Finding a Rental

Finding an apartment off-campus may take more time than you anticipate. The housing marketing in the DC area is competitive and apartment hunting can be frustrating if you aren’t prepared. If renting a home in the District of Columbia, it is also important to choose a home that is up-to-code with the Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs (DCRA).

How do I find a place?

Using Georgetown University's housing listing website, search for housing available near GU's campuses. Do not limit yourself to the Georgetown neighborhood, as available properties are spread out many different neighborhoods in DC, Virginia, and Maryland. If you find something you like, make sure you call the landlord to confirm that the property is still available for rent. Simply login with your Georgetown University NetID. If you have not yet received your NetID, not a problem. Make sure to create a guest account, and your access to the website will be granted shortly after.

Finding your housing – Step by Step:

  1. Define your budget and housing preferences. Roommates? Apartment complex? Townhouse?
  2. Get your bearings on where your classes will be (Main CAmpus, SGS, Law CAmpus, etc.) and/or work locations in proximity to local neighborhoods. This is an interactive zip code map with the D.C. city border and zip codes outlines.
  3. Start your search for properties at OCHListings.georgetown.edu. All properties on our website under the housing tab will have a Basic Business License (BBL).
    • D.C. law requires that property owners obtain a Basic Business License (BBL) from the D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) in order to legally rent their property. A condition of obtaining a BBL is the property's satisfactory inspection by the DCRA for basic life safety requirements, such as egress, electrical systems, smoke detectors, and so forth. Be sure that any property you rent in D.C. has a BBL. There is also a roommates tab on the same website where you can find a roommate after you have filled out a short questionnaire about your living habits.
    • If you find a roommate on this page who already has a property to live at in D.C. or if you find housing in D.C. somewhere other than the housing tab on OCH Listings, please self-verify there is an active BBL associated with the property. You can self-verify that your property has a BBL by using this DCRA webpage.
  4. Contact the property manager/landlord to schedule an appointment to see properties of interest.
  5. Visit the property during the day and at night to make sure you feel safe in the area. You can use the D.C. Police Crime Map to see recent criminal activity near your property.
  6. Read the lease cover to cover and understand your rights & responsibilities outlined in the lease.
  7. D.C. is known to be a tenant friendly city. Understand your rights and responsibilities as a tenant in the District of Columbia. Read the Tenant Bill of Rights.
  8. After signing the lease and prior to moving in, do a walk through with the landlord/property manager, documenting in writing & pictures existing conditions of the property. This will ensure you have the best opportunity to receive your security deposit back in full when the lease expires.

Tips:

  • Make a Check List:
    • Decide what you will and won’t compromise on when it comes to housing before you look at places and bring a list with you as a reminder.
  • Consider Location and Transportation:
    • Remember to think about how accessible the location is to transportation. In addition to the metro, there are many bus lines that run throughout the DC Metro Area.
    • If you plan to walk to campus from your apartment, think about how long you will be able to walk when it’s cold out. A good rule of thumb is to make sure your walk is less than 20 minutes.
  • Prepare for a Competitive Market:
    • Bring your checkbook when you look at apartments, and be prepared to fill out an application and put down a deposit to secure the apartment.
    • Know that August is a particularly competitive month as many students will be looking for housing at that time.