Housing in Austin
Austin has housing opportunities to suit everyone's tastes. Whether you prefer dorm-style living, a co-op or just an apartment, Austin has it all. Students and scholars are responsible for making their own housing arrangements. However, Texas Global provides the below suggestions to help you in your search.
Housing Placement Services
Simply International, a local housing placement company, is available to assist our international students and scholars who are seeking a place to live during their time at the university. The City of Austin is growing in leaps and bounds every day, and it can often be difficult to locate both short- and long-term housing, especially for those who aren’t familiar with Austin neighborhoods and pricing. Simply International is ready to help you with your housing and settling in needs including housing placement and set-up of utilities.
Conduct a filtered search for off-campus rental properties, find a roommate, or check out other resources, like an example rental contract.
Tips and guides for UT Austin students.
It may take a few days or weeks to get settled in long-term housing in Austin. If that’s the case, there are many hotels, hostels, Airbnb homes, and other short-term accommodations available.
Many International Student Organizations assist students in finding temporary housing in Austin. To find out if there is a student organization that represents your home country or region, search the Registered Student Organization Database.
Once you know that you will attend UT, you should begin researching and arranging housing as early as possible. Housing is limited, especially within walking distance of campus.
Note: This option is currently unavailable to English Language Center students.
Living in on-campus UT dormitories, owned and operated by UT Division of Housing and Food Services, is available for international students. Priority is given to freshmen. Apply as early as possible (no later than May 1) as spaces are limited. For on-campus housing, contact: University Housing & Dining, (512) 471-3136, email@example.com.
Apart from Global LLC, which holds a small amount of beds for international students, UT dormitories are rarely an option for exchange students because rooms are reserved far in advance and are offered primarily to first year students. Homestays with families in the Austin community are not available. Exchange students attending UT usually choose from three types of housing: co-operative houses (co-ops), private dormitories, and apartments.
Though on-campus dormitory space is limited, the need for safe, convenient dormitory space in Austin is filled by several off-campus private dormitories. Dormitories and Student Apartments are located within walking distance of the UT campus and offer double (shared) and some single (private) rooms for both male and female students. Many also offer the option of furnished or unfurnished rooms. Often dorms serve meals and may include the cost of a meal plan in their prices. Most offer amenities such as swimming pools, exercise rooms, computer labs, and planned social activities. Many exchange students enjoy private dorms because group living provides a community of university students, with opportunities to make friends and participate in shared activities.
At American Campus Communities, it is our mission to make your experience at The University Texas at Austin a success. Whether you're looking for modern amenities, value or convenience, our wide range of communities and price points mean you'll find the place you want to call home. We offer fully furnished apartments with flexible lease terms all within walking distance to campus.
Dobie Twenty21 is a private dormitory located next to campus.
Hardin House is a women-only private dormitory located in West Campus.
Cooperative houses are democratically-run residences, called "co-ops," in which occupants share cooking and cleaning responsibilities and share decision making about house policies and activities. Often less expensive than other housing options, Co-ops provide an opportunity to meet a variety of people. This is a very popular option for our exchange student population because of the short term lease options.
For information contact:
Officially affiliated with UT, the University Apartments are also known as "family housing." Family housing offers inexpensive off-campus unfurnished apartments for single and married students and are available on a limited basis. University Apartments are limited to students who are enrolled full-time at UT. For more information, see the University Apartments website.
Private Apartments in Austin
Some international students live in private apartments in the Austin community. To research private apartments, neighborhoods, leases and other pertinent information, look at the information provided by UT about off-campus living resources. Make sure that the apartment you choose is located near a good public transit option, such as a UT Shuttle, or is close enough to bike or walk. Capital Metro has lots of great transit information. You can check out all routes on their website and bus fare is free with your UT ID card.
Many international student organizations assist students in finding long-term housing in Austin. To find out if there is a student organization that represents your home country or region, see the list of International Student Organizations at UT.
See UT's Off-Campus Housing Guide
Check the “Classified” Section of the following local newspapers, and select “Central” Austin for addresses closer to the University of Texas at Austin:
Walk or drive around neighborhoods near campus (north or west) looking for “For Rent” or “For Lease” signs. Contact an Apartment Locator Service (apartments are usually rented in person, but apartment locator services may assist you before you arrive).
Search for Facebook Groups such as “UT Apartments & Sublets” to help you find rooms for rent or other students looking for potential roommates off-campus.
Important: Be smart and cautious when looking for roommates on Facebook or Craigslist. These are fantastic resources but they are not monitored by the university. Some ways to be safe and avoid scams are by never paying anything up front, double checking the identity of the potential roommate by contacting their references or only looking for roommates within your program or who are friends of friends. Always let a friend know when you are meeting with a potential roommate or visiting a house.
Some apartment locator services include:
- Apartment Finders
- Apartment Guide
- Austin Apartments Today
- Austin City Realty
- Habitat Hunters
- West Campus Living
How Renting Works in Austin
Finding a place to rent close to school and work that’s within your budget isn’t always easy. Often getting an apartment with others makes it more affordable. You also have to follow careful procedures to ensure that your apartment management doesn’t charge you for cleaning or damage that isn’t your fault.
