Off-campus housing services within Housing & Residence Life provides resources for students looking to live off campus.
While on-campus housing is guaranteed for first- and second-year undergraduate students, many upper-class AU students, as well as graduate and Washington College of Law students, live off campus in the DC-metropolitan area.
The information in this section is provided to assist students and families who are or who are considering renting during the 2020-2021 academic year.
Nearly 100% of first-year students typically live in university housing. The supported communities are an important aspect of the university experience. The university strongly discourages first-year students from living off-campus, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic, unless residing with family in the Washington, DC area.
This information is intended for use by continuing AU students and their families.
During a time of changing circumstances it is important for renters to consider their housing needs and ensure they are knowledgeable about their leasing obligations should these needs change.
This information was prepared in consultation with the D.C. Office of the Tenant Advocate. This information isn't legal advice, but is presented to you as important considerations when considering signing a lease:
- Before signing a new lease, closely review the lease to determine if an early termination clause (i.e. breaking the lease clause) is included.
- If the lease does not include an early termination clause you can speak with your property manager to negotiate and add agreed-upon terms.
- This type of clause should state the required notice the renter should provide and the penalty (ex. 2 months' rent) for early termination.
- Review the D.C. Office of the Tenant Advocate's Tenant Rights & Resources document (last updated October 29, 2020).
Following the AU Forward announcement on July 30, 2020, American University students and families with off-campus housing leases will find action items and resources on this page to assist with decision making leading into the fall semester.
What are my next steps if I no longer want to live in the DC/Maryland/Virginia area and desire to end my lease?
Carefully review your lease to determine what the document states concerning ending your lease.
If you rent in DC, please review this document from the DC Office for the Tenant Advocate for D.C. students seeking to terminate their lease after school shut-down.
Contact your landlord or property manager to explain your change in circumstances and discuss what you are looking for. It is important to do this quickly. We encourage being straightforward with your landlord or property manager and showing respect to their needs and the contract you have with them.
To assist you with discussing your lease needs with a landlord or property manager, AU has provided (see the expandable section below) the Note DC Metropolitan Area Landlords and Property Managers. Please share this link as needed.
Off-Campus Leasing Webinar
A recording of our webinar, captured on Wednesday, August 5 from 6-7PM (ET), can be found on the AU Campus Life YouTube channel.
Post your sublet on our Off-Campus Posting Site. Please ensure your lease allows for a sublet before posting the unit.
For step-by-step sublet posting instructions, log into the Off-Campus Posting Site, select 'Resources' at the top of the page, then select 'How to Post a Sublet Listing' under the 'AU Information and Resources' section.
AU has removed fees to post a sublet on the AU posting site. Fees to list on the posting sites for other neigboring universities may exist and can not be removed by AU.
Contact your local government support agency. If these offices don’t cover where you rent, please search for your local support:
To all DC Metropolitan Area Landlords and Property Managers,
To prioritize the health and safety of our students in the wake of recent Covid-19 developments, American University has decided to move all classes online for the Fall 2020 semester.
As a result, many of our students will either modify or terminate their housing plans because they will not return to the DMV area this Fall.
The University asks for your flexibility and support in modifying or terminating any lease agreements or housing contracts with American University students in the DC Metropolitan area.
We recognize that, in these difficult times, this creates an inconvenience for both you and our students that have already entered into lease agreements and apologize for these circumstances.
We greatly appreciate your understanding and sincerely value your partnership in housing our students. We look forward to working together in the future.
This video provides important information to help guide you through your off-campus housing search, living in the city, staying involved on campus, and using resources related to your student rights as a tenant.
Use the Off-Campus Posting Site
American University's Off-Campus Housing Postings is the best resource students can use when searching for a new home. In addition to searching for housing options around the area, you can use the posting site to find roommates with similar interests and preferences. Signing up is easy, fast, and free.
Students searching for a sublet should log into the Off-Campus Posting Site, select 'Housing' at the top of the page, and then apply the 'sublet' filter under 'Listing Type.'
- Visit the Off-Campus Housing Postings and click "Sign Up".
- Select "AU Students" to sign up as a student through the Member Registration page.
- Fill out all required fields. Under the University Information section, you must enter your @american.edu address. If you have yet to receive your AU student email address, please contact the Office of Information Technology.
- Once you have filled out all fields and have read and agreed to the Terms and Conditions, click "Register" to complete your registration.
- Go to "My Account" and select "Add my roommate profile". Fill out the information in your roommate profile.
- Once you have filled out the information on one page, hit "Save" or "Save and Continue" to go to the next section.
- Once you have filled out all required fields, you are done! You can return and edit information at any time.
Remember to deactivate your roommate profile after you have found someone to live with!
- Go to "My Account" and select "Roommate Search." This link takes you to a page with profiles of all AU students who are looking for housing.
- Narrow your search by selecting from the filters in the right-hand column. You can sort potential roommates by gender preference, smoking habits, pet ownership, cleaning habits, University affiliation, and graduation year.
- Click on the user's name to view the user's roommate profile. You can view the user's "About Me" section, neighborhood and housing preferences, move-in date, ideal price range, and more.
- Contact potential roommates through the Off-Campus Housing Posting site. Fill out the information in the "Contact" sidebar to send an email to the user's AU email address. You will be notified when they respond!
- Select "Housing" from the menu bar.
- Explore listings by scrolling through all listings on our site, or by filtering for characteristics. You can filter properties by location, lease type, rooms, price, and more.
Residential Housing licenses are required for all rental properties in the District of Columbia including homes, apartments, condominiums, basement apartments and apartment buildings. All properties listed on our site have submitted Basic Business Licenses in order to have their listings approved.
Marymount University oversees an apartment-style building in Ballson, VA, which can be leased to AU graduate students. To learn more, please see the Marymount Graduate Housing information sheet.