The information in this section of the site is designed to help you prepare for your search, look at apartments, and make smart decisions when you find a place to rent.

Presentation: "Important Tips- Read This First" (Audio/slide coming soon) (pdf)


Take some time before you begin your search to identify what you need and want in your living arrangement, what you can realistically afford, and what options are offered at Cornell and in the surrounding neighborhoods. A little preparation can make what feels like a daunting task much easier.  Understanding yourself and your options before you search will help you find the right apartment for your needs.

  • What do you need in your living arrangement (e.g., transportation, no smoking, air conditioning)?
  • What do you want in your living arrangement (e.g., washer/dryer, view, pets)?
  • What is your rental budget?
    • Presentation: “Why Budget for an Apartment?” (Audio/slide coming soon) (pdf)
  • Which neighborhood best suits your needs and your preferred style of living?
    • Presentation: ”Ithaca & Cornell Neighborhood Descriptions” (Audio/slide coming soon) (pdf)
    • Presentation: “Getting Around Ithaca” (Audio/slide coming soon) (pdf)

Use the resources in our Prepare section to answer these questions and many others.


Take your time to explore all your options. Everything you have done to prepare for the search will assist you.

Use the resources in our Search section to guide you.

Signing the lease

A lease is a legally binding document between you and the landlord. It is important to understand your rights and obligations before you sign a lease.

  • Presentation: “What is a Lease?”  (Audio-slide coming soon) (pdf)

Use the resources in our Signing the Lease section for more information.

Moving-in (and out)

Documenting the condition of the apartment when you move in and when you move out can protect you and your security deposit if questions arise about responsibility for damage or repairs.

Use the resources in our Moving In (and Out) section to assist you.