Housing and Commuter Resources
This information is meant to aid you in your search for local housing, please review carefully.
These are some questions to ask yourself before you begin searching for your apartment. This can help you narrow your search so that you find something that is the right fit for your needs.
- What can I afford for rent? Do I need to pay extra for internet, cable, and other utilities in addition to rent, or will these be included?
- How close is the apartment to campus? Will I need to drive? Is walking or biking an option?
- Where is the closest public transportation stop? How long will it take me to get from my apartment to school?
- Is the apartment already furnished? Do I need to buy my own furniture?
- Will I have a roommate?
- Will I have to share a bathroom with someone?
- Is there a washer and dryer (for clothing) in the unit? If it is not in the apartment unit, is there a laundry facility in the apartment building? If not, is there a laundromat close by?
- Where is the closest grocery store?
For more pointers and tips, here's an article specifically designed to assist students avoid mistakes when looking for off-campus housing: https://www.apartmentguide.com/blog/student-housing-guide/
Students who are renting should be aware they have specific rights and responsibilities in the process. The following resources provide tips and information for individuals to consider prior to entering into a lease in Colorado. Here's a handout for additional rights and responsibilities: Renters Rights and Responsibilities
Source: (Colorado Housing Connects, 2017 & University of Denver)
- Right to be treated fairly and equitably when applying to, living in, and vacating a residence.
- Right to be given notice before a rental property owner/manager enters (except in cases of emergency). Typically 24 hours notice prior to entry
- Right to a written notice from property manager prior to any changes to the cost of rent.
- Right to the return of any unused security deposit collected within 30 days of vacating the property.
- Right to written requests to a prompt response to repair requests.
If you need additional help you can call the Department of Housing and Urban Development at 1-844-926-6632.
Here are additional informational links and guidelines:
Knowing your rights as a renter is very important. It is vital for a renter to read their lease and ensure they understand it. Each apartment community or landlord has unique terms of an agreement and it is your responsibility to know and understand it.
Most apartments will have an application fee before you sign the lease. The fee will allow the landlord to run a background check on you to see if you have a criminal history in the U.S., or to check your credit, before agreeing to rent their unit to you.
Leases are legal contracts which will obligate you to pay your rent for a specified amount of time to the property owner or property management company. Leases are often rather long documents. You should read the lease before you sign it! Read it carefully and keep a copy for yourself as a reference in the future. The lease will outline important parts of your agreement, such as when rent is due each month, rules regarding pets or parking, cleanliness of the apartment, etc. You should ask the landlord or property manager any questions you have before you sign the lease. Make sure you understand what your agreement will obligate you to do!
Breaking a lease can be difficult if you decide you no longer wish to live at your apartment before the lease is over. Make sure you understand what will be required if you do need to break your lease.
Know your rights as a tenant! Review some of the resources below to familiarize yourself with what is allowed (and not allowed) in Colorado in terms of what a landlord can do, and what you can do as a tenant:
Here is some additional information to review before signing a lease: Important Things to Know Before Signing a Lease
Before signing a lease, you should review what is included in the cost of your rent. Charges for your utilities are often separate from your general rent cost. Some rental companies will cover the cost of certain utilities, such as water, garbage/sewage, and internet, but many landlords or property management companies will require you to pay for these utilities on your own. Below are some typical utilities that may cost "extra" in addition to your general rent, as well as some of the popular service providers in the Denver area:
- Electric and Gas
- Internet and/or Cable Television
- Garbage, Recycling and/or Sewage
- Provided by the City of Denver
- Local Telephone Service
If the utility is not already included in your rent costs, you may need to contact a service provider directly to activate things like power, water, internet, etc. Some service providers have deals that allow you to purchase multiple services for a discounted price.
If you have roommates, you should discuss these utility costs and establish how they will be paid every month. The person who schedules the service, or the people whose names are on the leases, will ultimately be held responsible for these types of costs.
Please review the following resources if Renters Insurance is something you feel you need, or are required, in your home.
Here's a list of resources:
University of Denver Strum College of Law Civil Litigation Clinic: www.law.du.edu/index.php/law-school-clinical-program/clinical-programs/civil-litigation-clinic
Colorado Legal Services: coloradolegalservices.org
Metropolitan State University of Denver is a non-residential commuter campus. This means that we do not provide on-campus housing to our students.
The information in this section should be reviewed carefully!