To find a place to live is really important thing. If you are a international
student, first you can speak with your school's housing offices about various
options. There are some housing options for international students in Santa
First option is a
homestay. Homestay provides a private room in American home. It can be arranged
with or without meals. Usually, the schools connect students with homestay
family. This arrangement is a good way to experience of living in an American
home, but you will have less freedom compared to live in Dormitory or in Private
Private Apartments/ Rental house
If you want to have more freedom or save money, you can get a private
apartment or a house. You can rent a house in Santa Barbara area as well
as Goleta and Isla Vista. In downtown SB, you have a lot of choices and the
house is usually cheaper than Goleta area. But if you are a UCSB student, it can
be too far from school. In Isla Vista, there are a lot of apartments for
students. Because there are so many students live together in IV, sometimes you
can meet slumlords. To find a rental house can be a overwhelming task.
Moreover, you should consider several things to rent a house such as location,
rental fee, etc. Here are some tips
when you rent a house.
- Take your time- Check newspaper classified advertisements or some
college newspaper. ( UCSB daily nexus has a classified section about
roommates and housing) When you find an apartment, contact with the manager
and inspect the unit. It is also good way to talk with other tenants in the
- Never sign a lease/ contract that you don't understand completely.
This means you have to read a lease carefully and figure out the detailed
information such as rental rate, deposit, length of occupancy, apartment
rules, etc. If you sign for 1year lease, you must really careful if
you can hold liable for whole year.
- Deposit - In a lease or rental agreement, a landlord cannot require
a non-refundable deposit. A security deposit is often required but a
landlord may keep only those parts of cleaning and security deposits needed
to repair damage caused by the tenant, to clean the premises, or to make up
for unpaid rent. The manager should return the refundable part of the
deposit. Deductions from the deposit must be itemized in writing.
- Apartment sharing - If one roommate leaves without paying his or
her share of the rent, the landlord has the right to collect the rent from
the remaining tenants. So, you should be really careful to choose roommates
who can fulfill their share of the obligation. Also, if you are going to
live with others, talk with prospective roommates before you sing a lease.
Talk about sleep and study habits, musical tastes, overnight guests,
cleaning habits, etc.
- Make sure you record the condition of your apartment when you move in.
- It is important to note anything that may be wrong with the apartment
: stains, holes in the walls, broken cupboards, etc. This is the best way to
avoid disputes over your deposit.
- Notice before you leave - When you intend to end your tenancy, you
should give a notice to your landlord at least 30 days before.
Guide to Residential Tenants' and Landlords' Rights and Responsibilities