rent.
  • ALWAYS meet the landlord in person. You should always avoid situations that require you to provide personal or financial information or sign a lease electronically (via email, a website, etc.) before meeting the landlord in person. If the landlord tells you he/she is “out of the country” and can’t meet with you in person to show you the rental property, this is most likely a scam.
  • Avoid ads with no pictures or blurry pictures. Sometimes scammers will post vague ads with low prices that provide few details and/or do not include pictures. These scam ads are designed to encourage people to make contact with the scammer via email – then, they will start asking for money or financial information.
  • Avoid ads that have an "MLS" watermark. Sometimes scammers will illegally take photos from ads for houses that have been listed as “for sale” by a real estate agency and use them in their scam rental ad. These photos may have a watermark that says “MLS” (or, the “Multiple Listing Service”). Rental ads with “MLS” watermarks should be avoided.
  • If it sounds "too good to be true", it probably is! Make sure you research common prices for housing in the neighborhood you are searching in. A large house with amazing features (swimming pool, gym, etc.) that is renting for a much lower price than similar houses in the area is probably a scam!

 

For more information on rental scams and how to report them, please visit this website.

Off-Campus Housing Resources

Check out the links below for important information to consider when signing your lease, moving in, setting up and paying for your utilities (electricity, internet, etc.), as well as tips on taking care of your apartment in order to receive the maximum security deposit refund.

important icon**IMPORTANT!** Students should always have a written agreement (lease) signed by both the landlord and the tenant before renting an apartment, house, or room. Remember to always keep a copy of your lease after you sign it!

 

  • Move-In Inspection Checklist: Make sure you have inspected the apartment and checked everything on this list before you sign the lease. Your landlord should provide an inspection checklist for you, similar to the one linked here - but you may wish to print this one and bring it with you just in case. You should also take pictures of the condition of each room in the apartment for reference when you move out.
  • Understanding Your Lease: It is important to understand that your rental agreement, or "lease", is a binding contract. Your lease lays out all the rules, policies, and guidelines of the rental property's owner. The lease may have a specific time frame or be a month-to-month agreement.  Once you sign the lease, you are bound to it with very few exceptions. Even if you change your mind, your landlord can still collect on the rent that you have agreed to pay. Always read and understand your lease carefully before signing it, and keep a copy for your records!
  • Utilities Information: Once you’ve found an apartment, you will need to set up your utilities – electricity, gas, internet, etc. This document outlines some of the local utility providers in Salt Lake City, UT.
  • The Renter Toolkit: This resource guide will provide useful information about: 
    • Renting an apartment
    • Signing the lease
    • Being a successful tenant
    • Resolving disputes
    • Dealing with emergencies
    • Renter’s Rights and Responsibilities
    • Keeping a household budget
    • …and much more!
  • Moving Out and Deposit Refund: Check this link for tips about getting your full security deposit back after you move out of your apartment. Click here for specific information about security deposit laws in Utah.

Are there types of landlords I should avoid?

Yes. Before you enter a rental agreement, be sure that the landlord or property manager conduct themselves professionally. Be sure that the person you are entering the agreement with understands the laws and best practices of being a landlord. Ensure that all agreements and policies are in writing. It is important to have a safe and comfortable place to live, so don't be afraid to ask your potential landlord questions.

Suggestions for finding a good landlord:

  • Does he or she return your calls, texts, or emails promptly? For example, it is reasonable to wait a day or so for a response, but if they do not respond after 1-2 days, you may want to find a different place to rent. 
  • Is the landlord organized? If they have an office, is it tidy or messy? Can they easily find the apartment keys and forms? If their space is messy and they can’t find things easily, this may be a sign that they will be disorganized as a landlord.   
  • Do they have a process in place if you have a problem? For example, who do you call if there is a maintenance problem? How long does it usually take to get a response?
  • Are the rental unit and common areas well maintained and in good repair?
  • Is the Landlord a member of the Utah Apartment Association?
  • Do they have a standard lease they use? It is not advisable to use a handwritten or verbal agreement when renting an apartment or room.
  • Do they answer your questions quickly and honestly?
  • Does the landlord make you feel like you must hurry and make a decision on whether to rent? A professional landlord will give you time to read the lease and ask questions, and will not try to pressure you.
  • Is the landlord local or does he or she have a local representative?
  • If the landlord is renting a single room or apartment in a private home, it’s ok to ask start a conversation with them to find out more about them. For example, you can ask:
  • “How long have you been a landlord?
  • What is the best thing about living here?
  • What do you like to do in your free time?
  • What’s your favorite thing about Salt Lake City?
  • Have you rented to other students/scholars?”
  • You can also ask for references: Ask the landlord if they would mind sharing contact information for one or two former tenants, as a reference.  

You should be especially careful if you are renting a room or apartment in a private home.

