Off-Campus Housing

Many students choose to find their own apartments and off-campus housing either before they arrive in Hawai'i, or after they arrive and have had a chance to become familiar with the local environment. The island of O'ahu offers many different living arrangements--from the fast-paced city lifestyle of Honolulu to the quiet beach town of Kailua (near the windward Hawaii Loa Campus).

 

Preparation is key

However, it must be noted that rental housing is always in high demand in Hawai'i. Honolulu is one of the most desirable cities to live in and one of the top tourist destinations in the world. Because of this, the housing market is very tight both on and off campus, and therefore we encourage you to secure housing as soon as possible. If you are going to search for an apartment to rent after you arrive in Hawai'i, you should consider arriving early enough to secure a rental unit. It is advisable to set up and schedule apartment viewings before you arrive and spend the first couple of days looking at these options. If you wait until you arrive to even begin considering your housing options, it may be much more difficult and time-consuming to find rental accommodations to suit your needs. 

 

Start early, but not too early

We recommend that you do all that you can to start your off-campus housing search early on. Review and research your options and become familiar with the market about a month before your desired move-in date, and begin calling landlords to set up viewings about one to two weeks prior to arriving.

 

Where to begin your search

There are different ways in which students can search for off-campus housing: Campus Pipeline Electronic Advertisements (eAds) and rental websites. The off-campus rental units offer different options and living arrangements. Some of the properties offer hotel-type services with weekly in-room cleaning and varying amenities/security arrangements. Some of the private rental units/apartments offer traditional apartment living with limited amenities and involvement of host property/residential managers.

Off-Campus Housing Checklist

  1. DECIDE WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR

    Do you want to live by yourself or with roommates? How much are you able to pay? How far are you willing to travel? Think about these kinds of things early to narrow your search down.

  2. RESEARCH COST

    Check current rental listings to get an idea of what you should expect to pay. You can check rental cost ranges and averages on www.rentometer.com. Budget additionally for utilities, household supplies, and transportation costs.

  3. CREATE A RENTAL APPLICATION PACKET

    A rental packet is a great tool to promote yourself and become a better prospect to landlords. It should include a cover letter, rental application, and references. If you are applying as a group, include each person in the packet.

  4. SEARCH RENTALS

    A good place to start is HPU’s internal classifieds service, E-Ads, which is accessible through Pipeline. In addition, Commuter Services’ Off-Campus Housing Resources page has links to housing search websites, property managers, and temporary accommodations

  5. MAKE THE CALL

    Call the landlord or property manager of the rentals you are interested in. You should be trying to make a good impression, so be professional and polite. Set up a time to view the property.

  6. VIEW THE PROPERTY

    Be sure to ask questions and give the place a good look

  7. SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION PACKET

    Have a copy with you. Let the manager know your confidential information is available for the credit check as soon as you are being considered seriously as a tenant.

  8. SIGN RENTAL AGREEMENT AND PAY YOUR DEPOSIT

    Get a copy of all paperwork you sign and a receipt for all financial transactions. Keep a rental file.