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Note: Occupancy Law

City Ordinance

In the City of Syracuse, no more that 5 unrelated people can occupy a rental unit.

The Search


First-year students are required to live in University housing for their first two years at Syracuse University. Transfer students are encouraged to reside in University housing. Housing for transfer students is on a space-available basis until all spaces on Main and South campuses are filled. Once a student is housed, Syracuse University requires students to reside in University housing during their first two years of enrollment at the University regardless of class standing, with the exception of SUNY ESF students who are required to reside in University housing during their first full year of enrollment. Students will be financially responsible for the cost of University housing attributable to the mandatory periods even if they fail to occupy University housing as required by University policy.:

Determine Your Needs

As a prospective tenant, you have the right to ask the landlord questions Before signing a lease, be sure that you are satisfied with the apartment, services provided by the landlord, and  the security of the unit. Before you begin your housing search, it is important to determine your needs and what you can afford; if you plan to live with others, you should have this conversation prior to beginning your search.

  •  How close to campus, the nearest bus stop, and other conveniences do you want to be?
  •  What size unit are you looking for?
  •  How much can you afford for rent and utilities? Security deposit?
  •  Do you need parking? Off-street or on-street?
  •  How long a lease do you need?
  •  How many roommates will you have?
  •  Will you have pets?
  •  Will you be able to take care of snow removal and/or lawn care if required?
  •  Do you want a furnished or unfurnished apartment?
  •  What type of housing are you looking for: apartment, house, studio, or shared rental?

Apartment: Independent rental unit within a building, separated from other units, with private cooking and living facilities.

House: Single- or two-family building where the WHOLE building is for rent.

Studio: A small apartment with kitchenette, bathroom, and a living room/bedroom area.

Shared Rentals: Individual room listings in houses and apartments where others already live. You will move into a situation with others you probably do not know. In most of these rentals you and the others in the house share the kitchen, living room, and other common area.

Search for Available Rentals

There are a number of rental units available in the university area (University Area Map) and several ways to search for them:  

Call about Potential Rentals

When you find rentals that fit your needs, you should call or email the contact person, state what you are looking for and when you would be available to view the rental. If you will be living with
others, you should all view the rental unit to ensure that it will satisfy everyone’s needs.

View Rentals

You should view two or more rentals that meet your needs. When looking at each rental, you should take notes and ask several questions.
  • Use the Apartment Hunting Checklist to document the condition of each rental.
  • Examine each apartment thoroughly, interior and exterior. Don’t be afraid to test things (e g, Does the toilet flush? Is there adequate water pressure?). Be sure you are satisfied with the safety features of the rental (e g, working locks, adequate lighting, secure windows).
  • Note utilities that are included with rent.
  • Note repairs that are needed.
  • Note distance to the nearest bus stop.
  • Ask who is responsible for yard work and/or snow removal.