When to Look for Fall Housing

Plan your off-campus housing search

The Community Rentals Office is a student’s best resource for finding off-campus housing in Santa Cruz. Following these tips can help you plan a successful off-campus rental search.

February – March:

It’s too early to begin searching for fall housing, but there are steps you should take to prepare.

  • Renters Workshop. Complete our free online course to learn your rights and responsibilities as a tenant, how to protect your security deposit, and receive a Certificate of Completion to show landlords you are a knowledgeable prospective tenant.
  • Research. Gain familiarity with the rental market and get a sense of cost.
  • Assess your needs. Consider the location, price, and which features you value most so that you can act quickly when you find the right place.
  • Reference Release. Do this easy online step to authorize university housing staff to serve as a rental reference on your behalf.
  • Rental Application Packet. Create a packet for you and your prospective housemates using forms and resources available on our web site. Make extra copies so you’re ready to apply when a rental becomes available.
  • Talk to friends about your plans…lots of students find housing by word of mouth!

April, May and early June

  • Search listings. Landlords who know their property will become available in September begin to advertise. A few listings come in daily so be sure to check for new listings often. Additional listings will become available during the summer as landlords receive notice from current tenants and need to advertise; these listings usually appear approximately 30 days before the rental is available for move-in.
  • Thursday, April 13, 2–6pm in the College Ten Recreation Lounge, attend the Off-campus Housing Fair hosted by the Good Neighbor Initiative. Students will be able to talk to local property managers about the rental market, and learn more about what it means to be a good neighbor in the off-campus community. Community Rentals staff will be in attendance to talk with students about conducting an effective search for off-campus housing.

July – September

  • If you don’t secure a rental during the spring or early summer, you need to intensify your housing search by the start of August (earlier if you have special requirements).
  • If necessary, re-assess your needs. Flexibility in your price range, preferred location, and/or preferred features may open up new possibilities.
  • Reach out to friends…lots of students find housing by word of mouth!