Answers to common questions about Virginia Tech off-campus housing

From: Student Engagement and Campus Life

A great housing situation can make all the difference in your college experience. Our goal in the Virginia Tech Off-Campus Housing office is to help you find housing that will enable you to thrive during your time at Virginia Tech. As you consider moving to off-campus housing, we want you to feel empowered with information. There are dozens of housing complexes, as well as private rentals and properties for sale, in and around Blacksburg that offer a variety of living options. VT Off-Campus Housing is here to support you as you explore these possibilities. 

Below, we share some of our most frequently asked questions to help you understand the off-campus housing process and opportunities. While individual process may vary within housing management companies and from year to year, this information is a good launching point to conversations and next steps related to securing off-campus housing. 

1. When should I start looking for off-campus housing for Fall 2020? 

You might feel pressured to apply for housing as early as possible; however, many apartment complexes do not begin to accept applications for new residents until January. This is because from October to January, they are offering their current residents the chance to renew for the following year before determining availability for new residents. Some complexes do start signing leases for new residents in the fall, but that is not the case for the majority. In a typical year, many apartment complexes still have availability into the early spring semester. In fact, our Spring Off-Campus Fair only allows complexes that still have availability to attend. This usually takes place in late February.  

2. How do waitlists for off-campus housing properties work? 

Some of the off-campus housing facilities that do not accept fall applications offer a waitlist for those who want to be the first to apply when the properties start accepting new leases. There are pros and cons to this: the advantage is obvious – if you are on the waitlist, you are more likely to get a spot in your housing complex of choice. The disadvantage is that many of these waitlists require non-refundable or only partially-refundable deposits and still do not guarantee you a spot for the following year. 

3. How can I prepare to find a place to live off campus?

There are several steps you can take right now to prepare to search for housing and to ensure a successful housing search. These include setting a housing budget, finding a compatible roommate, determining priorities for housing options (e.g., location, cost, amenities, transportation options), safety when searching for housing, and understanding lease terms. Virginia Tech also has the Student Legal Services office located in Squires Student Center that can review contracts and lease terms with students. 

4. What resources does Virginia Tech offer to support students as they search for housing? 

We have a whole office dedicating to providing you resources as you search for off-campus housing! The VT Off-Campus Housing office is open five days a week for students to visit or call with questions. We can help with finding a property that meets your preferences and needs, assisting in finding a roommate, identifying properties with availability for next year, and providing a budget comparison for on- and off-campus housing options and sample documents such as roommate agreements. 

On Wednesday, Oct. 30, we will host the Fall Off-Campus Housing Fair where you can meet representatives from housing vendors around Blacksburg and learn about resources that exist on and off campus!  Please note that while we provide all of the resources possible to help you in your housing search, we do not assign or find housing for you. We also do not endorse any housing entities over others. Our job is to provide you with resources that empower you to make the best decision for your needs. 

5. Where do I go to learn more and if I have more questions? The Virginia Tech Off-Campus Housing team is here to help! For more information you can: 

a. Come by our office at 312 Squires Student Center. Walk-in hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

b. Call us at 540-231-3466 or e-mail us at vtoch@vt.edu.

c. Visit our websites: https://campuslife.vt.edu/secl_services/VTOCH.html and  Techoffcampus.com

 

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