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The Key: If you start your housing search well in advance of your arrival on campus, you should be able to find a great place to live.
Most houses and apartments in Davis are leased on a year-to-year basis. Leases typically begin September 1 and end August 31. To ensure you'll have your pick of places to live, begin your search in March or April if you'll be coming in the fall. If you're coming during the summer ask about options to sublease and start your lease early. Often you'll get a discount on the rent for the summer months for doing this and you won't have to move twice.
Davis has no “bad” neighborhoods, but homes in West Davis (west of Route 113), North Davis (north of Covell Road), and South Davis (south of Interstate 80) tend to be larger and more expensive than those in East Davis (east of the Railroad tracks) or in Central Davis (the middle).
You'll often start with a rental application ($30). After they review your application and you sign your lease be prepared to pay first and last month's rent when you move in, as well as a security deposit. The amount of the deposit varies at the landlord's discretion, but cannot be more than two months rent. (If the apartment is furnished, your deposit can total up to three months rent.) If you have a pet you'll often have to pay a pet deposit, which will only be partially returned (you will have to pay to have the carpet cleaned if you have a cat and they will often take that from your pet deposit).
Most houses and apartments in Davis are leased on a year-to-year basis. Leases typically begin September 1 and end August 31. To ensure you'll have your pick of places to live, begin your search in March or April if you'll be coming in the fall. If you'll enroll in the winter or spring, your best bet may be to begin your search a month or two in advance; other tenants may be graduating and moving out at the end of a quarter.
City of Davis Affordable Housing Project : This is a program that has housing available at a rate based on your income. There are several housing units in Davis that participate in this program. There are other low-income programs available that will help you decrease the cost of living in Davis including: Lifeline discount phone service and PG&E electricity CARE program.