The Rental Process

Most area landlords require certain information before approving you as a tenant. Information and procedures vary but often include the following:

  • You will be asked to complete an application. There may be an application fee (typically $25-$75 range).
  • The landlord may check your credit report.
  • Some area landlords require a co-signor (usually a parent or guardian) for any student younger than 18 years of age. This guarantees that if the student tenant is unable to pay the rent, the co-signor will be responsible for all costs.
  • Once your application is approved, you will be expected to sign a lease. This is a legal document. Read it thoroughly BEFORE YOU SIGN. If you have never signed a lease before or do not understand something in the lease, you may want to have it reviewed by a third party such as a parent, guardian, or attorney. Many universities offer students free legal information.
  • After you sign the lease, you will be expected to pay a security deposit. The deposit is usually equal to one month’s rent and is refundable if the property is returned in good condition as outlined in your lease. At this time, you may also have to pay the first month’s rent.


Most cities and municipalities have a civil rights code that prohibits discrimination in renting based on race, creed, religion, national origin, age, sex, disability, presence or absence of dependents, marital status, sexual orientation, or public assistance as a source of income. Contact your local city Human Rights Commission for rental discrimination concerns.