frequently asked questions
While approximately 75% of UK students live off campus, choosing to do so is a big decision that can greatly impact your college experience. The appeal of being on your own may be enhanced by more privacy, more personal space and a greater sense of freedom. It is important, however, to clearly identify and be prepared to deal with the daily responsibilities of off-campus living such as budgeting, cleaning, cooking, and finding transportation to and from campus. Considering your decision carefully will help make your off-campus living experience more rewarding.
If you are a first-year student, OCSS highly recommends that you live in a University residential facility during your first academic year. Living off campus comes with more responsibilities and can interfere with a successful transition from high school. Our data shows that first-year students who live in University facilities are more likely than first-year students who live off campus to return to the University for their sophomore years.
Some of the larger apartment communities will begin pre-leasing as early as October for the following academic year (e.g. sign a lease in October 2010 for the Fall 2011 Semester). Most students will continue to look at and make decisions on housing well into the spring semester.
OCSS provides students, faculty and staff with a convenient website that lists available apartments and houses for rent and sale in Lexington. The site is user-friendly and provides information such as location, pricing, floor plans and amenities associated with each listing. Interested individuals can access the Off-Campus Housing Service website at http://offcampushousing.uky.edu. Another resource available to students is the UK Renter's Guide, a publication that provides useful information about the previous experiences of UK students living in the Lexington community. Rate-My-Rental.com is another great resource that allows students to rate and search ratings for properties--especially houses--around campus.
The Off-Campus Housing Service website allows you to search and view available properties, but it is never recommended that you sign a lease before seeing the property in person. While photos can give you an indication of the quality of the property, an on-site visit is always preferable. Students new to the University are encouraged to use the Off-Campus Housing Service website to look for possible housing and then visit those potential properties while they are in town for their orientation. If that isn't possible, making a separate trip to Lexington may be well worth the trip in order to physically see the property you are thinking about renting.
The lease terms will indicate how long the lease is binding. Most rental properties will require a 12-month lease, but some may allow you to sign a shorter term lease such as 6 or 9 months. Many students who do not plan to spend the summer in Lexington look to find someone to take over their lease (sublease) for that time. Students who Study Abroad for a semester may also look for someone to sublease. The Off-Campus Housing Service website has message boards where individuals may post information about subleasing.
An individual lease means that your name (and perhaps your co-signer) is the only one on the lease and you are responsible only for your portion of the total rent. For example, if you live in a 4-bedroom apartment that offers individual leases, you only pay your portion and your roommates pay their portion separately. If a roommate moves out, you are still only responsible for your portion if you have an individual lease.
"Joint and several" refers to who is responsible when a property only offers one lease and all roommates sign it. Each person who signs the lease becomes responsible for making sure the terms are upheld, including paying the rent. For example, if you live in a 4-bedroom property and signed a "joint and several" lease, if one of your roommates moves out, the remaining roommates are then responsible for making sure the full rent is paid.
Yes. UK Dining Services offers the same meal plan options as those offered to residence hall students to any student, faculty or staff member. Off-campus students, faculty and staff are also eligible for the Big Blue Community Plan. For details on all the dining plans that are available to off-campus students, visit the UK Dining Services website at http://www.uky.edu/DiningServices/diningPlans.html.
Yes. The Code of Student Conduct applies to all students when they are present on University property. The Code may also apply to student behavior that occurs off campus under certain circumstances: 1) if the behavior occurs at an event sponsored by the University or a registered student organization; 2) if the behavior poses a possible serious threat to a member of the University community; 3) if the behavior involves academic work or misuse of University documents; and 4) if the behavior is considered disorderly and/or causes substantial property damage to the University or member of the University community. Please see the Rights and Responsibilities website at http://www.uky.edu/StudentAffairs/Code for further information about the Code of Student Conduct and other pertinent University regulations.
The Off-Campus Housing Service website offers message boards that are specific to finding roommates. The message boards are used daily and get a decent amount of traffic. Some apartment complexes also assist in the roommate matching process. Please contact individual complexes to inquire about whether they provide such a service. In general, most properties that offer individual leases will also provide roommate matching.
All students are encouraged to sign up for the UK Alert System at http://www.uky.edu/EM/UKAlert. You may choose to receive information via text message, telephone and/or email by signing up at the site. The University will utilize UK Alert any time there is a dangerous situation on campus. The University will also use UK Alert to notify of University closures due to weather-related emergencies.