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International Student and Scholar Services

Life at DU

Housing

The University of Denver offers a number of on-campus housing options for international students. The university has a two-year live-on policy which requires first-year and second-year undergraduate students to live on-campus.

Upperclassmen, graduate students and international scholars may be interested in living off-campus around DU or in the Denver metro area. When searching for housing, consider your living preferences and personal budget before committing to a particular housing option.

Questions to Ask

Every student or scholar's housing needs are different, but the following questions might help you determine what type of housing is appropriate for you:

  • Do you want to live on or near campus?
  • Do you want to live near restaurants and entertainment?
  • Do you want to live near a public school or daycare center?
  • Do you want a home with a yard or lawn?
  • Do you want a home where you are allowed to have pets?
  • Do you want to live alone or share a home with roommates?
On-Campus Housing

On-campus housing is offered by the Office Housing & Residential Education and is available to all students. The University has a two-year on-campus requirement for first-year and second-year undergraduate students. Housing options vary and are subject to availability. Before you move into on-campus housing, you will be required to sign a lease that obligates you to pay for housing for one academic year. Consider your housing options carefully before signing any lease.

Residence Halls

Residence halls are dormitories in which one or more students live in a room, eat together in the cafeteria, and share a bathroom. You may make a special request for an American roommate. The residence halls are mainly intended for students between the ages of 18 and 21 who are interested in experiencing community in an activity-focused environment. Because of the fire hazard, cooking is generally not allowed in residence hall rooms, although you may have a small refrigerator or microwave.

Most residence halls are closed during the summer and the six-week vacation period between fall and winter quarters from the end of November to the beginning of January. If you intend to enroll during the summer, notify the Housing office and they will try to place you in a facility where you can remain for a full year. You will need to arrange your own housing during periods when the residence halls are closed.

Students can also apply to join one of the DU's Living & Learning Communities (LLCs) which groups students with a common interest on one floor of a residence hall and provides specially-crafted seminar classes and activities to its participants. These distinctive communities are based on different themes such as Creativity & Entrepreneurship, International, and Social Justice.

Centennial Tower Suites

The Centennial Tower Suites offer two bedroom (single or double occupancy) dorm rooms with a shared kitchen and bathroom. The Suites are located on the north side of campus and allow you the convenience of a private bedroom, a bathroom, a kitchen, with the benefits of dormitory life. One to four people may live in the Suites and you may request specific roommates, but preferences are subject to availability and are subject to priority procedures outlined in the housing contract.

On-Campus Apartments

The University apartments are located in the center of campus and offer housing for single occupants, roommates, and married couples. On-campus apartments are primarily intended for students over 21 and married couples who would like the convenience of living on-campus, but who want more privacy than the residence halls provide. There are two types of on-campus apartments:

Aspen, Mesa, and Hilltop Apartments

These apartments appeal to more traditional students who seek more privacy than the residence halls offer, but who still desire an integrated dormitory experience. Students have the choice of either a one or two bedroom space. The apartments are fully furnished and equipped with kitchens, telephones, and laundry facilities. You must provide your own bed linens, towels, and kitchen utensils. Rent in these apartments includes both heat and electricity. If you prefer not to cook, you may eat meals in the residence hall cafeterias by purchasing a single meal ticket or choose from one of four meal plans.

Ridgeline, Cavalier, Summit, and University Apartments

These apartments appeal to non-traditional, married, and graduate students. They offer more privacy than the residence halls and include a private bathroom, a personalized kitchen, and a living room. Apartments are unfurnished and are available in studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom sized units.

Additional Housing Resources

None of the additional housing resources listed above is affiliated with or endorsed by the University of Denver.

Off-Campus Housing
  • Locating a place to live can take time and research depending on your budget and the amenities you are looking for.
  • When searching for a place to live, there are many factors that you should consider such as: How close to campus is the apartment? Is there public transportation or a bike path nearby? Is the unit already furnished or will it be necessary to provide your own furniture, cooking supplies, appliances, etc.? Will you have a roommate? Will you have to share a bathroom? Is there a clothes washer and dryer in the unit or on-site? What utilities are included in the rent?

