Campus is already buzzing with the prospect of finding next year’s housing, and whether your student will return to the residence halls or venture off campus, current UW Housing residents must complete their “Notice of Intent,” open now until October 25 in My UW Housing.
We know the quick turnaround might feel overwhelming, especially for students in their first semester. We’ve worked with UW–Madison’s Off-Campus Housing Services and Campus and Visitor Relations to gather advice for supporting your student through the housing search.
Returning to University Housing
While on-campus housing isn’t guaranteed for students after their first year, current residents can apply to return as a second-year student and beyond. If selected, University Housing will email confirmations on October 30. These will include next steps on selecting a residence hall, room, and roommate.
Moving Off Campus
Before considering properties, we encourage you to discuss your students’ needs and wants with them. A natural place to start is with a monthly budget. Not only does this develop a financial plan, it also educates your student on the various expenses they will be responsible for when living off-campus, such as rent, security deposits, utilities, renter’s insurance, parking, pet fees, groceries, furnishings, and household goods. Wondering how your student’s financial aid can be applied to off-campus housing? Please contact the Office of Student Financial Aid.
Touring the Property
Once students find a property they are interested in, we highly recommend they schedule a tour before signing a lease. This is an excellent time to gather information on price, security deposit, lease terms, and amenities. While you may not be able to join them on these tours, it is often helpful for parents and families to help their students create a list of questions to ask during the tour.
Some questions might be:
- What services or amenities are included in rent (such as gas, electric, parking, and furnishings)?
- What security features does this building or unit include?
- What company should I contact for utilities?
- What are tenant responsibilities for maintaining the property? For example, will your student be required to clear snow or ice off walkways?
- What is the process for making a maintenance request? What is the typical response time?
- What is the process for key replacement?
(Co)Signing the Lease
Due to the high demand for rental properties this time of year, landlords tend to require a signed lease shortly after touring. Remember, this lease is often a student’s first step toward establishing rental and credit history, making it critical that both you and your student understand their obligations — as well as those of the landlord.
Also, due to your student’s potential lack of rental or credit history, it is also common for landlords to require a cosigner on the lease. If you plan to cosign for your Badger, make sure you understand your responsibilities.
For questions on a property’s lease, please contact the Tenant Resource Center.
Considerations on Moving In and Out
Another important detail to note is there is often a gap between when many campus leases end and new leases begin. We recommend planning ahead to develop a move-out and storage plan for the few days your student may be without housing.
The newest resource available to students and their families while navigating the student housing search is Off-Campus Housing Services within University Housing. You can also find resources through Campus-Area Housing, including an apartment touring checklist and listings for housing, parking, roommates, and sublets.