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Off-Campus Housing

Upperclassmen may choose to find off-campus housing.  Finding a place to live in New Orleans isn't difficult, but it does require advance planning. Tulane University does not help students find off-campus housing- this is your responsibility. However we have provided you with some resources to help you start your search for housing and understand what you need to do next once you find housing.  More resources from Housing and Residence Life (HRL) can be found here. (Links to an external site.)

Getting Started

So you’ve decided to look for a place to live off-campus. The first thing you should do is get a map of New Orleans that shows the various neighborhoods and streets. Now, you need to ask yourself these basic questions:

  • How much money do I want to pay?
  • Do I want to rent a room, apartment, or house?
  • In which area of town do I want to live?
  • How can I get to school?
  • How long do I want to stay?

Making a list of everything that you are looking for in your new home (ex. two bedrooms, washer/dryer, etc.) before you begin will make your search a lot easier.

If you do not plan on driving a car, it is recommended that you find a place to live that is in one of the zip codes listed above.

Tulane's uptown campus is in the 70118 zip code and the downtown campus is in the 70112 zip code.  There is a very good free university shuttle system between the two.  

New Orleans does not have an integrated public transportation system that will easily transport you to areas outside of the city.

Tulane University provides on-demand shuttle service for the Tulane and Loyola University New Orleans communities around our campuses and surrounding areas. Learn more and see the map of the covered area here. (Links to an external site.)

The New Orleans rental market is unique. There are few multi-unit complexes, so finding a safe apartment often takes more research and effort than in other cities. Apartments near campus are most likely to be in “shotgun doubles” with mirror-image units side-by-side, duplexes on separate floors, or part of a large house. Some apartments are managed by their individual owners. Other apartments are handled by a management company. Some landlords live nearby; others may be out of town. Most leases are yearlong and run June 1–May 31.

Resources

  • Join the Tulane Classifieds Facebook group
  • Ask your friends who currently live off campus for housing or neighborhood
  • recommendations
Where to Begin Looking

Depending on your academic program you will see that the location of the buildings you access on a daily basis will vary from the Uptown to the Downtown campuses. If you are interested in places around the Uptown Campus search in the Classified Section called Rentals Unfurnished/Above Canal. Apartments with the notation "University Area" should be located close to the Uptown Campus. If your interest is the downtown area, note where it says Mid-City, or Below Canal.

An unfurnished apartment means that there are no beds, sofas, chairs, etc., but should include a stove, refrigerator, heater and air conditioner. If you need some furniture, you can buy used furniture in garage sales. Take a look in the classifieds section of the newspaper (especially on Fridays) for garage sales where you can purchase inexpensive furniture and household goods. Garage sales usually start early Saturday mornings. You can also check the Facebook Groups listed above (Tulane Classifieds and Tulane International Classifieds) for secondhand furniture.

If you want to live in the suburb of Metairie where many apartment complexes are located, contact one of the real estate companies listed below or look at local newspapers for more information. Apartments may be cheaper in Metairie, but you will also have to have some sort of transportation to get to campus. Check the RTA website for bus route information at www.norta.com (Links to an external site.).

Websites

Uloop: Tulane (Links to an external site.)

Craigslist: New Orleans (Links to an external site.)

The Times Picayune Real Estate Listings (Links to an external site.)

Tulane Classifieds (Links to an external site.)

Tulane's Off-Campus Residents Association (OCRA) (Links to an external site.)

Real Estate Companies and Apartment Information

Latter & Blum
7840 Maple Street
New Orleans, LA 70118
(504)866-7000
Toll Free: 1-866-794-1022
www.latter-blum.com (Links to an external site.)

Tonti Management
4433 Conlin St.
Metairie, LA 70006
(504)889-6800
Toll Free: 1-844-889-6800
www.tonti.net (Links to an external site.)

Forest Isle Apartments
5000 Woodland Dr.
New Orleans, LA 70131
(504)394-4400
Toll Free: 1-800-596-4416
www.forestisle.com (Links to an external site.)

Prudential Gardner
7934 Maple St.
New Orleans, LA 70118
(504)861-7575
Toll Free: 1-800-566-7801
www.gardnerrealtors.com (Links to an external site.)

1st Lake Realty
4971 W. Napoleon Ave.
Metairie, LA 70001
(504)455-5059
Toll Free: 1-877-440-5253
www.1stlake.com (Links to an external site.)

NOLA Realty
7611 Maple St.
New Orleans, LA 70118
(504)419-8164
www.nolarealty.com (Links to an external site.)

