TIPS for International Student Renters

Some landlords and property management companies are willing to make exceptions if you are able to prove that you are financially capable of meeting the terms of the lease.  This usually involves paying more money up front.

Here are some strategies to try:

  • Offer to pay a larger security deposit

  • Offer to pay a few months of rent up front at the time of move in

  • You may be able to avoid having to find a co-signer and meeting credit requirements if you rent a room from a group of students who are already on a pre-existing lease

  • Private landlords often have fewer requirements than the property management companies. Sometimes, international students have better luck when they avoid applying  for properties that are managed by a company rather than an individual owner.

*** Only agree to do these things if you feel comfortable with them***

So, let's review.....


  • If you pay more than one month’s rent up front, DO get a receipt for the payment in writing so that your landlord cannot try to double charge you.

  • DO meet your roommates before agreeing to move in with them.

  • DO look for a unit that is fully furnished.

  • DO consider making temporary short term living arrangements for your arrival so that you can look for a place when you get here.

  • DO set up an appointment with the Renter Center to go over your lease before you sign it if there are parts that you don’t understand.

  • DO live on-campus for your first semester at UM if possible
  • DO ask the landlord what their application requirements are before wasting your time filling out an application for a unit you won't be approved to live in. This will also save you from paying unnecessary rental application fees. 


  • DON’T agree to rent a unit before seeing it in person (or having someone view it for you).

  • DON’T sign a lease that ends after you plan on leaving (unless you are ok with continuing to pay rent after you leave or have made arrangements for someone else to take over your lease).

  • DON’T pay a large amount of money in a security deposit unless you feel comfortable doing so.

  • DON’T sign a lease unless you understand all parts of it.