Salt Lake City has many rooms and apartments in private homes available, but it is very important to make sure the person you are renting from will be a fair and professional landlord. Always insist on a written lease agreement signed by you, your roommates, and your landlord. The landlord should give you a copy of the lease immediately after everyone has signed it.  You can also take a photo of each page with your phone.

important icon**IMPORTANT!** If you are experiencing problems now with your current landlord, please click here for information on Landlord-Tenant Rights and resources for how to resolve your problem.

Finding a Roommate

important icon**IMPORTANT!** Make sure your landlord allows you to have a roommate before adding another person to the space you are renting! It is important that all roommates' names be added to the lease. If your roommate moves out unexpectedly and their name is not on the lease, you can be held responsible for their portion of the rent!

 

dorm life

  • University's Official Off-Campus Housing Site: At the University’s off-campus housing site you may find a place to rent, lease, find a roommate, buy or sell furniture, or post a message.
  • International Student Council Facebook page: Many students use this Facebook page to share information about available apartments, to find a roommate, or to buy/sell furniture.
  • Word of mouth: Ask your friends and classmates if they or anyone they know are looking for a roommate!

 Roommate Resources:

  • Things to consider when choosing a roommate: Who you live with may be even more important than where so live, so it’s very important to think through the decision of whether to have roommates and who your roommates will be. Check this list of questions as you consider who to choose as a roommate.
  • Roommate Agreement Form: Being a good roommate requires mutual respect and cooperation. This "Roommate Agreement" can help guide a conversation between you and your roommate(s) when you first begin living with one another in case questions or concerns arise in the future. A Roommate Agreement can be a useful tool in assisting you and your roommate(s) to have a successful year at the University of Utah.

Landlord-Tenant Rights

 signing lease

First steps:

We’re sorry to hear that you’re having a problem with your landlord! However, please note: it is very important that take legal steps to finding a solution to your problem. Do not stop paying your rent because you are not satisfied with your rental situation. If you stop paying your rent, you may lose your tenant’s rights due to violating the terms of your lease. Please review the resources below for more information about your rights as a renter in Utah and your legal options during a landlord-tenant disagreement.

Are there types of landlords I should avoid?

Yes. Before you enter a rental agreement, be sure that the landlord or property manager conduct themselves professionally. Be sure that the person you are entering the agreement with understands the laws and best practices of being a landlord. Ensure that all agreements and policies are in writing.

Things to consider about your potential landlord:

  • Does he or she return your calls, texts, or emails promptly? For example, it is reasonable to wait a day or so for a response, but if they do not respond after 1-2 days, you may want to find a different place to rent. 
  • Is the landlord organized? If they have an office, is it tidy or messy? Can they easily find the apartment keys and forms? If their space is messy and they can’t find things easily, this may be a sign that they will be disorganized as a landlord.
  • Do they have a process in place if you have a problem? For example, who do you call if there is a maintenance problem? How long does it usually take to get a response?
  • Does the landlord make you feel like you must hurry and make a decision on whether to rent? A professional landlord will give you time to read the lease and ask questions, and will not try to pressure you.
  • Is the landlord local or does he or she have a local representative?
  • For more important things to consider, we strongly recommend you click here to read the section on "choosing a good landlord".

 

The Utah Apartment Association is a membership group for landlords that promotes fair practices and ethics. You may want to consider asking a prospective landlord if he or she is a member of the Utah Apartment Association. (See more information at The Renter Toolkit, pg. 5)

Resources:

If you feel that your landlord is violating your landlord-tenant rights, please review the resources below:

  • The Renter Toolkit: This resource guide will provide useful information about renter’s rights, dealing with problems, and resolving disputes.

Legal Assistance:

ASUU LogoASUU Advocacy Board: The purpose of the Student Advocacy Board is to be a supporter and an outlet for students in need. The board is staffed entirely by informed and trained student advocates who listen to students’ concerns and inform them of their rights. ASUU advocates can direct students to a community organization or legal counsel for further assistance as needed.
Law school logoStreet law Free Legal Clinic: The S.J. Quinney School of Law "Pro Bono Initiative" sponsors ten free brief legal consultation clinics throughout the Salt Lake City and Ogden areas. Clinics operate year-round and are staffed by volunteer students and volunteer lawyer supervisors.
Utah courts

Utah Courts Self-Help Center: The Utah State Courts' "Self-Help Center" (SHC) provides free legal help to people who do not have a lawyer. Self-Help Center staff attorneys can:

 

  • Answer questions about the law, court process, and options
  • Provide court forms and instructions and help completing forms
  • Provide information about mediation services, legal advice and representation through pro bono and low cost legal services, legal aid programs and lawyer referral services
  • Provide information about resources provided by law libraries

 

Last Updated: 7/26/18