Newspaper Real Estate Classified Listings

  • Gambit Weekly
  • Classified Section
  • Available in PJ's Coffee Shop & The Mushroom Record Store

Common Newspaper Abbreviations

  • apt. = apartment
  • cen-air, c/h = central air (one unit controls air and heat)
  • ac = air conditioner
  • 1br = one bedroom
  • rms = rooms
  • conv = convenient
  • fur kit = furnished kitchen (refrigerator and stove are provided)
  • pkng = parking
  • lower/garden apt. = on the ground floor
  • liv-rm, liv, LR = living room
  • off st pkg = off street parking
  • bath, ba = bathroom
  • kit =kitchen
  • din = dining room
  • mod = modern
  • effic = efficiency (one room for everything; living room, bedroom, kitchen, separate bathroom)
  • avail = available
  • appls = appliances (refrigerator and stove are provided)
  • lux = luxury
  • wtr incl = water included (no extra charge)
  • w/d = washer and dryer
  • hdwd flrs = hardwood floors
  • hi ceil = high ceilings
  • w/d hkps = no washer or dryer, but the pipes and outlets are there.
Renting To-Do List

Ask yourself the following questions when looking at a neighborhood:

  • Are the houses and lawns in the area well kept?
  • Is the neighborhood kept clean?
  • Are most of the houses occupied by their owners?
  • Are there laundry facilities nearby?
  • Is the apartment within a mile radius of campus so that I can take advantage of the off campus shuttle at night?

Talk to other residents if possible. Pretend that you are living there already. How do you see yourself? Does it feel ok to you? Talk to OISS, we have many years of experience living here and are happy to help.

Inspect the apartment

Thoroughly inspect the apartment with the landlord or real estate agent before paying a deposit. Be sure to inspect the apartment during the day.

Outside

Does the apartment have basic, secure hardware on the doors and windows? Do all the locks work? Is the outside well lit? Are there light fixtures at each entrance? Do all the outside light fixtures work?

Inside

Is the inside clean to your satisfaction? Are there any broken windows, damaged walls or floors? Is the plumbing in working order? Are there any leaks under the sink or dripping faucets? Do all of the toilets and drains work properly? If the utilities are on when you are doing your initial inspection, check the air conditioner(s), heater, water heater, refrigerator, stove, lights, electrical outlets, water pressure, etc. to make sure they work. If the utilities are not connected, check these items as soon as the utilities are connected. If something is not working, notify the landlord immediately!

Write down everything inside and outside that may be broken, damaged, or out of order. Make sure that both you and the landlord sign the checklist. If you cannot get the landlord to accompany you for the inspection or he/she refuses to sign the checklist, get a witness who has observed the damages to sign it, and send a copy to the landlord by certified mail. If possible, take pictures or video of damages and repairs that need to be done. Both you and the landlord should have a copy of the checklist. Keep this list for future reference. If repairs or corrections are needed, put all the repairs needed in writing, make the rental contingent upon these corrections and agree upon a completion date. If the landlord refuses to put everything that needs repair in writing, seriously consider another apartment. You should not be charged for any of the damage indicated on the checklist at the time you move out.

Important Flood Advice

It rains a lot in New Orleans, and parts of the city can flood. Your apartment should be at least 1 meter off the ground. No matter what the owner says, an apartment on the ground has a higher chance of flooding.

Signing a Lease

Lease and Deposit

The lease is a contract that legally binds both you and the landlord to the terms stated in it for a specified period of time. The lease should be written. Beware that a verbal contract may be impossible to prove should a dispute arise. In a lease, you are the lessee/tenant renting the apartment. The landlord is the one individual who either owns the property or manages it. Read the lease or contract carefully before you sign it. If you don’t understand something, have it explained, or contact the Tulane Legal Assistance Program. Make sure you obtain a copy of the signed lease!

If the apartment building you inhabit is sold while you are an occupant, the new owner is not legally required to honor the terms of the contract you signed with the previous owner.

What the lease should specify

How much is the rent? Can it increase for any reason during the term of the lease? If you have a dispute with your landlord, do not withhold the month’s rent. The landlord has the legal right to evict you if you withhold rent.

When must the rent be paid each month? Make sure you know what day of the month the rent is due. You can be charged additional fees for a late rent payment.

Number of occupants: How many people can live in the apartment? Can you sublet the apartment?

Roommates: Who is responsible for the rent should one roommate leave? If you will be sharing the apartment with roommates, be sure that each person occupying the apartment is able to sign the lease. Realize that the only people who are ultimately responsible for the rent, damages, etc. are those whose names appear on the lease. Louisiana law states that each roommate can be held liable for the full amount of the lease, not just his or her individual share. Consider asking the landlord to sign a separate lease with each of you reflecting the individual shares of rent.

What is the length of the lease? Most leases are for a 12 month period. Some landlords agree to a 9 month lease, but the rent may be higher. 

What is the landlord’s right of entry? Check to see if you have to be present in order to allow the landlord into your apartment/house.

Is there an automatic renewal clause included in the terms of the agreement? The lease may contain a statement that automatically renews the agreement for the full term of the original contract. If you do not wish to renew your lease, you must notify the landlord in writing that you intend to move. This notice must be given before the expiration of the lease, usually 30 days in advance. If the lease does not contain a lease renewal clause, and you do not notify the landlord of your intention to move, the lease can be automatically renewed on a month-to month-basis. If either you or the landlord decides to change the terms of the lease, 10 days advance written notice before the end of the monthly lease must be given.

Security/Damage deposit: If a landlord agrees to hold an apartment for you, you will probably have to pay a deposit. This deposit obligates you to take the apartment on an agreed upon date. If you decide not to take the apartment, the landlord is entitled to keep whatever part of the deposit is reasonably necessary under the circumstances. In many cases, this will be the entire deposit. A security/damage deposit is given the landlord to satisfy nonpayment of rent or damage that you have made to the apartment. Be sure to know how much the security deposit is. Is there a "liquidated damages" clause that allows the landlord to keep the entire deposit if you move out before the lease expires? A deposit may be kept only if you do not pay your rent or for unreasonable wear or damage to the property. Normal wear and tear is not deductible. If the deposit is not enough to cover provable, unreasonable wear, you may also be responsible for additional charges. The law requires a landlord to return deposits within 30 days of termination of a lease, provided that you have fulfilled the lease and left a forwarding address. If any part of the deposit is kept, the landlord must send you an itemized list of deductions and any remaining balance.

Utilities: Who pays the utilities? Never assume that utilities are included unless it is written into the lease. Usually you will have to pay for electricity, gas, water, telephone service, and cable. Sometimes your landlord may include water in the month's rent. Either way, be sure to ASK! There are many clauses and statements that do not benefit you and that you may be agreeing with for not requesting all the information, and not taking advantage of all the resources.

Maintenance: Who is responsible for maintenance/repairs? Always notify the landlord in writing of any big repairs that are needed. Take pictures.

What to do at the end of the lease: Always give written notice that you intend to vacate the premises. Do not assume that the landlord knows you are leaving because the lease is expiring. You MUST give a written 30 day notice that you plan to vacate or the lease may be automatically renewed. If you vacate the premises before your lease ends, you may be responsible for paying the rent for the remaining month(s) and/or lose your deposit.

Having Problems?

Contact the Tulane Legal Assistance Program (TULAP). The office is located at University Square,
200 Broadway Street, Suite 212, New Orleans, Louisiana 70118. They can be reached at (504) 865-5515, tulap@tulane.edu, or http://www.law.tulane.edu/tulap/ (Links to an external site.).

The Louisiana ACORN Fair Housing Organization (LAFHO) can be reached 1-800-239-7379.

Public Services & Utilities 

Electricity, Gas, & Water

In order to get the gas, electric and water service turned on and in your name, you will have to call the utility company directly or visit their website. You will have to pay a deposit to each company for service to be turned on.

ELECTRICITY & GAS

Entergy
639 Loyola Ave # 300
New Orleans, LA 70113
1(800)368-3749
http://www.entergy.com/ (Links to an external site.)

WATER

Sewerage & Water Board
625 Saint Joseph St
New Orleans, LA 70165
(504) 529-2837
http://www.swbno.org (Links to an external site.)

When paying your deposit, take the following items with you:

  • Identification: Passport
  • Social Security Card if you have one. A Social Security Card is not required to get telephone service although it can be difficult without one.
  • Your local address, including zip code.

The deposit will be returned as a credit on your bill between 11 and 13 months after service is established, if your bills are paid on time. Any held deposit will be returned when service is discontinued. When leaving remember to provide a forwarding address to receive the deposit.

Emergency Numbers

Dial 911 to reach emergency medical services, the fire department or police.

Dial (504) 865-5911 for the Tulane University Uptown Emergency Line.

Dial (504) 988-5555 for the Tulane University Downtown Emergency Line.

Toll Free Numbers

Telephone numbers that start with either 1-800-, 1-877- or 1-888- are usually free for you to call. The institution or business that has this number pays for the call.

Telemarketers

215 and 216 numbers are advertisement numbers. These numbers can be blocked from calling you.

Beware of 1-900 and 1-976 numbers!

1-900- and 1-976- numbers are very expensive. You are not only charged for the phone call, but also for some special service offered via telephone per minute of your call. You may want to consider getting 900 and 976 numbers blocked so that no one can make a 900 number call from your telephone. Blocking the use of these numbers is a free service.