Housing in the Burlington area is quite limited. We recommend that you begin planning where to live as soon as you know that you are coming to UVM.

Helpful Hints

Burlington has a very high occupancy rate for its rental housing, meaning that it can be hard to find housing that is immediately available.  Here are some tips to help as you start your housing search.

  • The rental market in Burlington is driven by student rentals.  As a result, many of the leases in Burlington are one-year leases that run May-May or August-August.  If you are in Burlington for a short period of time, you might want to consider subletting or staying in an extended stay hotel.  Subletting is taking responsibility for the remaining time on someone else's lease.
  • If you sign a lease for an entire year, you are responsible for paying the entire lease unless you sublet your room, apartment or house.  Subletting requires the approval of your landlord.  If you plan to sublet, check to ensure that subletting is allowed before you sign your lease.
  • Rent in Vermont may feel expensive compared to other places you have lived. Scholars occasionally choose to live in neighboring communities such as Winooski, Colchester, and South Burlington rather than in downtown Burlington.  Rent in these communities may be less expensive or you may have a nicer rental for the same price.  Check out the local bus schedules to see if the rental you are considering is on the bus line.
  • As you look at housing options, make sure that you ask which utilities are included in the rent.  Utilities include things like electricity, gas and internet. Utilities can add $100 or more per month to housing costs, especially in the winter.
  • Please be careful when communicating with people over the internet. It is common for landlords to ask for a security deposit at the time you sign a lease. Burlington law limits the security deposit to the value of one month’s rent. Some landlords may also charge an application or administrative fee. Be careful of online scams where people ask for money but they may not actually have a room or apartment to rent.

Useful Words and Phrases

As you look at housing ads, you may find words, phrases and abbreviations that are new to you.  Here are some useful words and phrases for your housing search.

Burlington Locations

  • Five Sisters - A section in Burlington's South End neighborhood.
  • Hill Section - A neighborhood south of downtown and west of campus with many large, historic houses.
  • New North End (NNE) - A neighborhood north of the Old North End.  Not within walking distance of campus.
  • Old North End (ONE) - A neighborhood north of downtown that is home to many of the town's international grocery stores.
  • South End - The area south of downtown, with a diverse range of housing options.

Housing Vocabulary

  • Bd - An abbreviation for "bedroom."
  • Br/ba - An abbreviation for "bedrooms and bathrooms."  Often written as 2br/1.5ba.  A half bathroom is just a sink and toilet, without a shower or bathtub.
  • Coin op laundry - Washers and dryers are available but you will need quarters (American coins worth $0.25) to use the machines.
  • Condo - An apartment in a building where the apartments are owned by individual people rather than the same company.
  • Duplex - A building that has two homes in it, usually side-by-side.
  • Efficiency - A small apartment that does not have a separate bedroom.  The bedroom and the living space are all part of one area.  These are also called studio apartments.
  • ISO - An abbreviation for "in search of."
  • Landlord (Landlady) - The person or company who owns the apartment or house you rent.
  • Lease - The agreement between a tenant and a landlord.
  • Studio - Another name for an efficiency.
  • Subletting - Taking responsibility for the remaining time on someone else's lease.
  • Tenant - The person who rents an apartment or house (you!).
  • Townhouse - A small home that shares one or more walls with other homes.
  • Utilities - The extra services you need for your house or apartment, like electricity, gas and internet.
  • W&D - Washer and dryer.

Short-Term Housing Options

If your stay at UVM is just a few weeks or a couple of months, you may want to consider living in an extended-stay hotel or bed and breakfast (B&B).  An extended-stay hotel or B&B offers apartment-style living.  Rates are often per week or per month.  UVM and the OIE do not endorse any particular hotels but one option that is popular with international scholars is Smart Suites.

An extended-stay hotel or B&B not a good option for you?  Think about subletting.  Here are some places to start.

  • UVM's Office of Student & Community Relations hosts an off-campus housing database that is available to students, faculty, and staff.  (Sign in with your NetID rather than as a guest for the greatest number of options.)  On this site UVM affiliates can:
    • Search for off-campus housing
    • Find a roommate
    • Find helpful off-campus living resources

Long-Term Housing

If you will be in Burlington for a semester or more, you may want to sign a lease rather than staying in an extended-stay hotel or subletting.

Here are some places to start.

  • UVM's Office of Student & Community Relations hosts an off-campus housing database that is available to students, faculty, and staff.  (Sign in with your NetID rather than as a guest for the greatest number of options.)  On this site UVM affiliates can:
    • Search for off-campus housing
    • Find a UVM roommate
    • Find helpful off-campus living resources
  • Gradnet is a listserv for graduate students. Graduate students and other members of the UVM community post everything from requests for roommates to questions about chemical enzymes. Are you intending to be a Visiting Graduate Student at UVM and want to join? Sign up here using your UVM email address.
  • Apartment complexes close to campus fill up very quickly. UVM and the OIE do not endorse any particular apartment complexes. 

Temporary Housing and Hotels

UVM is unable to offer temporary housing if you arrive before your lease starts.  There are many hotels near campus.  Please see the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce website for options.  Several hotels are within walking distance of campus and others are located on the bus lines that serve campus.

Resources for Roommate and Landlord Problems

Occasionally, scholars have problems with a roommate or landlord.  If you do, it is important to understand your rights and responsibilities so that you can find a solution to any roommate or landlord problems.  UVM's Office of Student & Community Relations (OSCR) primarily serves UVM students, but they have some helpful information on their website, including an Off-Campus Living Guide (PDF) about the basics of renting in Burlington.

As a renter, you and your landlord have certain rights and responsibilities to each other.  For example, you have the responsibility to pay your rent on time.  Your landlord has the responsibility to make sure that sure that your house or apartment is a safe place to live.  You can learn more about your rights and responsibilities from An Illustrated Guide to Vermont Renter's Rights (PDF).  If you believe that your rights are not being respected, please let the OIE know.

The OIE cannot help you with your housing search.  However, your department may have more suggestions about housing options if you still have questions.