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Finding a Place to Live

Temporary Housing
Room-Hunting Checklist
Recommendations on Housing Sources
Know the Neighborhood
Read the Lease & Ask Your Landlord
Rights as A Renter


Currently, on-campus housing is available only to undergraduate students. There is no on-campus housing available for graduate students. For undergraduates who are eligible,
contact the
Office of Housing and Residential Education: (615) 322-2591 Move-in dates information for new undergraduate students available here.

Finding a place to live can be daunting. This page aims to serve graduate students, scholars and interns to find housing in Nashville. If you are looking for permanent housing during your stay in Nashville, we have some general tips for you to help with the process. 

Temporary Housing

If you arrive in Nashville and need temporary housing until you have secured something more permanent you might consider extended-stay hotels, vacation rentals, or youth hostels. Check out the options on Vanderbilt travel site:

Vacation rentals by owner could also be a good choice. Airbnb, Vacation Rentals, and FlipKey are several options in and around the city. Prices and availabilities vary.

Music City Condos also provides some short-term rental options.

Room-hunting Checklist

Overwhelmed by a huge amount of housing information, you might wonder “How should I begin my searching?” Here is a checklist to help you orient your requirements and narrow down your scope: (Click here to download a PDF version of the checklist.)

  • What is your budget range (including utilities) for your housing?
  • Do you want a roommate? Or do you want a place all by yourself?
  • How close do you want to be to campus?
  • What is your access to transportation? Will you be driving to campus? If not, is there access to public transportation or shuttle nearby? How much time would you want to commit on commuting?
  • What neighborhood do you want to stay at? Is it safe? What is the noise level that you can accept?

Also, when you are looking for rooms/apartments/houses, please note the regulations on the following items:

  • Lease length: How long will your lease be? Is it by month, 6-month long, 12-month long, a sublease, or others?
  • Features: Look if the following features of the room match your requirements: air conditioning, heating, washer & dryer, kitchen appliances, Wi-Fi/internet access, parking, hard-wood floor/carpet, furnished/unfurnished, fitness center & pool,
  • Pet policy: Are pets allowed or not allowed at your place? If so, what types of pet are allowed?
  • Fees: Note that there might be additional fees applied, including admin fee, application fee, pet fee, etc.

For more information about the housing search process and things to consider before you sign your lease, read more here and here.

Recommendations on Housing Sources

After you have a basic idea of what kind of housing you are looking for, start your searching and take advantage of the following resources:

General Housing Search Engines:

  1. Craigslist: (Click here and learn how to Avoid scams on Cragslist)
  2. Padmapper:
  3. Zillow:
  4. Hotpad:
  5. CampusCribz:

Vanderbilt My VU Classifieds

VU Off-campus Referral Service: (VUNET ID and password required when logging in)

ISSS Facebook Page

Information from your school/college/department: Contact your program coordinator to see if they know available housing sources.

Nashville’s local newspapers: The Tennessean, The City Paper, Nashville Scene, etc.

Know the Neighborhood

Neighborhood refers to the geological and social community within a larger city, suburb, or rural area. Knowing your neighborhood is a big deal in the U.S., because it affects your safety, interpersonal interaction, and your recreational activities. Learn more about where your room/apartment/house locate is very helpful!


Neighborhoods in Nashville can be roughly divided into: midtown, downtown, Hillsboro Village, Green Hills, Elliston Place, Belmont Blvd, Edgehill, West End, 12th South, the Gulch, Sobro, Germantown, Berry Hill, East Nashville, Opryland, Sylvan Park, 8th Ave S., etc. The ones marked bold are familiar neighborhoods for Vanderbilt students.

You can also click the following links for more information:

Read the Lease & Ask Your Landlord

When you are about to sign the lease with your landlord or housing agent, it is usually the end or your room hunting. However, lease could be tricky. Bear in mind the following tips when you sign your lease:

(1) Read and UNDERSTAND your lease. Never sign a lease without reading it first!

(2) Write down any additional regulations or amendments on your lease BEFORE you sign it.

(3) Check the conditions of appliances and utilities in the room/apartment BEFORE you sign the lease. Report anything that is broken to the landlord BEFORE you sign it.

(4) Make a copy of your lease after you sign it.

(5) Additional fees may apply: Fees: admin fee, application fee, pet fee

At the same time, ask your landlord or housing agent the following questions to make sure that you are clear about your rights and responsibilities (and double-check if they are on the lease):

(6) How should I pay my rent? (By check, by online banking, or by other methods?)

(7) Are utilities (water, electricity, gas, heat, etc.) included in my rent? If not, how should I pay for them?

(8) Who should I contact if there is something broken in the apartment?

(9) What should I do if there is an emergency in the apartment?

(10) Is there any restriction on guests/pets/smoking, etc.?

(11) Can I sublet my room?

Rights as A Renter

In all circumstances, please be careful and review the terms of your lease agreement before you sign it.

Learn about your rights as a renter in Tennessee here:

Rights As A Renter