Housing Information for Graduates
Vacating Your University Housing
All University Apartment Housing (UAH) leases and contracts terminate on May 31 annually; graduating students must vacate by this time unless you are currently living in Law-only buildings on 115th Street, Lenfest Hall, or the Arbor, and are participating in the Bar Housing Program.
Please remember that regardless of your final vacancy date, it is your responsibility to follow all UAH vacancy procedures. If you are unfamiliar with the vacancy procedures you can find them on the UAH website.
UAH contacts all graduating students in February to request your approximate vacancy date, along with other pertinent information. You must confirm your vacancy information directly with UAH. If you have any questions regarding vacating University housing, please contact UAH directly. Failure to submit requested vacancy information to UAH can result in a substantial delay of any possible deposit refund.
Options for Bar Study
If you are interested in staying in the area of the University during the month(s) of June and July, you may do the following:
- Apply to sublet a University Apartment Housing (UAH) unit.
- Use the Off-Campus Housing Assistance (OCHA) Office. For help finding an off-campus apartment or short-term accommodations, OCHA has a wide range of services available.
- If you live in the Arbor, Lenfest Hall, or Law-only housing on 115th Street, you are eligible to apply for the Bar Housing Program.
Subletting a UAH Unit
Many continuing students who are going away for the summer list their apartments for sublet online, at the Law School’s housing forum and the OCHA database. The Law School Housing Forum is available to law students via lawnet. It will be available starting in early April. Information will be distributed via email to all students.
Additional postings for sublets are available on the OCHA subletting website. OCHA postings are from students throughout the Columbia University community and local area.
For information and regulations regarding the subletting process, please go to the UAH website and click on Subletting. All University-owned apartments (including those in Law-only buildings like Lenfest) are subject to UAH’s sublet policies, and students subletting these apartments must complete the UAH sublet application, and follow all sublet guidelines.
Most apartments are listed in late March and April, with sublets commencing in May. The tenant and subtenant determine the length of the sublet; the rent charged can be no more than the UAH rent + 10%. Keep in mind that if you sublet from a University tenant, the University tenant must file the Columbia University sublet application before beginning the sublet. Applications for sublet are available at the OCHA office.
If you stay in another student’s University housing while he/she is not there, it is imperative that the prime tenant formally sublet the apartment to you, even if you are friends; otherwise, you both jeopardize your eligibility for future housing. Please take a few minutes to complete the sublet application; you will save yourself and your fellow student a great deal of inconvenience and potential hardship.
The Off-Campus Housing Assistance (OCHA) office provides counseling assistance to Columbia students and affiliates in their search for rental housing in non-Columbia-owned properties in the metropolitan area. OCHA maintains an online database called the Housing Registry, which contains listings of non-Columbia-owned rooms and apartments for lease, sublet, or share, long-or short-term, throughout the metropolitan New York City area. Visit OCHA’ s website to search the Housing Registry, view a video on apartment hunting in New York City, get answers to frequently asked questions, and find online links to housing resources. The OCHA office also provides printed information such as lists of realtors and temporary housing, maps and more.
Although OCHA’s services are provided free of charge, some listers and all real estate agents and brokers charge fees. OCHA is located at 401 West 119th Street, between Amsterdam Avenue and Morningside Drive (on the NW corner of Morningside Drive). They may be reached at 212-854-2773; their fax number is 212-854-5333.
Bar Housing Extensions: The Arbor, Lenfest Hall, and 115th Street
If you live in an eligible unit in the Arbor, Lenfest Hall or on 115th Street, and are graduating in May you will be contacted via email regarding the Bar Housing Program. If your address makes you eligible and you are interested in Bar Housing, and you have not been contacted by the end of February, please email firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible, as application deadlines are strictly enforced.
Please note: Not all housing units are eligible for this program. Space is limited. Requirements to this program include, but are not limited to the following:
- Students must currently live in the Arbor, Lenfest Hall or in a Law-only building on 115th Street
- Students must commit to move out by noon the day following the NY bar exam. Failure to meet this deadline will result in serious penalties.
- Students must be registered for the July bar exam.