Starting Your Search
Where to find apartments for rent
- The ASUM Renter Center's Housing Finder - Find apartments, houses and UM roommates. The roommate section is only available to UM students. Also, find and post furniture and appliances!
- Craigslist - It is free to use. We hear of many scams. NEVER give money or personal information (even to a 3rd party site for a "credit report") until you have seen the inside of the rental IN PERSON. This is difficult for many out-of-state residents. Start your search before you leave Missoula in the Spring or come back for a visit.
- Zillow.com - search by price, number of bedrooms, etc.
- Local newspapers The Missoulian, The Missoula Independent, and The Montana Kaimin all have online classifieds.
- Property Management Companies - Check out their individual pages & the number of complaints we have received.
- MT Housing Search - Some students may qualify for subsidized housing available through local agencies. A good place to start looking for these affordable units is MT Housing Search, a database of units, their availability, contact information, and application requirements.
As great as the Internet is, sometimes it pays to get out and search in real life. Here are a couple of offline resources:
The University Center Bulletin Board has housing posts. It's on the first floor of the UC, near the West Atrium Desk and the piano.
If you're trying to decide where to live, going through town looking for "FOR RENT" signs is a great approach. For best results, start at UM, and look for the closest rentals first, especially if you'll be relying on walking or biking to campus.
Decoding the rental ad
g = gas or garbage w/d = washer/dryer util: utilities a/c = air-conditioning
h = heat bd = bedroom dw = dishwasher br = bathroom
w = water VRIP Certified: the rental unit passed the City's inspection
When should I search?
Start as soon as possible! If you are attending school in the fall, do not wait until August. The Missoula "housing rush" starts in May and continues through the summer. For the best selection of rentals, plan to start looking a month or two before you plan on moving. You may have to pay for months that you don't live in the rental.
Out-of-state & out-of-town Students:
It can be difficult to find a rental before moving to Missoula and you don't want to wait until August. ...but you don't want to get scammed with an online ad. Here are a few ideas:
- Sometimes you have to come back to search for a rental. If you can't arrange to crash with a friend or are new to town, you will have to make temporary housing arrangement. Check with Residence Life for summer housing options. If you're interested in getting to know someone new, couch surfing might be a good option for you. Additionally, Missoula provides many hotels, a number of which are in close proximity to campus.
- Ask a friend to look at a rental for you. If a landlord or property management company is willing to rent to you "sight unseen", you can avoid the scammers by asking a friend to view the rental inside. Just let the landlord know who will be taking the tour.
- Use the Housing Finder to find a roommate. The Roommate Finder portion of the Housing Finder website is only available for UM students and is the best place to go to find other student renters. In fact, users must log in with their student ID's to post and view listings! This helps you to know that the person listing the room is really a student at UM. Check out our "Roommates" page in this guide for a sample Roommate Agreement.