Frequently Asked Questions

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General


  • Who do I contact if I have a question that isn’t listed here?

    For further off campus housing assistance, please contact the Office of Commuter Student Services and Off-Campus Living at commuter_services@stonybrook.edu or at (631) 632-6770
  • What does the Office of Commuter Student Services and Off-Campus Living do?

    The Office of Commuter Student Services contributes directly and indirectly to the enhancement of the educational experience of all undergraduate commuter students at Stony Brook University. The office accomplishes this by providing services, programs, advocacy, research and outreach on the student’s behalf
  • Where is the Office of Commuter Student Services and Off Campus Living located?

    Our office is located at Stony Brook University in the Student Activities Center in room 225.
  • Who can use the Off Campus Housing website?

    The website is intended for the Stony Brook community, specifically students who are looking to or are already living off campus. However, it is open to the public.
  • What's the difference between the Off Campus Living website and the Off Campus Housing website?

    The Off Campus Living website provides resources to students looking to move off campus. This includes an off campus living guide, tips on leases, inventory checklist, budget checklist, safety guidelines, and other great resources! The Off Campus Housing guide serves as a good place for students to start looking for an apartment or a house to rent. Not only does it have housing listings, it also has roommate listings, options for short-term housing, and options for apartment complexes.

Students


  • Do I have to have a certain standing to live off campus?

    The university does not have any requirements for students who choose to live off campus. A student can choose to be a resident student or a commuter student. Choosing to be a commuter student means living off campus in some capacity, whether it’s with family or not.
  • I'd like to move off campus, but I don't know where to start!

    A good place to start is the Off Campus Living website. Make sure you are familiar with the resources available on that website. Starting the process of moving off campus can be scary, but if you become familiar with the questions you need to ask, and what you should look out for, you’ll be well equipped to finding yourself a legal and safe rental unit. If you have questions that aren’t answered here or through the website, don’t hesitate to email us at commuter_services@stonybrook.edu or call us at (631) 632-6770.
  • How do I begin my search for a place to live in?

    A great place to start is the Off Campus Housing website! The listings on our website have been verified as legal and town-recognized units. Landlords must provide us with a rental permit of the unit to be able to list on the site. Having a rental permit signifies to us that they had the unit inspected to make sure that it is safe and up to code. While these listings meet University policy, always meet with your prospective landlord and inspect the unit yourself before signing any leases or depositing any money.
  • How do I search for a rental listing?

    To search for a rental listing, go to Rental Listings and navigate to the sidebar located to the right of the listed properties. There you will find a filter where you can search for units based on rental type, monthly rent, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, and distance to campus, whether pets are allowed, what amenities are included, and what utilities are included. You also have the option to sort the listings by price. The listings, by default, are listed from lowest to highest rent price.
  • What are my rights and responsibilities as a tenant?

    Read about your rights and responsibilities as a tenant HERE.
  • Can I find housing without coming to the area?

    While you can look for housing without coming to the area, it is strongly advised that you inspect properties in person. We recommend that you make an appointment with a prospective landlord to see the property before you sign a lease and pay any security deposits. By coming to the area to inspect the properties you are able to ensure that the unit matches your expectations. It also gives you an opportunity to develop a relationship with the landlord.
  • Does my financial aid cover my rent?

    Yes, your financial aid may be able to cover your off-campus housing costs. The amount of your tuition is automatically deducted from your aid/loans and the remainder is disbursed to you in the form of a refund check. This money is used at your discretion and it is your responsibility to allocate monies as you see fit. Each situation is different for every individual, and we encourage you to contact the Financial Aid Office at (631) 632-6840.
  • Can you recommend the best apartment/house for me to live in?

    Unfortunately, we do not place students in apartments or houses for rent. We provide resources through our off campus living website that will help you choose the best apartment/house for yourself.
  • Where can I find short-term housing?

    You can find short-term housing options on our Off Campus Housing website. The current options available can be found under Short Term Housing.
  • What is a lease?

    A lease is a legal document outlining the terms under which one party agrees to rent property from another party. A lease guarantees the lessee (the renter) use of an asset and guarantees the lessor (the property owner) regular payments from the lessee for a specified number of months or years. Both the lessee and the lessor must uphold the terms of the contract for the lease to remain valid (via Investopedia).
  • Are lease lengths negotiable?

