Housing in Durham, NC

Housing Search in Durham, NC

On behalf of the Graduate and Professional Student Services department at Duke, we are thrilled to welcome you to Duke to the City of Durham. While you are a student at Duke, you'll also be living in this wonderful small city many of us call home.There are great places to eat around town, beautiful parks, and a rich history of social justice organizing. We hope you'll feel as at home in Durham as you do at Duke for your time here.



  • Timeline - For Fall 2022 semester, apartments and houses are quickly filling to capacity. We recommend students secure a place to live no later than July 1; however, the earlier the better.
  • Budget - Consider your income streams (scholarships, grants, stipends, etc) then subtract your monthly expenses.
  • Location - Set a realistic boundary for how far from campus you feel comfortable commuting. Take into consideration bus schedules or parking options, proximity to grocery stores, restaurants, night life or daycare/primary schools for our students with families or children.
  • Transportation - If you are not planning to bring a car to campus, we recommend making an effort to live on a Duke bus line and within the DukeVans service area.Ride share services (Uber/Lyft) are also in the area.
  • Lease Signing Terms or Property Amenities - Prior to signing a lease, make sure you read and understand what you're signing and what your responsibilities are. For example, will you need to provide a security deposit and what utilities you'll be responsible for paying. What amenities are included in rent (ex/ dog park, pool, gym, computer stations, printing, security, gated entry, etc). It is okay to ask questions as you go through the process—questions you have should be easy for the property management company to answer. If not, that should be a red flag that maybe this isn't the place you want to live.
  • Safety & Security - See what security measures are available at the place you'd like to live. Look for things like cameras, lighting, security guards, and onsite staff to assist residents. Also check local crime statistics in the area in which you're looking. Go to https://www.durhamnc.gov/719/Crime-Statistics to learn about safety in your area. Be sure to use Duke University Police as a resource for any concerns or questions.

Housing and Residence Life (HRL) will offer a limited amount of on-campus housing for Graduate and Professional Students during the 2022-2023 academic year at 301 Swift apartments. For more information, please visit the Graduate & Professional Student Housing page

  • Check out NearDuke.Com: This is a comprehensive listing of houses and apartments close to Duke’s campus. You can sort by price, number of bedrooms, etc.

  • DukeList: find local homeowners renting an entire house or apartment or a room, sublets from other students

  • Use a check list to plan your budget and make sure you’re considering different factors like rent, utilities, and transportation costs.

  • The average rent in Durham is around $1,500 -$1,900 per month. Learn more from local market data here


Don’t have a furnished place? Find furniture to rent or local stores that sell used furniture for a good cause.

  • By bus

    • Duke: Duke has a free bus system for all members of the Duke community. If you aren’t bringing a car to Durham, we strongly recommend living on a Duke bus line. This map shows apartment complexes that are on a Duke bus line or a Durham bus line that goes to Duke.

    • Durham: Duke students are eligible for a free bus pass for the regional bus system.

  • By car

    • Apply for a student parking pass to park on campus here.

    • Some apartment complexes require you to purchase a parking pass. Additionally, some neighborhoods require a neighborhood parking pass to park on the street. Check with your property management for parking information.

    • Duke offers many carpooling options to reduce the cost of parking on/driving to campus.

  • By bike

Durham ordinances you need to know (infographic for each)

  • Noise

    • Durham’s noise ordinance covers “unreasonably loud” or “disturbing” noise and specifically prohibits amplified music after 11pm.

    • Durham’s noise ordinance results in criminal consequences: you can be cited or arrested for a violation.

    • The noise ordinance applies any time of day or night but becomes stricter after 11pm.

    • First time violations will receive a warning

    • Duke students will then either receive a criminal citation or be referred to the Durham County Misdemeanor Diversion Program.

  • Trash:

    • Keep your yard clean! The City of Durham requires residents to keep trash out of their yard.

    • You can be issued a notice of violation and/or a fine and are required to clean up the trash within 10 days.

    • Take your bins in! The City of Durham requires residents to take their trash cans in between pick up days, i.e. you cannot just leave your trash/recycling bins at the curb all of the time.

    • Look up what day your trash and recycling get picked up

    • Learn what you can and can’t recycle in Durham

    • How to properly dispose of bulky items (Furniture, old appliances, lawn equipment, rugs, etc)

  • Outdoor furniture

    • No couches on the porch or in your yard: You are not allowed to have indoor furniture outdoors, whether it’s on your porch, in your yard, or in your driveway.

    • You can be issued a notice of violation and/or a fine and are required to remove the furniture within 10 days.


Like most cities, Durham is not immune from crime. Take the time to understand your neighborhood and learn ways to keep yourself safe.

  • You can search crime statistics in your area by entering your address into the City of Durham’s Crime Map. Duke Police Department recommends focusing on crimes like larceny and burglary.
  • Before you sign a lease! Check for security features at the apartment complexes you’re interested in. Things to look out for: are staff present on-site? What hours? Is there secure access to buildings via a key, fob, or code? Is there a gate surrounding the complex? Are there cameras on the outside of the building, in corridors, at entrances/exits? Is there on-site security? Is the complex well-lit in parking areas, corridors, and on sidewalks?
  • Top safety tips for students from Duke Police Department:
    •  Make sure your doors and windows are locked whenever you leave your home
    • Know your Management Staff and Neighbors, build your Community Relationships
    • Know your emergency contact numbers
    • Be alert and aware of your surrounding (Learn your area and places you may travel to)
    • Avoid isolated bus stops and stay in well lighted areas
    • Whenever possible, travel with a friend, especially at night
    • Tell someone where you are going and when you plan to return
    • Do not use ATMs at night
    • If you think you are being followed, walk or drive to a public place, police of fire station

Know your rights and responsibilities as a tenant

  • In North Carolina, your landlord must keep your housing fit and safe.
  • As a tenant, you must pay your rent, keep your home clean, and not damage your home.
  • Check out this guide to learn more about how to solve common landlord issues like making repairs and security deposits.
  • Duke students can get free legal advice from a local law firm. Make an appointment here.

Durham history/culture: Durham is your home while you’re at Duke. Take the time to learn it’s history.

Durham History Hub