Finding Off-Campus Housing

  • There are many different ways to look for available housing. Listed below are some suggestions for finding vacancies.
  • University-Owned Properties
    The University of Denver owns and operates a number of rental units within walking distance of campus. More details are available on the Rental Properties webpage.
  • DU Campus Life Office
    The Campus Life office in Driscoll North (Suite 200) has information that landlords have dropped off about different rental properties. Students can stop by and browse through the brochures and flyers.
  • Apartment Locators
    These services and websites are free for prospective renters. They will compile a list of properties for you to review based on your needs and budget. 
    • Trulia - Trulia Housing near University of Denver page with over 400 listings with in-depth neighborhood information
    • Zillow - Zillow University of Denver rental listings page with over 100 listings within close proximity to campus with fair rental price estimates
    • Apartment List - Apartment List is a free resource with listings in Denver
  • Craigslist
    The popular community website www.craigslist.com allows users to post ads and to search for rental units and roommates.
  • Bulletin Boards
    Many grocery stores, DU campus buildings including the International House, and common spaces have areas where the public can post flyers for many things including landlords advertising a vacancy.
  • Visit the Neighborhood Looking for Rent Signs
    If you know of a particular neighborhood that you would like to live in, consider walking along its streets. Some property owners will advertise an opening by placing a 'Vacancy' or 'Room for Rent' sign in the yard or in the window.

When responding to any advertisement or website, use caution and do not disclose personal or banking information until you have met the person who posted the listing.

Signing a Lease

  • An application fee is often required to check a renter's credit and criminal history before being approved to lease a property.
  • The lease agreement is a legal contract obligating you to pay rent on a property for a specified amount of time. The contract should outline the terms of your lease, including the service you can expect from your landlord or rental agency. Before signing, review the document carefully. If you have questions, speak to the landlord or property manager so that you fully understand its terms. If you and the landlord have agreed to changes in the rental contract, make sure to get them in writing.
  • Although it is sometimes possible to "break" your lease, or move out before the date specified in the contract, it is often difficult to do so and you could be legally obligated to continue paying the rent.
  • Please visit the Additional Housing Resources section below for more information on your rights as a renter in Colorado.

Security Deposit

You may be asked to pay a security deposit and/or a damage deposit when signing a lease. The security deposit is often equal to the first and last months' rent to cover possible damage to the unit or unpaid bills. In most cases, you will receive the entire deposit back when you move out, provided the apartment is clean and in good condition.

Before moving in, you should complete a check-in sheet. This sheet is a written document describing the condition of each room, including furniture, carpeting and appliances. Be sure to mark down anything that is damaged or stained or needs repair so that you will not be charged for previous damages. Keep a copy of the check-in sheet signed both by you and your landlord. If possible, take photographs of any damage you have recorded on the check-in sheet. When you move out, this documentation may help you resolve disputes with the landlord over the actual condition of the apartment when you moved in.

When you move out, the landlord is required by Colorado law to return the security deposit within thirty days of you leaving the property. Be sure to leave a forwarding address so the landlord can send you your deposit. If part of the deposit was not refunded, the landlord must give you a written notice explaining why e.g. unpaid utility bill, damages caused by the tenant, or cleaning costs. The landlord may not keep the deposit to cover normal wear and tear.

Renter's Insurance

  • Renter's insurance provides compensation to a tenant in the event of losses caused by fire, theft, or vandalism, regardless of who is at fault. Insurance policies generally provide coverage for all items in your home, including clothing, electronics, and personal property, as well as any damage to the building itself. The cost of renter's insurance varies, but it is generally considered a good investment, especially if you own anything valuable in your home.

Utilities

  • Before you move in to the apartment, confirm with the landlord or rental company what utilities are included in your monthly rent. Common utility providers include:
  • Water – Denver Water
  • Electricity and Gas– Xcel Energy
  • Television and Internet access – CenturyLink, Comcast, DirectTV or Dish Network
  • Local Telephone Service - AT&T, CenturyLink
  • Garbage and/or Sewage - Provided by the city of Denver
  • Unless the utility is paid for in your rent, you will need to contact the service provider directly to activate water, power, telephone, or Internet. Generally, service providers offer bundle packages, where you can receive a discounted price for multiple services such as cable TV, high-speed internet, local phone service and/or cellphone service.
  • Some utilities require a deposit before activation. If you are sharing an apartment with a roommate, you may choose to open utility accounts in different names so you are each responsible for payment. Make sure you discuss these responsibilities with each of your roommates. The person whose name is on the lease or utility account is ultimately responsible for paying any bills.

Laundry

  • Some apartments include a washer and dryer in the unit, while others come with access to a common laundry facility that all tenants may use. If your apartment has neither, you will need to locate a laundry facility ("laundromat") elsewhere. Common laundry rooms and laundromats typically have machines that require payment in quarters. When using a public laundry facility, use caution regarding your clothes and personal items to ensure they are not damaged or stolen.

Additional Housing Resources 

The purpose of this web page is to provide a broad overview of the subject. It should not be considered an authoritative resource. No company listed above is affiliated with or endorsed by the University of Denver.