    Landlords determine the length of a lease. Some require monthly leases, some require yearly leases, while others are willing to negotiate with you to come up with a lease that works for both parties involved.
  • Will I have to pay a security deposit?

    While it is not required for landlords to request that new tenants pay a security deposit, most landlords do request them. The standard amount is one month's rent.
  • Will I have trouble finding an apartment if I have a pet?

    Having a pet will limit your options as many landlords do not allow pets on the premises. Some landlords do allow pets. Sometimes a landlord will increase the amount of the security deposit if pets are involved. Before making an appointment with a landlord and before signing a lease, clarify with the landlord whether pets are allowed.
  • Who pays utilities?

    The cost of utilities is often overlooked. Before you sign a lease, contact utility companies for past utility costs and setup fees and deposits.Landlords have to disclose to you how much utilities typically cost for the rental from month to month. If utilities are included in your rent, find out how much control you'll have over their use. For a list of other items to consider in your budget, click here.
  • What if I don't like the place I am living, which I found on the Off Campus Housing website?

    Our office does not inspect, screen, approve, or supervise any of premises listed. You are strongly encouraged to carefully inspect the premises to determine for yourself whether the housing is suitable for your needs and concerns. Please review our Renter's Checklist to assist you in evaluating the listings and choosing the apartment, room or house that is right for you.
  • I’m having landlord problems. Where can I go for legal help?

    Please contact us at commuter_services@stonybrook.edu or call us at (631) 632-6770. We will provide you with the information of the attorney on retainer.
  • How do I find roommates?

    To find roommates go to Roommates and click Roommate Search. Please note that there are often multiple pages of students looking for roommates. We will also hold a roommate mixer to help facilitate meeting candidates to room with.
  • Is there a limit to the number of roommates or housemates I can have?

    There is a limit on the number of roommates or housemates you can have. That number is determined by your respective township.
  • What do I need to submit a roommate listing?

    Submitting a roommate listing does not require any additional documentation or payment. It is open to all students, faculty, and staff of Stony Brook University. Please provide the required information as indicated on the form.
  • How long does it take for my roommate listing to appear online?

    A roommate listing can take from 1-3 business days to appear online. All listings are manually approved by our staff. Any listings submitted on Fridays or around the holidays may take longer to get approved.
  • How do I contact a potential roommate?

    You can contact a potential roommate by clicking on their roommate listing under Roommate Search. Students listed on the website have the option to list a phone number, email, and Facebook link. You may contact students through any of these means. Please be aware that some students list international phone numbers.
  • When does my roommate listing expire?

    Your roommate listing expires 30 days after it’s been approved. When your listing was approved you should have received an email containing your listing’s expiration date. You may renew your listing if you have not found a suitable roommate by contacting our office.
  • How do I contact a landlord?

    You can contact a landlord by clicking on the house/apartment listing under Rental Listings > Houses & Accessory Apartments. Landlords provide contact information such as their phone number, an alternative number, and their email. Some landlords prefer one form of communication over another. It is in your best interest to contact the landlord through their preferred means of communication.

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Prospective/Current Landlords


  • How do I list my rental?

    1. Go to http://www.stonybrook.edu/rentals
    2. Under rental listings, click submit a rental listing
    3. Fill out all of the required fields
    4. Once the form is completed and submitted, you will receive an email stating that we've received your information but that your listing is incomplete until you've submitted payment
    5. Submit payment through PayPal ($45 for 75 days)
      • Requires a credit card
      • PayPal is a very secure online payment system
    6. Once we've received your payment, you will receive an email stating that we've received your payment and that your listing has become activated. The email will include the date that your listing will expire and the date when we will send you a reminder email.
  • What can I list on the website?

    Listings that are allowed on our website are accessory apartments and houses to rent. We do not allow rooms to rent or subleases.
  • I'm located in the Town of/Village of ___________, can I list my unit on the website?

    If your rental unit is in the following towns/villages, you can successfully submit a rental listing given that you’ve provided us with all of the proper paperwork and payment: Town of Brookhaven, Town of Huntington, Village of Lake Grove, Port Jefferson Village. If your rental unit is in the following towns/villages, we unfortunately are unable to list your unit at this time: Town of Islip, Town of Smithtown.
  • I’m located in the Town of/Village of ___________, why can’t I list my unit on the website?

