Find information about living Off-Campus and browse through our collection of resources.

Preparing for Your Search

  • Before you begin your search of off-campus housing, please consider VCU’s on-campus housing options. All returning VCU student, regardless of whether or not you have lived in on-campus housing before are eligible to participate in the on-campus housing process. VCU provides residence hall and apartment style living at a competitive rate. Students living on campus tend to have higher GPAs and graduate sooner. VCU Residential Life and Housing has added 1500 additional on-campus beds allowing us to better serve the needs of upper class students. Please visit the on-campus application page here, application/ for details on the process.

    Starting your off campus housing search can be a daunting task, but have no fear!  Off Campus Student Services is here to help you get through it all. This "Preparing for Your Search" section provides information to help you learn about how to decide if you should live off-campus and where to start in looking for off-campus housing.

    There is NO Housing Shortage in Richmond, however it may be difficult to locate housing that meets all your expectations.

    There is no need to sign a lease in a hurry. Remember a lease is a legal binding contract between you and the landlord, and signing one prematurely can cause all sorts of consequences, including some extensive financial ones. First and foremost, do not rush into making the housing decision.

    Steps for locating off campus housing include:

    • Create a budget.
      • OCSS host Budget Workshops every 2 weeks.
      • Sample Budgets are located under "Resources -Preparing for Your Search"
    • Identify what your needs and expectations are for a property and roommates.
      • Consider: Budget, Number of Roommates, Location, Building Structure, Structure Age & Condition, Amenities Included, Proximity to Public Transportation etc.
    • Locate properties that meet your needs:
      • Listings available for review under "Housing" at the top of this website.
      • Other optional resources include:
        • Facebook Groups: Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Housing, Sublets & Roommates and Housing within VCU
          • Posts usually for those looking for roommates, to fill empty rooms in their houses and looking for subleasers
        • None affiliated listing sites:,,,,,
    • Locate roommates:
      • Word of mouth is the most popular way roommates locate one another.
      • Roommate profiles are available for review under "Roommates" at the top of this website.
    • Narrow your list of potential properties to 3 - 5 properties
    • Call landlords directly to check availlability and to set up tours.
      • Complexes may have model units and will be able to assist you quickly.
      • Private landlords and property management companies will need to give their tenants notice prior to allowing you to enter their unit. This can take a few days to arrange.
    • Tour properties with landlord.
      • Discuss:
        • Roommate Matching Process
        • Maintenance Procedures
        • Rental Rate
        • How many units are available. 
        • Application process
    • Complete and submit application for the properties you are most interested in with landlord.
      • Application fees are normally around $40.
      • Application allows the landlord to do a background and credit check on you.
    • Secure a co-signer.
      • A co-signer will need to meet the financial obligations required by the property.
      • Usually they will need to be a US citizen, make three times the monthly rent, and have a good credit score.
    • READ the lease provided by the landlord.
    • Sign Lease with roommates and cosigner with the landlord.
    • Pay security deposit & first months rent to the landlord
    • Set up utilities and pay deposits with the utility companies.
    • Purchase Renters Insurance.
    • Pick up keys from the landlord
    • Complete Move-In Inspection and Move in
    • Complete Roommate Agreement. 
    • Update your budget. 
  • Types of Leases

    There are two types of leases offered in Richmond – individual and joint leases.

    • An individual lease is when a tenant signs for a single room, meaning he or she is individually responsible for paying rent and any damages to the room and common areas. However, this may also mean the landlord can place any tenant in remaining rooms in the apartment or townhome. Be sure to check with your property management company about these policies prior to lease signing.
    • A joint lease is a lease signed by all tenants, making the entire group responsible for damages and paying the full rent. This places the choice of filling empty bedrooms in the home on the tenants themselves.
  • Search Self Quiz

    Short quiz to get you to start to identify what is important to you in your search.

  • Housing Search Tips

    Summary of information located on our website and tips to consider while looking for housing.

Housing Search

Roommate Search

Moving In: Utilities, Moving Day, Roommate Agreements

Settling In

  • Budget Template
  • Roommate Agreement

    The roommate agreement can be filled out in conjuncture with your lease in order to hold your roommates accountable.

  • Public Transportation: GRTC

    GRTC local bus service operates in many areas from 5:00 am - 1:00 am (two routes operate until 3:00 am) daily, seven days a week, and offers convenient stops close to many of Richmond’s popular destinations, plus everywhere in-between!

  • VCU Transportation: RamRide

    ‌RamRide is a shuttle service for faculty, staff and students that helps you travel safely and conveniently to, from and around VCU's campuses. RamRide routes connect the Monroe Park Campus with the MCV Campus. The Campus Connector runs M-F 6:30am to 1:00am and S-S 8am to 1am. 

  • VCU Transportation: RamAway

    Wondering how you're going to get home for a break? RamAway provides free transportation during most University holidays and semester breaks to and/or from the Richmond International Airport, Greyhound Bus Station and Amtrak at Main Street Station and Staples Mill Road.

  • Parking Lots Available in Richmond
  • Neighborhood Improvement Guide
  • Renters Insurance Information

    To register your party benefits you. If not, police will arrive at your location after the first complaint without warning.

  • Virginia Residential Landlord Tenant Act

    The Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act handbook has been prepared to provide information on the rights, remedies, and responsibilities of landlords and renters concerning the rental process. Before signing a lease, prospective tenants should read and understand the terms of the contract. Consulting a lawyer or the landlord for clarification of the rental agreement is advisable. 

  • City of Richmond Ordinances
  • Virginia Fair Housing
  • Virginia Laws

Getting Involved

Moving Out

  • Getting Your Security Deposit Back
    • After you have moved out, the landlord has 45 days to refund your deposit.  
    • You have the right to be present at the walk-through inspection after you move out, and the landlord must notify you of this right.
    • Make sure you are not being charged for problems that were there before you moved in. Do this by making sure you do a walk through when you move in, documenting any problems, giving the list to the landlord, and saving a copy.
  • Giving Notice and Terminating Your Lease
    • If you plan to move, know how much notice your lease requires before it ends.  
    • A landlord can’t ask you to move during your lease period unless he/she can prove in court that you have violated the lease agreement.  
    • A landlord can’t change the terms of the lease during the middle of the lease term without your permission.
    • Once the lease term is up, you or the landlord can terminate the lease without having to give a reason.
  • Donations

    Be aware that you may be fined for items left in your unit succeeding moving out. Please consider donating these items to the following non-profit organizations:

    Please note that each organization has different criteria for collection. 

  • Storage Locations in Richmond
  • Dumpsters/Bulk Pick Up

    BULK PICK UP: Accepted items include yard debris, furniture, appliances, mattresses and other large items that are not appropriate for regular trash pick up. Bulk pick up requests are serviced on a first come/first served basis. City residents must either call 311 or (804) 646-7000 or log onto to request a pick up. Items must be placed out for collection on the day the request is made, in the event crews are able to pick it up on that day.  Bulk and brush pick up will be collected within 10 working days. If applicable, the service fees will be applied to the residents utility bill.

    DUMPSTERS: Dumpsters will be placed strategically in the Fan for student use. 

  • Whether it’s for the summer or forever, moving out requires a lot of work, but this information can make it a lot easier for you. Here you’ll find information about donations, bulk pick up and storage units.  Don't forget to turning off your utilities at the end of your lease. 

  • Damage Checklist