Housing

There are several off-campus apartment complexes located in Gainesville that rent housing facilities to UF students and their families. Please visit the Off Campus Life website to find more information regarding off-campus housing. This site includes a search engine to locate off-campus accommodation. The majority of apartments in Gainesville require a 12-month "lease" (a legal rental contract). If you sign a lease for longer than your planned stay, you will be legally bound to the rental agreement. You will be responsible for meeting all of the terms of the contract.

To live off campus, you must be aware of additional monthly bills. Electricity, water, television, and internet may all be additional costs that you are responsible for. Several apartment complexes are "all-inclusive," which means you pay one designated amount to the complex and everything is included. Be sure to ask which items will be included in your rent.

Some apartments come furnished with household items. Furnished apartments may cost slightly higher than unfurnished apartments. You may also pay a higher fee for a short-term lease. To find a place with the least amount of frustration, we recommend you research the housing options on the internet as soon as possible. If you do your research before you arrive, you will be able to find a suitable place to live.

Be sure to find the location of the place you are thinking about renting on a city map of Gainesville to see how far away it is from campus, from shopping, etc. You should also check www.go-rts.com to find out how close the accommodation is to bus routes, and how often the buses run. The public transportation has limited bus routes on weekends and on holidays.

Housing Search Resources

The following links are for your information. UF does not endorse any of these providers. Securing a place to stay while attending UF may seem difficult, so please read the following information carefully and begin searching for a place to stay before you arrive to Gainesville. The internet will serve as a valuable tool and will assist you in securing a great accommodation that will meet your needs.

Classified advertisements available on www.gainesville.com are listed by apartment’s complexes and by individuals. Both short-term and 12 month leases may be listed.

Housing Abbreviations

Here is a list of abbreviations that you will find on many websites when they are talking about the featured amenities of the location you are interested in renting.

  • A/C=air conditioning
  • BR=bedroom
  • DW=dishwasher
  • Furn=furnished
  • Sec sys=security system
  • Unfurn=unfurnished
  • W/D= washing machine and dryer

Housing Options

  • Efficiency Apartments: Also called studio apartments, efficiencies are usually one large room that includes a kitchen area and bathroom. They are generally designed for one person. The occupant is expected to pay for utilities, unless specified in the lease. Efficiency apartments are sometimes found in houses.
  • Apartments: Gainesville has hundreds of apartment complexes. Apartments consist of a living room, kitchen, one or more bed-rooms and one or more bathrooms. They are larger than efficiencies. The occupant pays all utilities, unless otherwise specified.
  • Rooms: A room may be located in a private home, apartment, or rooming house. Some rooms may be suites in an apartment where the student lives in one room and shares a bathroom, kitchen, and living room with other occupants.
  • Houses: Some students choose to live together in a house. A majority of houses will be unfurnished. The landlord is responsible for making repairs and caring for the yard, unless stated otherwise in the lease.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • You are not obligated to rent an apartment if you look at it.
  • Get everything in writing before you sign the lease.
  • The person or apartment complex director you are renting from is referred to as your landlord.
  • A lease is a written agreement between a tenant and landlord that describes the responsibilities of each party.
  • A lease is a binding legal document that commits the tenant to a specific period of residency in the complex. (If you sign a 12 month lease, you are responsible for paying rent and additional fees for 12 months)
  • If you sign a 12 month lease and you only plan on attending UF for one semester you are responsible for finding someone to live in your apartment or you must continue to pay rent even if you leave Gainesville.
  • If you know that you will not be in Gainesville for the entire year, it is not advisable to sign a one-year lease. Shorter, semester leases are available but they may cost more per month.
  • Read the lease carefully before you sign.
  • Keep a copy of the lease and any other documents about your apartment.

Sublease Information

A sublease is an arrangement that the original renter makes with another individual to live in his/her apartment who may or may not retain responsibility for the lease agreement.

Be careful before entering into a sublease agreement. Many UF students sublease their apartments for one semester. Sub-leasing will often give you the flexibility to select the months you would like to rent the apartment. However, many apartment complexes and landlords have clauses written in the original lease that list the sublease guidelines. Additional fees may be applied to the original renter or the person agreeing to take responsibility of the lease.

If you decide to sublease from an individual, they may or may not ask you to sign an agreement. It is important that you ask that an agreement be created and signed by both you and the person you are subleasing from. This is recommended for your security purposes only.

Security Deposit, First and Last Month's Rent

A landlord will usually ask you for money before you move into an apartment. This may be in the form of a security deposit and first and last month's rent which can amount to more than $1,000.

A "security deposit" is an amount of money that is supposed to guarantee that the tenant will care for the dwelling. If the tenant does not take care of the property or clean it before leaving, the landlord has a legal right to keep the security deposit. Otherwise, the landlord must return the security deposit within a month after the tenant leaves.
Make sure the agreement about the security deposit is included in the lease. You should also complete a move-in checklist, keep a copy and give a copy to your landlord. The checklist will indicate the condition of the apartment when you move in.

Landlords will often ask for the sum of the first and last months' rent before the tenant moves into the apartment. This is to protect the landlord in case the tenant leaves early without paying the rent for the agreed time listed in the lease. Each landlord has particular requirements for deposits.