    Town of Islip: The town currently is not issuing inspections.
    Town of Smithtown: The town does not issue rental permits.

  • Do you match students with listed properties?

    No, our office does not match students with properties listed on our website. Students or other Stony Brook community members must independently contact landlords.
  • What is the average rent?

    The rent prices vary depending on what is offered. Some listings can run for as low as $500 while others are as high as $3,000.
  • What do I need to list my unit?

    In order to list on our website you must have a rental permit. Without a rental permit we cannot list your unit on our website. Once you do have your permit and have provided us with your unit's information, we request that you submit payment through PayPal ($45 for 75 days).
  • What is a rental permit?

    A rental permit is a document issued by the respective town that signifies that your unit is up to the building code, fire and safety code, and up to the town's standards. Permits are issued for both accessory apartments and for houses to rent.
  • How do I get a rental permit?

    You can obtain a rental permit by calling your respective town or village and asking to speak to the Building Division. You will then be provided with the proper documentation necessary to start your rental registration.

    Town of Brookhaven (source)

    Rental Registration Form
    Rental Registration Renewal
    Rental Registration Requirements

    Town of Huntington (source)

    Accessory Apartment Instruction Packet
    Current List Of Permitted Accessory Apartments
    Homeowner Occupied Accessory Apartment Application
    Non-Homeowner Occupied Accessory Apartment Application
    Accessory Apartment Affidavit
    Rental Registration - New Application
    Rental Registration - Renewal Application

    Village of Lake Grove

    Please contact the Village of Lake Grove for further assistance:

    Incorporated Village of Lake Grove
    980 Hawkins Ave
    Lake Grove, NY 11755
    (631) 585-2000
    info@lakegroveny.gov

  • I'm in the process of obtaining my rental permit. Can I provide you with documentation of my temporary rental registration?

    No. University policy requires that the rental registration is complete and that you’ve obtained a rental permit.
  • Can I provide my rental permit number instead of a copy of the rental permit?

    No. University policy requires documentation. A rental permit number will not suffice. Our office requires that you email us a copy at commuter_service@stonybrook.edu or fax us a copy at (631) 982-7324. Alternatively, you can drop a copy off at our office located at Stony Brook University in room 225 in the Student Activities Center, or mail us a copy. Please contact our office at (631) 632-6770 if you intend on mailing a copy of the permit.
  • If I don't have a scanner or a fax machine, how do I provide my rental permit?

    If you don't own or have access to a scanner or a fax machine, you have a few options. You can provide us with your rental permit by taking a picture of it and emailing it to us through your phone (through your email application).

    You also have the option to mail it to us, although that does mean it will take longer for your listing to get approved. There’s also a chance that we may not approve your listing depending on the document that you provide (it may be incorrect or the permit may have expired). If you’d like to mail a copy please email us at commuter_services@stonybrook.edu or call us at (631) 632-6770 and we will provide you with the mailing address.

    Another option would be to drop off a copy of the rental permit at our office where we will scan your permit for you and add it to your already created listing. Our office is located at Stony Brook University in room 225 of the Student Activities Center.

    If you have access to a scanner or fax machine we request that you turn to those methods first before pursuing the other available options.

  • I'm not comfortable using a computer, can I come in to list my unit?

    We strongly suggest that you list your rental unit on your personal computer. Our office is very small and does not have a computer designated to landlords looking to list their units in person. If you are comfortable using a fax machine or scanner to provide us with your rental permit, we recommend that you call us and we will assist you in listing your unit over the phone.
  • If my town does not provide inspections and/or rental permits, can I hire a private inspector and provide the documentation from that inspection?

    No. While you are more than welcome to hire a private inspector to inspect your rental unit to ensure that it is legal and up to Building Code and Fire & Safety Code, we cannot accept any documentation from that private inspection.
  • How long does it take for my house/apartment listing to appear online?

    A house/apartment listing can take from 1-3 business days to appear online. All listings are manually approved by our staff. Any listings submitted on Fridays or around the holidays may take longer to get approved. Additional delays may be possible if the proper paperwork and/or payment hasn’t been submitted.
  • How much does it cost to list my unit?

