Should I sign a lease for the 2021-22 school year?

January 7, 2021

We recommend waiting at least until the schedule of classes is live to start making off-campus living arrangements. The Fall 2021 schedule is expected to appear on PAWS in late March. There is no set timeline or rush to find housing in Milwaukee, as housing typically is available near campus.

When making living arrangements, you should take into account factors like finances, employment, internships, undergraduate research, study abroad and access to activities. Which living arrangement is most conducive to your health, well-being, safety and learning is a personal decision, and the best fit could be living in a family home, on campus in a residence hall or renting off campus. If you are considering off-campus housing, take advantage of the Rental Process Guide on Neighborhood Housing’s website, the Preferred Tenant Program, and the Virtual Tour of Homes programs, which are offered every Thursday in March and April.

If you decide to sign a lease, please keep in mind that a lease is a legally binding contract. You are bound by the terms for its duration. Once signed, you, your roommate(s) and landlord must agree to any changes. Get those changes in writing. Take time to review all terms. The University Legal Clinic will review your lease for free. If you have roommates, make sure everyone is in agreement if something happens during the course of the lease (someone transfers, plans to study abroad, has a change in financial situation, etc.)

If a landlord is pressuring you into signing a lease, don’t do it! If a landlord is pressuring you now, you can expect them to act accordingly throughout the duration of your lease. And remember to ask about when you have to provide notice if you plan to stay or leave for the next year. Avoid agreeing to provide more than 60 days notice before the end of the lease.