This page contains information to help you with your housing search, including online resources, leasing information, utilities resources, renters insurance, and furniture rentals. For students moving to Washington, the following information may be useful for you. Please note that the following companies are not affiliated with Georgetown University, nor by listing these companies are we implicitly endorsing them. All contact with any outside company is conducted at your own risk.
Choosing an apartment - especially in a new, unfamiliar city - can be difficult and intimidating. To help you narrow your choices, we've suggested some security questions and a fire safety checklist to research and guide you through the leasing process.
Fortunately, Washington is rich in student housing. The abundance of universities in the District ensures a quantity of affordable housing for students. Most of our off-campus students don't have trouble finding housing, although it's usually easiest to find an apartment when you're actually visiting DC.
Some of our students find apartments by combing through the local newspapers, and others find better luck just by walking around different neighborhoods and looking for "For Rent" signs in the windows.
For those students who wish to search online, we've put together a list of links that might help you:
For additional information and listings, please see the Georgetown University main campus off campus housing services web page. You may also want to find out what other tenants are saying about possible communities by researching the apartment ratings site. There you will find comments, opinions, ratings and reviews from current tenants of selected communities.
Students signing a lease for the first time - even law students - can be frustrated and confused by the complex legal language in housing contracts. Chances are that your questions are probably very common.
Where can I learn about renters' rights?
Fortunately, the DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs' Housing Regulation Administration (HRA), is designed to help renters like yourself. The HRA publishes a "Tenant's Guide to Safe and Decent Housing" which summarizes the DC housing code and laws governing rent-controlled apartments. To obtain a copy, visit the Housing Regulation Services Center, Room 700, 614 H St. NW, Washington, DC 20001.
What's the most important thing to do before signing my lease?
Although it sounds obvious, make sure you read your lease! Most problems between landlords and tenants stem from confusion about obligations and expectations. Make sure all of your agreements are in writing, and make sure you understand any obligations you have as a tenant.
What about security deposits?
Make sure you clearly understand any terms and conditions regarding the deposit, and make sure these terms and conditions are outlined in writing on your lease. The DC Housing Code stipulates that once you leave your apartment, your landlord must return your deposit within 45 days, or else notify you of any intention to use the money to pay for damages.
Should I ask for an official inspection of the apartment?
Since you are obligated to leave the apartment in the same condition it was as when you moved in. Make sure everything is in working order, including faucets, stoves, and toilets. If something is not working, make sure you put it in writing, so you are not held accountable for any pre-existing damage. Thoroughly inspect the unit before moving in, and be sure to walk through the unit with the landlord before moving into the unit, and after moving out. The following walkthrough form, inspection checklist, and fire safety checklist may be used to examine the unit for any health and safety code violations.
Can I be cited for violating housing codes?
Yes! According to the HRA, tenants are responsible to maintain and clean the apartment, and to use all utilities properly.
Gas and Electric
Potomac Electric Power Company (PEPCO): 202-833-7500
Washington DC Gas: 703-750-4440
Water and Sewer
DC Sewer and Water Authority: 202-787-2000
Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission: 301-206-4001
DC Department Public Works: 202-643-6833