Interested in moving off-campus? While the university does not own any apartments, there are many apartments/rentals within walking distance of campus. In addition, students also have free access to the city bus with their student ID.
The Office of Residence Life works with Student Rental Society, an independent vendor, who has created this site to assist students in finding off-campus housing and roommates. The university assumes no liability for students who use this site. Places are listed by landlords as they are received, with availability dates noted! Call (608) 785-8076 to get general information or have questions.
Other places to locate apartments include listings in the La Crosse Tribune, signs posted on campus and through various individual housing providers which can be located by looking in the Yellow Pages, under "apartments".
As you begin to look for an apartment, here are some things to keep in mind:
-Use this budget guide to help you with your finances!
-Most student rentals are shared apartments for up to 5 individuals. Often, students are looking for additional roommates. Remember who you live with is as important as where you live, so be sure to ask potential roommates questions about their lifestyles in order to find a suitable match.
-There are many different options and quality of apartments available and it is important to see the place before you rent. Note that the cost of utilities may or may not be included in the rent. Because La Crosse has alternate street parking in the winter and parking around campus is at a premium, off-street parking is a feature some people find valuable as they seek off campus housing.
-Be sure to read and understand the lease before signing. The lease is a rental agreement between you and the landlord. All renters should sign a lease. Most leases go over the summer period, so be sure to understand whether or not "subleasing" is allowed. Most leases contain statements about "joint and several liability for rent and damages", which means the landlord can hold all or any one tenant responsible for unpaid rent, utilities and damage to the property. The following site will help you understand your rights as a tenant, landlord-tenant laws, and what is required of your landlord: http://datcp.wi.gov/consumer/wisconsin_way/. It is important to review and understand these - most importantly pages 54-59.
-As you explore off campus living options, fire safety should be of prime importance. Please look for smoke detectors (check to make sure they are working and ask who replaces the batteries); ask if fire extinguishers are available (if not, buy one) and if there is a central fire alarm system; check for hallway safety lights and in stairwells and make sure you are aware of evacuation routes. It would also be advisable to ask that a safety check/inspection be conducted.
-Before you move in to the apartment, do a thorough check-in including filling out a detailed inventory of the premises. Some landlords provide a form but if they don't, create your own. Be detailed and complete noting the condition of everything in the apartment and each renter should sign indicating the date they move in. Next, go through the apartment with the landlord noting any damages you have listed. Make a copy of the check-in sheet and have the landlord sign and keep a copy. Taking dated photos of specific items or areas may be a good idea.
-If you encounter problems or want someone to help you review your lease, The UW-L Student Association has made arrangements for free legal consultation for students. Currently, this service is available on Tuesdays 11:30am to 1:00pm and Wednesdays from 1:00pm - 2:30pm in the Office of Student Life, 149 Graff Main Hall, (608) 785-8062. Call ahead to schedule a 15 minute appointment.