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Housing & Utilities

Before You Sign your Lease

A lease is an oral or written, signed contract between a landlord and tenant, and is legally binding. A lease can benefit both the landlord and the tenant because the obligations of each are in writing. A lease is negotiable before signing. It is difficult to break a lease so it is very important that you read your lease carefully to be sure you understand the terms specified.  Leases obligate you to pay rent for each month of the term of the lease even if you move out of the apartment.

If you have any questions or if you have trouble understanding the lease, please make an appointment with Student Legal Services. They are happy to review your lease before you sign it and their services are free of charge to students.

Renter’s Insurance

Renter’s insurance is a type of insurance that protects your apartment and possessions from damage or loss due to fire, water, theft, etc., depending on your policy.  Many off-campus apartment complexes now require renter’s insurance (and provide preferred options through specific companies).  Regardless of whether or not renter’s insurance is required by your apartment complex, OIS strongly recommends that you have renter’s insurance coverage.  The cost is manageable, especially when shared with roommates.

We recommend that you evaluate your options (if your apartment does not specify which type you need) and choose a policy that best fits your needs and budget.  Reputable companies should also have reviews you can read so you can learn from other people’s experience using that company and factor their feedback into your decision.

The University Housing Office provides comfortable housing in residence hall communities at reasonable prices.  Some residence halls, like the Global Village at Alexander Hall, intentionally pair American and international students as roommates. Residence halls also offer unique cross-cultural programs such as ethnic dinners, lectures, and cultural events. E.S. King Village and Western Manor are N.C. State’s student family housing complexes. The main goal both complexes is to provide a safe, well-maintained, comfortable living environment for families with reasonable rental rates.  The university also has a number of student-orientation on-campus apartments like Wolf Ridge and Wolf Village.

Raleigh is a rapidly developing city and securing affordable off campus housing may be a challenge due to the current demand and expense of rental units. Therefore it is important to try and secure accommodations as early as possible. NC State has a website for off-campus housing that has many good options. It is also recommended that you consult with Departmental Ambassadors and students and scholars from your home country for advice on apartments. Some student organizations at NC State have Facebook pages where available housing is posted.

Off-campus housing options include: (a) rooms in private residences, (b) apartments which can be rented by oneself or (c) apartments shared by 2 to 4 students depending on the leasing options of the apartment complex.

It is reasonable to expect off-campus housing to cost between $500 to $1200 per month, depending on the number of people sharing the expenses which include monthly rent and utilities (water, sewer, electricity, gas, internet, etc.). A signed lease (contract) and a security deposit, usually one month’s rent, is also required for most off-campus housing.

Tips to Avoid Off-Campus Housing Scams

  • Never make a housing deposit or give out your financial information (bank account number, credit card information, etc.) prior to seeing the property in person.
  • Never send money via wire transfer to a person offering housing. No legitimate property management company will ever ask you to wire money to them for an application fee, security deposit, or rent.
  • Keep in mind that if something looks too good to be true, it probably is. Check comparable apartment listings to find the average cost of rent. Unusually low-priced apartments are also red flags for scams.
  • Review the information on the Federal Trade Commission’s website for more tips to avoid scams.

If there is a gap between your arrival date and the start date of your university
housing assignment or off-campus lease, or if you prefer to search for housing after you arrive in Raleigh, you can find temporary accommodation on campus through Guest Housing Services or at a local hotel.

list of hotels within 3 miles (4.8 km) of campus can be found on NC State’s Undergraduate Admission’s website. Many of the hotels listed offer an NC State discount rate to everyone affiliated with NC State.

Please note that these hotels are not associated with NC State. They are listed here merely because they are located in the vicinity of NC State and because they are easily accessible by GoTriangle or Wolfline buses. Please check customer reviews before reserving a hotel.

You can also check the hotels near RDU airport and take the GoTriangle #100 to Main campus. To plan your trip from the hotel, please check the GoTriangle route planner.  Keep in mind that Wolfline buses are free, while there is a small charge for GoTriangle buses.

Many off-campus apartments include some utilities in the price of their rent. However, some utilities are left to the tenant to purchase. Here are some companies that offer utilities in the area:

As a new customer, you may have to pay a deposit to start services with these companies.

There are several phone companies to choose from including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, and more. Most companies offer month-to-month “pay-as-you-go” plans, meaning you can pay for the plan month-to-month and don’t have to sign a lengthy contract to get service.