Look for Roommates to Share the Cost of an Apartment
Finding an affordable place to rent close to school and work isn’t always easy. Often times, renting with roommates can make living in Austin more affordable. Your academic department and international student organizations representing your region of the world are all good places to find people who are looking for roommates. You can also reference billboards around campus, Craigslist, and the Austin-American Statesman. When you find a prospective roommate, you may want to discuss the following:
- How you will handle paying rent, utilities and cable?
- Who will furnish the apartment?
- Whose job is it to clean shared spaces (i.e. bathroom, kitchen, living and dining areas)?
- How will you handle shopping for groceries and buying things for the apartment?
- What are the rules of the house?
- How do you feel about privacy?
- Study or quiet times?
- Parties or overnight guests?
- Smoking in the apartment?
- How you will handle paying rent, utilities and cable?
Look for an Apartment or Home to Rent
- Find an apartment/home that suits your budget and your needs.
- Read your housing application and leasing contract carefully.
- If you plan to live with roommates in an apartment, verify that the number of roommates with whom you plan to live is within the legal occupancy limit for the apartment.
- Complete the housing application for your prospective apartment/home and pay the application fee. Be sure to ask whether the housing application is binding. If the application is binding and it's approved, you have committed to signing a lease.
- When your application is approved, you will be asked to pay a security deposit and the first month's rental fee. If you are successful in maintaining your apartment or rental home, your security deposit will be returned to you when you move out as outlined in your lease.
- Sign leasing contract with all your roommates.
- Inspect the apartment, take photographs, and make a checklist of anything that is broken, dirty, or non-operational when you move-in. Have all roommates sign and date the checklist. Your landlord/apartment manager may require you to submit this checklist within 24 or 48 hours. If you do this, you should not be charged for those repairs upon moving out.
- Apply for electric, cable, internet, and telephone service.
- Update your local address with the Office of the Registrar.
- Ask your landlord or apartment manager to help you with any appliances unfamiliar to you.
- Request maintenance and repairs in writing to your landlord or apartment manager. Keep a copy of your requests.
- Pay your rent before the late penalty period each month.
When You're Ready to Move Out
- Notify your landlord or apartment manager in writing before the renewal/termination date on your lease. Most apartments require you to notify them 60 days before you move out.
- Decide how you and your roommates are going to pay final bills.
- Request the check-out procedure in writing from your landlord/apartment manager.
- Clean the apartment thoroughly. It must be as clean as the check-out instructions from your landlord/apartment manager to receive your security deposit.
- Compare your original damage checklist with the current condition of the apartment and ask your landlord/apartment manager to inspect the apartment with you.
- You should receive an itemized bill for final charges with the balance of your security deposit within a month of your departure.
If you feel you are being charged unfairly for housing damages, use your damage checklist, photographs, repair requests and rental payment receipts to support your claim. Make copies and include a letter to your landlord/apartment manager explaining why you disagree with the damage assessment.
A charge to check your credit and rental history. Once you submit your application fee, your housing application may be binding! That is, once you have applied, you have committed yourself to rent an apartment, if your application is approved.
The evidence of income (usually, three times the price of the rent) to qualify housing applicants. A copy of the financial information used to obtain your student or exchange visitor visa may be used as proof of income. If the financial information is that of a family member, your relative’s signature may be required as a guarantor of the lease. If you receive income from a graduate assistantship, fellowship or another sponsor, the assistantship offer letter or a letter from your sponsor verifying the income you receive should be presented. The I-20 and DS-2019 is not a financial guarantee and should not be presented to landlords and apartment managers.
Money that is held by housing management to guarantee occupancy of a room or apartment, payment of rent, repair of damages, and professional cleaning after you move out. If terms of a signed contract are met, the deposit is either refunded in full or reduced to pay for unusual wear and tear or damage to the apartment. Within thirty days of you returning the apartment key, the manager must bill you for any remaining charges and refund the remainder of your security deposit. Should the landlord/apartment manager fail to meet this deadline, he/she forfeits their right to the deposit and must return it in full to the renter.
A legal contract signed by both the manager and the renter. Violation of the lease agreement can result in a severe financial penalty. Residents should understand the conditions of the lease prior to signing. Any negotiated variation should be set out in writing, initialed, and dated by both the tenant and the manager as an amendment to the lease.
Payment made for living accommodations. Since the rental rate and the payment due date are part of the signed contract, failing to make this payment for ANY reason may result in expensive penalties and legal actions. Legal advice is recommended for any tenant who experiences difficulties with a landlord.
Commonly Used Abbreviations
- A/C or AIR - Air-conditioning
- ABP - All bills paid. Your utilities (water, electricity, gas, sewage, garbage collection) have been included in your rent. You only have to arrange for telephone service.
- ASAP - As soon as possible
- BR or BDRM - Bedroom
- C-FAN - Ceiling fan
- EFF - An efficiency apartment: one room for living, eating, and sleeping. The bathroom is separate.
- FP - Fireplace 4-Plex - A rental unit comprised of two ground floor or "garden" apartments and two second floor apartments.
- IMMED - Ready for immediate occupancy
- INCL - Included in the rent
- MO - Month 2/2 or 3/2 - The first number indicates the number of bedrooms in the apartment. The second number indicates the number of bathrooms. Bathroom facilities include bathtub and/or shower, toilet (WC), and wash basin.
- W/D - A washer and dryer machine for clothing is provided.
- W/D CONN - Washer and clothes dryer connections are available for your own machines.