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Common Questions

Common Questions...

If you can't find the answer you're looking for, you can always email or call us! offcampus@duke.edu
  • Search for housing on NearDuke.com or DukeList, establish a budget, and consider transportation and safety as you search. Take a look at our "Things to Consider" and "Common Questions" lists to get going.
  • Graduate/Professional Students: Most incoming graduate and professional students start looking for housing once they’ve accepted their admission to Duke, sometime between April and June. Housing options remain available through August, but choices diminish as the beginning of the fall semester approaches.
  • Undergraduates: Most undergraduates begin thinking about whether they’ll live off campus during the fall of their junior year. Housing & Residence Life requires undergraduates to apply to live off campus in early February of their junior year. Many undergraduates have housing for the next fall secured prior to February, but leases for the fall semester remain available through the summer.
  • Start with NearDuke.com, a local search engine to help students, faculty, staff, and visiting scholars find housing close to Duke’s campus. NearDukeGuide has neighborhood information and specific information for different graduate and professional schools.
  • DukeList (Duke netID required for login) is another good place to search. DukeList allows Duke community members to post ads for both housing and roommates, as well as items for sale such as furniture.
  • Some students also use other national search engines like Apartments.com, Zillow.com, or Trulia.com to find places.
  • If you’re looking for university-provided housing, check out Lancaster Commons, an off campus apartment complex reserved entirely for Duke graduate & professional students. Duke Housing & Residence Life also has limited, on-campus apartments available for rent for graduate and professional students. Please direct inquiries to housing@duke.edu.
  • NearDuke.com and DukeList are good places to find houses or rooms for rent.
  • Here is a list of large local property management companies that rent mostly houses, townhomes, and duplexes.
  • A co-signer is a person that becomes financially responsible to pay the rent should you no longer be able to and/or in the event that the property is damaged. Unless you can prove to the landlord that you meet their income requirements on your own, you will likely need a co-signer. Be aware that not all landlords will accept a co-signer, so be sure to ask. For international students: almost all properties require co-signers to be U.S. citizens or based in the U.S.
  • Once signed, a lease is a legal and binding contract. In most cases the landlord can hold you responsible for the rent due through the remainder of the lease (or until it is rented). Oral contracts are considered legal though they are very hard to prove in a court of law, so make sure you get any and all oral contracts in writing whenever possible.
  • When thinking about whether or not to have a roommate or roommates, consider your budget, your sense of personal safety, and community. Living with a roommate or roommates allows you to pay less in rent by splitting the cost of the apartment or house. Many students also feel safer living with another person or other people. Still other students value having a roommate because of the sense of community and friendship. Check out this resource to help you think through having a roommate/roommates.
  • If you’re living off campus, it is your responsibility to work through conflicts with your roommate. Duke provides students with a confidential, impartial resource for students that can help with resolving roommate conflicts: the Student Ombuds. Check out this guide to resolving roommate conflicts.
contact the student ombudsperson
  • Review the Community Crime Map & Durham Crime Statistics in advance of selecting a neighborhood, complex, or house. You can search the Community Crime Map by address.
  • Browse apartment or neighborhood reviews (google reviews, com) or connect with current Duke student residents through your program, department, or school.
  • Ask the apartment management or landlord about safety protocols they have in-place for their residents. Ex: Is your apartment community gated? Do you utilize cameras in exterior locations? What type of crime preventative measures is your apartment complex taking?
More about safety in durham and at duke
  • Many students move to Durham, NC without a car and are able to use Duke transportation, public transportation, biking, walking, and rideshares to get around the city. However, many of our students cite difficulties with living in Durham without a car, especially compared to large cities in the United States or internationally. If you will not have a car, consider living on or near Duke bus routes.
Read more about transportation in durham and at duke
  • The average rent in Durham is around $1,500 -$1,900 per month. Learn more from local market data here