Know Why The Housing Process Sucks

It's only been a couple weeks since you've started looking for a place to live next year, but time is ticking and you're becoming nervous. Soon you're desperately avoiding being homeless next year, or worse – living in PCV.

After you find a place on Craigslist, you start imagining your life next year. The bedrooms are huge and the house is super close to campus. Life there would be perfect. You've already paid the application fee, organized all your roommates, skipped an important class to see the place, and didn't study for a test to get everyone's applications together just so that the landlord would consider your group. Your hopes are high, and you're sure you made a great impression on the landlord.

As you're sitting in your English lecture (clearly ignoring lecture material), you get an email from the landlord. Your face lights up, and you immediately block out whatever else is going on. "This is it!" you think to yourself.

Hi John Smith,

Thank you for applying to 123 California Blvd. I'm writing to let you know that we've selected another group of tenants. Sorry, and best of luck with the rest of your search.

Good luck,

Your emotions tank. You think about all the time, money, and energy you spent trying to get the place. Now you have to go do it all over again, but this time you have a midterm coming up that you have to study for, and there's also a group project you have due Tuesday. Suddenly, the stress from the first time around doesn't seem that bad. You're about to deal with it all over again, and now there's so much more going on.

But there is a silver lining: you've done it before. You have a rough idea of how the process works, and it's not unknown territory anymore. Last year, the upperclassmen who found housing had almost no help. They had to figure it out on their own. This year, you have PolyRents.

If you're just joining us, go back through the other sections and repeat the process with some of our tips. It should give you an advantage.