    It costs $45 for 75 days to list on our website. That is the only rate available.
  • What is PayPal?

    PayPal is a service that enables you to pay without revealing your financial details. PayPal uses the latest in data encryption and anti-fraud technology to keep your information secure, reducing the risk of online fraud.
  • Is it mandatory to add images to my listing?

    We strongly advise that you upload an image (maximum of three) of your unit. This increases the chances of students reaching out to you. Many of the listings currently on our website have images.
  • Can I add or change information on my listing after it goes online?

    Yes. Please email us at commuter_services@stonybrook.edu or call us at (631) 632-6770 if you’d like to add or make any changes to your listing.
  • How do I add images to my listing if I already submitted the application?

    Please email us the images that you’d like to add to your listing to commuter_services@stonybrook.edu and provide us with the address or listing ID of your unit.
  • What is a listing ID?

    A listing ID is a number that allows our office to easily identify your unit. This number changes every time you resubmit your rental unit or request a renewal.
  • Why hasn't anyone responded to my listing?

    There are many reasons why a listing may not receive any responses. Please remember that the most active seasons is during the spring and summer months, and slows down during the fall and winter months. Our office does not guarantee that your unit will be rented. We will not issue refunds if you did not receive any responses during the time your listing was active on our website.

    We strongly advise that you upload an image (maximum of three) of your unit. This increases the chances of students reaching out to you. Many of the listings currently on our website have images
  • My unit/property has been rented. What should I do?

    Please email us at commuter_services@stonybrook.edu or call us at (631) 632-6770 and we will remove your unit/property from the website. In your email please provide us with the rental unit address or listing ID.
  • What can I include in the comments section of the form? Is it optional?

    You can include any additional information that we do not request from you in the rest of the form. It is optional but it is recommended that you add more detailed information.
  • My listing expired three months ago, but is up for rent again. Will you have my old listing on file?

    Yes, we will have your old listing on file but we request that you resubmit your listing through our website. We allow for a one month grace period--if your listing expired within the past thirty days, please email us at commuter_services@stonybrook.edu or call us at (631) 632-6770 and we will assist you in the renewal process. Beyond thirty days we request a resubmission to ensure that the information on your listing remains as accurate as possible.
  • When does my house/apartment listing expire?

    Your house/apartment listing remains active on our website for 75 days. After 75 days your listing is removed from the site.
  • How do I renew my listing? Will I have to pay extra?

    If it is within thirty days since your listing expired, please email us at commuter_services@stonybrook.edu or call us at (631) 632-6770 and we will assist you in that process. If it is beyond thirty days, please resubmit your listing through our website. Renewing costs $45 for 75 days.
  • Is there an off campus housing website specifically for graduate students? Faculty? Staff?

    No. This Off Campus Housing website is the only Stony Brook University recognized off campus housing website, intended for use by undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty, and staff.

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Prospective/Current Sponsors


  • What do I need to do to post an ad?

    To post your ad we require that you fill out this form. We also require that you send us an image of your logo to go alongside your ad. You can email us at commuter_services@stonybrook.edu.
  • Where can I find my ad?

    You can find your ad on our Off Campus Housing website under Local Services. Ads are categorized by services provided. We currently have ads for: real estate agencies, moving and storage services, and automotive service and repair.
  • How much does it cost to post an ad on the website?

    It costs $110 to post an ad on the website (runs for one year).
  • For how long will the ad run?

    The ad will run for one year.
  • How do I renew my ad? Will I have to pay extra?

    Please email us at commuter_services@stonybrook.edu or call us at (631) 632-6770 and we will assist you in that process. Renewing costs $110 for one year.
  • Can I make changes to my ad while it's still available on the website?

    Yes. Please email us at commuter_services@stonybrook.edu or call us at (631) 632-6770 and we will assist you in that process.
  • Can I provide a discount/promotional code for Stony Brook students alongside my ad?

    Yes. Please email us at commuter_services@stonybrook.edu or call us at (631) 632-6770 to further discuss the nature of the discount/promotional code and we will assist you in listing it alongside your ad.
  • I’d like to remove my ad. What should I do?

    Please email us at commuter_services@stonybrook.edu or call us at (631) 632-6770 to notify us and we will remove your ad from our website.