Housing Dilemma: To Live On or Off-Campus
One of the most important factors to consider when deciding to move off campus is the cost. The cost of living off campus can vary significantly depending on the property location, whether or not your student plans to share the rent with other roommates and whether or not your student plans to do their own cooking.
Your student will begin to develop a rental history when they get their first apartment. Creating a good rental history will be helpful when they are looking for future apartments when they graduate.
Students faced with the decision to live off campus should consider the differences in cost and convenience between living on or off campus, including the academic and social implications and proximity to campus. They should also consider how their proximity to campus affects their commute.
Another thing that your student will need to consider is whether or not they want to have roommates (and if they can afford to live alone).
When living off campus, it may not be convenient to walk to campus. If your student plans to have a car, they should ask if the property provides parking spaces and if there is an extra cost for parking. Is there street parking? If they do not plan to have a car, they should know if there is accessible public transportation nearby.
Having an apartment comes with responsibility. Your student will be responsible for paying bills, dealing with roommate issues, cleaning etc.
Safety is a consideration wherever your student decides to live. When looking at a rental unit your student may want to visit at different times of the day or week to make sure there aren’t any major changes in the environment (traffic, noise etc.). Talking to other tenants might be another useful source of information.
Most apartment rentals are year-round. If your student does not plan to enroll in classes during the summer months, they will be responsible for paying rent on an empty apartment or finding someone to sublet.
What should my student do now?
- Discuss the pros and cons of living off-campus. Encourage your student to think carefully about the realities of various housing options and their lifestyle.
- Discuss finances and develop a realistic budget.
- Encourage your student to create a timeline that includes when to start looking for off-campus housing, when they would they need to move-in, the time required for the move.
- Your student should prepared to start looking early. They should have documentation and payments ready so that they can move quickly when they find the right place.
- You student may want to talk to other students who live off campus.
There are University-owned apartments for single upperclassmen and transfer students. Students who prefer a more independent living option can choose from a variety of University-owned privately-owned off-campus living options. Conveniently located within walking distance off campus, University Apartments offer single undergraduates a variety of furnished units. Click here to see more.
Community Housing Overview
If you are looking for a private, off-campus housing option, start your search here. This office will find you information on different types of housing, neighborhood types of housing, neighborhood profiles, average rental rates, landlord/tenant responsibilities and current rental listings.
From the beach cities of Venice and Santa Monica to the mansions of Bel Air and Beverly Hills, Los Angeles offers such a diverse array of neighborhoods that one of them is sure to fit your student’s lifestyle and budget. Click here to read about different neighborhoods in the LA area.
Student Legal Services
Student Legal Services provides legal counseling and assistance regarding a wide-range of legal issues to all currently registered UCLA students. This office assists students with a variety of issues including landlord/tenant relations; accident and injury problems; domestic violence and harassment; criminal matters; automobile purchase, repair, and insurance problems; health care, credit and financial issues.
The UCLA Police Department is the community’s police department, serving our campus and adjacent neighborhoods. Uniformed Police Officers patrol the campus and surrounding community. They are fully empowered to enforce all state and local laws and to make arrests. Specially designated lead officers patrol University housing, working with housing and residential life staff to ensure the safety of the campus community members. The Crime Prevention Unit of UCLA PD provides safety awareness programs and educational information to the campus. The Crime Prevention Officer can be reached at (310) 825-6111. Crime Prevention information and crime statistics are available at www.ucpd.ucla.edu.
- Roommate Needed form
- Room in Private Home/Room for Service Form
- Sample Rental documents
- Sublet listing Forms