The Housing Search
To receive a list of landlords and/or the complaint summaries of specific landlord please fill out an information request form.
Don't get caught up in all the promises! Get them in writing!
Learn more about Apartment Hunting & Apartment Living
Download the Quick Guide to Renting Apartments
Guide to Finding Housing
1. Furnished vs. Unfurnished rentals: Most of the rentals near campus will be furnished. If you are set on having an unfurnished rental, you should look outside the campus district--near downtown Champaign or Urbana or even further from campus.
2. Most leases near campus will be 12 months (late-August to early-August). You MUST pay for the months you do not live in the apartment if that is the length of the lease. For semester-only leases, scroll to the bottom of this page to find out more.
3. The University of Illinois manages some apartments (furnished and unfurnished). Contact University Housing for more information.
4. Many undergraduate students choose to live on the west side of campus near and south of Green Street. This area has many restaurants, businesses, fraternities, and sororities.
5. Some landlords may charge extra for a parking spot. Check their site for costs.
6. Students start signing leases for furnished apartments close to campus in the fall for the upcoming August BUT there are many good choices still available in late fall and in the spring.
1. Set a monthly budget. Rent + Utilities + Food + Housewares = $$Utilize thisbudget sheet
2. Take a walk around the different neighborhoods you are considering living in. What are your priorities? Noise? Access to a grocery store? Near a bus line? Parking?
3. Receive a list of the area landlords by completing the Request for Information form or visiting our office. This list is divided by numbers of complaints.
4. Visit their websites (or call) to find out more about their rentals. Where are their apartments? How much will the apartment you like cost per month?
5. Make appointments to view the places that interest you. Use the apartment hunting checklist when you view the apartment and add any other questions about items you consider to be important. View the exact apartment you will be renting and closely examine its condition.
6. Check landlord complaint records at the Tenant Union and have your lease reviewed with us before you sign it!
Use ourBudget Sheet. Expenses can add up!
This will be your biggest expense. Start looking into apartments online to get an idea of prices. Obviously, those closer to the quad will probably be more expensive. Ask us for a list of the landlords that rent apartments near campus and browse their websites.
To get a rough idea: $400 - $850 per person, per month, for a 12-month lease is the range of rent most students will pay to live near campus in a furnished apartment.
Utilities and Services:
Note: Beware of any place advertising "utilities included." Often, once you read the lease, you see that all utilities are not really included.
Each student's share of the cost of internet and cable television will be less with more people. Approximate costs are:
- Internet service: estimate $25-$40 per month.
- Cable television: estimate $65 per month for approximately 70 channels or $13.50 per month for the basic service for about a dozen channels. Some package bundles exist for internet and cable combined for a discount.
- Water: estimate close to $25 for a one bedroom, or roughly $20 per person monthly.
- Gas and Electricity: This is difficult to estimate. Air conditioning, thermostat temperature setting, old windows, leaving lights on are all important factors in how much your electric and gas bill will cost. Contact Ameren for the average use of the previous tenant.
- Sanitary and Sewer Tax: Some landlords also charge for sanitary and sewer taxes (around $9 per person monthly).
- Recycling Fee: In Urbana the fee is $2.50 per apartment and in Champaign it is $2.60 per apartment. Some landlords pass this cost on to tenants.
- Other: Urbana has a rental registration fee for landlords and a few landlords pass that cost along to tenants. The actual cost should be not more than $1-$2 per month per apartment or $4 per month for a whole house.
The closer to the Quad, the higher your parking fee will be.
$45 - $100 per month is the range of parking fees charged by most landlords for an off-street parking space in apartment buildings within 3/4 of a mile from the center of campus.
In Champaign, for on-street parking near campus, you have to pay the City of Champaign approximately $650 per year for a permit for a specific space on the street.
In Urbana, near campus, east of Lincoln Avenue and south of Green Street, on-street parking costs $135 per year for a permit to park on the street but you do not get a designated space.
Parking on the University of Illinois Campus: Visit the UIUC Parking Department for more information.
If you are coming from out of town, make appointments to see apartments on the day you arrive. The U of I Tenant Union can help by giving you the list of landlords that manage furnished properties near campus.
A few tips:
- Think about your needs and transportation. Utilize Google Maps to see grocery stores, campus buildings, and bus stops.
- Check landlord's complaint records at the Tenant Union.
- Beware of Scams! If you are using online resources such as Craigslist.org, ask us if you are having trouble deciding if something is a scam.
- Beware of New Construction. The building may not be completed at move-in time.
Most leases will be 12 months long or a full academic year, especially furnished apartments near campus.
You will most likely need to sublet from another renter who needs someone to take over their apartment for a semester. This means the original lease holder stays on the lease, while you take over responsibilities for an agreed upon time. If you (the subletter) doesn't pay, the original lease holder could still be pursued. Read more information on subletting.
Strategies to find a sublet:
1. Utilize the U of I Study Abroad Housing Board. You can find other students who need a subletter while they are studying abroad. You must use your Net ID to log in to view or post listings.
2. Check with University Housing. Sometimes their apartments allow for semester-long leases. Also, the Residence Halls will accommodate a semester-long stay and single rooms may be available. Private Certified Housing includes some apartment-style living options and MAY have a six month lease option available.
3. Check Craig's List for renters looking to sublet their apartment for the time you need a place to stay. Be aware of scams!
If you are searching for a spring-only lease, you may find a rental that the landlord was not able to rent for the academic year and it has been vacant for all of fall. Ask us for a list of the landlords leasing furnished apartments near campus to check their websites for availabilities.
Be sure you want the place. You can't break a lease after you sign it. There is NO grace period for changing your mind after you sign.
Stop by the Tenant Union for a lease review BEFORE you sign. We can point out some things you may have overlooked.
Do not pay any money until the landlord signs the lease.The landlord is not obligated to hold the place for you if you put money down, but the landlord will likely keep your money if you change your mind or if you and the landlord cannot agree on lease terms.
Discuss with the landlord any lease changes needed and follow the instructions in this handbook for making changes on both copies of the lease. Do not sign the lease unless you are presented with two, identical copies - one for you and one for the landlord, and the landlord (or agent) is signing one copy while you are signing the other. You need the landlord's signature on your copy of the lease. Get all promises in writing. Oral agreements are not binding when you have a written lease.
All roommates should meet together with the landlord to sign the lease. Many problems result from each of you signing the contract at a different time.
Beware of new construction that is not completed by the day you sign the lease. Often, new buildings are not available for move-in on the start date of the lease and when you finally can move in, amenities are still not provided and the apartment and property are filled with debris and construction materials. This happens a lot!
The Tenant Union does not provide legal services of any kind. All information provided in this publication is intended to help the average person prevent problems and deal with common concerns of renting. When legal help is needed, always consult with an attorney at law.