Philadelphia has many exciting neighborhoods with a diverse range of ambiance. Each student at PAFA has unique, individual needs, and the following resources were compiled to offer information about securing suitable off-campus housing for each student’s particular life situation.
These resources include tips and helpful hints for creating a budget, local listings and management companies, and public transit information.
While these resources are here to assist students in the process of finding off-campus housing in Philadelphia, the Office of Student Services is not endorsing any listing on this page and does not accept compensation for services rendered.
PAFA is located in the direct center of the city, which is a very walkable area, and easy to get to by public transportation. This PAFA Apartment Guide includes reviews and advice from current students.
To-Do List for Planning Your Search
It’s important to start planning early and talk to your family and friends about your budget and what you’re looking for in a neighborhood. Apartments in Philadelphia turn over quickly, so make your budget early and give yourself plenty of time to search for the right place.
Some important questions to ask yourself when looking for off campus housing:
How long of a commute do you want to get to school, and what kind of transportation options do you want (15 minute walk, close subway stop, etc)?
Do you want roommates or are you looking for a single style apartment?
What is your budget/price range when looking for an apartment?
SEPTA Website - South Eastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority
Finding A Roommate
Choose your roommate carefully because the experience you have with them could have a significant effect on your academic experience. This person will affect your study habits and your social activities. To help you choose someone, consider the following:
- Study time
- Sharing of space
- Sharing of personal items
- Household chores and condition
- Bill payment
- Moving in & out
How to Find a Roommate
The PAFA Housing Facebook Page is a great place to find local listings for off-campus apartments and connect with other PAFA students looking for roommates. Click here to request access to the page.
Please remember that the Housing Facebook Page is a place to find potential rental properties and roommates, and while the Office of Student Services tries to monitor activity on the page, Student Services is not endorsing or verifying each posts. Please research each posting thoroughly before committing. Contact the Office of Student Services with any questions.
Facebook: There are PAFA Facebook pages for each program that can be used to discuss housing and connect with potential roommates. Log in and request to be added to the group to get the conversation started.
Ask Around! Make sure you let your friends in Philadelphia know that you are looking for a roommate.
Contacting A Realtor or Management Company
PAFA is not affiliated with any of the listed services and recommends exercising caution when making appointments and sharing personal information.
Make sure to ask your management company or realtor what is required for renting at your desired locations. Many management companies will ask for a cosigner, credit check, and background check.
Is it the perfect place? What am I looking for? A tenant is responsible for inspecting the property carefully and asking questions before signing a lease. Landlords and Realtors are not responsible for informing you if there are damages to the property.
Make sure you inspect the apartment or house for:
- Kitchen appliances in working order
- Water pressure strong, plumbing without leaks
- Electrical outlets and wiring working
- Walls and ceiling painted or papered without cracks
- Ventilation or air conditioning/ heating accessible & working
- Floors, railings in good repair
- Bathroom in good repair (flush the toilet, turn on the faucet, shower, etc.)
- Fire escape easy to use
- Stairs safe and well-lit
- Phone signal within the apartment
- If furnished, the condition of the furniture
- Windows and doors operable and weather-tight; screens provided
- Security of the building
Signing A Lease
There is some variation in the leasing process. Your landlord might ask for the following:
Application fee (usually $25 - $75): Your landlord may charge a small fee to run a credit check and a background check.
Cosigner: A cosigner is a guarantor for payment.
Put in a deposit: A security deposit is held to cover any damages that occur in the apartment while you are in residence. Typically a security deposit is equal to the cost of one month of rent. In addition to the security deposit, a landlord might ask for the first and last month’s rent before you move into your new apartment; meaning, you may be expected to pay three months of rent before getting the keys to your new place.
Sign your lease: Signing a lease? A lease is a legally binding agreement or contract between a landlord/property owner/manager and a tenant. Types of leases: one-year, month-to-month. Take note of details pertaining to
- Early Termination
- Tenant’s Rights and Responsibilities Rights
Learn more about Tenants' Rights and Responsibilities in Philadelphia.
Legal Resources for tenants.
Purchase Renter's Insurance
Renter's Insurance protects you from claims by visitors to your apartment who are injured, theft, or other damages (flood, fire, etc.) Some lease contracts require the tenant to obtain renters’ insurance.
Many students obtain renter's insurance through their parents’/guardians homeowners insurance policies. You may also be able to add this type of insurance to a car insurance policy.
Student Services at PAFA is fully committed to assisting students with their needs and questions.
Telephone: (215) 972-2199
Graduate Student Services:
Housing & Residential Life:
Health & Wellness: