Before coming to Akron:
- Contact Global Ties Akron to reserve a host family stay for your first week for a minimal fee.
- If you know friends who attend the University of Akron, check on housing situations with them prior to arriving.
- You may wish to reserve a spot at a local apartment prior to your arrival. Make sure that you understand the deposit and/or cancellation policy before reserving housing.
- The university has a list of available off-campus housing options, located here.
Once in Akron:
- Search websites for apartments, rentals and roommates in the area.
- Here are some commonly used websites:
- You may also want to ask your host family or Orientation Leaders about possible places to stay as it pertains to safety, distance, compatible roommates, proximity to grocery stores, etc.
- Walking around the neighborhood would give you an idea about whether you want to live there or not.
- You may wish to consider apartments within the Akron area that are accessible by bus, such as the Highland Square neighborhood.
- Social Security number – you will want to get this as soon as possible to apply for housing.
- Proof of previous rental – most apartment complexes or landlords ask for proof of prior rental to determine that you are a good tenant.
- Co-signer – if you do not have proof of prior rental, you will likely need a co-signer to sign the lease with you. Talk to your host family or Orientation Leader about this possibility.
- Be prepared to pay first months rent plus security deposit (usually equal to first months rent in most cases).
- Most places will require a minimum of 1 year lease. If you are able to, it is best to find a place that offers lease on a semester or month-by-month basis. By doing this, you retain the possibility of moving out if the place is not to your liking.
- Ask for a copy of the previous year’s heating bill for the months of December-March. This will help you calculate how much you will have to pay per month for utilities if they are not included in your rent.
- Make sure to ask if utilities are included in rent and if so which utilities (ask about water, gas, electric & trash).
- You will almost always have to pay for cable and internet on your own.
- Give the landlord a sufficient notice before leaving and request your deposit back or ask him to adjust it in the last month’s rent. DO NOT expect to have your deposit back once you leave. Settle it before leaving.
- Usually apartments for rent will include water, sewer and trash in the monthly rent, but electric and/or gas will be the responsibility of the tenant.
- The landlord or leasing office will explain how to connect your utilities, but below are links to Ohio’s electric and gas companies.
- (Electric) Ohio Edison: 877-213-1053, or go online http://www.connectutilities.com/directory/services/OhioEdisonCompany.html
- (Gas) Dominion East Ohio: 1-800-362-7557 or online: http://www.dom.com/dominion-east-ohio/customer-service/energy-choice/index.jsp
- All services here are activated through phone or online. They will request your address and personal information. The most important identification number for this process is your Social Security Number, with which they check your credit in the United States. You do not have to fax your Social Security Number. If they ask you to, call again and try with another operator.
- Not having any credit can work in your favor or against you. Some companies will only request a safety deposit to guarantee your payment and get the service activated, while others might request you to fill out an affidavit, and the process before activation will be a little bit longer.
- Remember to deactivate these services before you leave, so your credit in the US won’t be affected for non-payment.