Considering Options

When considering your options for moving off campus, note that Oxford has two primary options for students - rental houses and apartments.

Apartments

Apartments consist of independent rental units within a larger building. Local apartment complexes tend to provide more amenities than houses (i.e. pools, convenient parking, more utilities included in rent), but they may not be as centrally located.

Houses

Rental houses are single or two-family buildings where the whole building is for rent. Local rental houses offer more privacy and space than apartments, but they may require additional responsibilities for your and your roommates.

What is important to you?

As you begin your search, it’s critical that you ask yourself (and your roommates) some important questions. Use the following questions to begin a conversation and to narrow down your potential list of properties.

What do you want from your living experience?

  • Do you prefer to live where the “action” is, or if you would rather be in a quiet setting?
  • Do you expect to have a place to study? Relax?
  • What amenities are important to you?

Budget

  • What is your monthly or per-semester budget for housing and utilities?
  • What is the rent and when it is due?
  • Is there a deposit and when is it due?
  • What utilities, if any, are included?
  • Is summer housing or storage included?

Find more information about off-campus budgeting on our budget page

Location

  • Do you want to be close to The Rec, Uptown, King or somewhere else?
  • Is there a bus stop nearby? How far is the walk? Consider making the walk through rain, snow, and late at night.
  • What is the neighborhood like? Who else lives there?

Safety and Comfort

  • Is the rental unit in an area where you feel comfortable and safe? Visit the property during the day and at night to see if there is a major difference in the neighborhood environment. Talk to the current tenants about their experiences.
  • Is the rental unit (and its kitchen, bedrooms, and closets) large enough for your needs?
  • Are there any cut-throughs or alleys behind the home that would encourage unwelcome visitors in the yard? Is the nearby area well-lit for walking home at night?
  • Are all smoke detectors in working condition? Test them to make sure. Each level must have at least one smoke alarm, including the basement. Each bedroom and living area must have at least one window.
  • Are there carbon monoxide detectors?
  • Are all doors, locks, and deadbolts in working condition?

Condition of the Property

  • Are you willing to live in the property in its current condition?
  • Is everything in the unit in good working order? Test the heat, air conditioning, hot and cold water faucets, shower pressure, and toilet to make sure everything works to your satisfaction. Do all lights and electrical outlets work properly? Again, use the current tenants as a resource.
  • Do all windows open and close properly and are there any leaky faucets? Drafty windows and leaky faucets could indicate higher monthly utility bills.

Parking

  • How many parking spots will you and your roommates need?
  • Does the property offer any parking and is it on-or off- street? How many spaces are available for you and your roommates?

Comfort with Landlord

  • What kind of vibe do you get from the landlord? Talk to the current tenants about their experiences with the landlord