Photo of WMU residence hallHousing options

Residence halls—You have 13 halls to choose from, ranging from suites to traditional halls.

On-campus apartments—Furnished and unfurnished one- and two-bedroom apartments are available.

Off-campus apartments—Resources are available to students for off-campus living in Kalamazoo.

Apartment List
Apartment Guide
Rent College Pads



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Homestay—As an alternative to residence halls, apartments, and hotels, we offer home-based housing solutions at affordable prices for all lengths of stay through Lodge and Learn homestay. If you are a student interested in living with a host family, or you are interested in becoming a host family, please contact:

Lodge and Learn

Barbara Curley
(269) 217-9094
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Housing vocabulary

Types of rental units

Apartment—One unit of one or more bedrooms in a large big building, in which you might have neighbors above, below, and on each side of your apartment. Renters do not remove snow or care for the yard.

  • One-bedroom apartment—Four rooms: a kitchen, a living area, a bathroom, and a bedroom.
  • Two-bedroom apartment—Five rooms: a kitchen, a living area, a bathroom, and two bedrooms.

Condo—A unit of one or more bedrooms that is part of a community of similar units. Condos may be rented or purchased and there might be an association fee to cover the cost of property maintenance.

Duplex—A two-family housing unit with neighbors on one side. Renters usually take care of snow removal and the yard.

Efficiency/studio—A very small apartment, usually consisting of one large room with a kitchen and a bed, and a bathroom.

Student housing—Similar to a residence hall, sometimes including a private bedroom and bathroom, and sharing a kitchen and living room with other tenants. Each tenant signs an individual lease for their bedroom.

Townhouse—Similar, but usually smaller than a condo. Townhouses may have one or more bedrooms and usually include a first and second floor, with neighbors next to you, not above you.

Words related to renting housing

Bill—Notification that money is due for rent or a service received that usually includes a payment deadline, which may be issued in person or via email or conventional mail.

Due date—The date by which rent or payment must be made. For example, if the due date is Jan. 1, payment must be made on or before Jan. 1.

Lease—A legal document signed by the renter as a promise to pay to live in the apartment/residence for a certain period of time. Most leases are for six or 12 months; if you move before the lease ends, you must pay rent until the landlord finds a new person to live in your apartment.

Grace period—A certain number of days beyond the due date that a payment/rent may be made without receiving a late-payment penalty. Not all landlords offer a grace period.

Non-refundable—Payments/deposits will not be returned to you.

Pet deposit—A certain amount of money required by a landlord if you have a cat or dog that will be living with you, which may or may not be returned, depending on your lease and agreement with the landlord.

Penalty—A certain amount of extra money that must be paid if the rent payment is made later than the due date per the lease agreement.

Refundable—Payments/deposits made may be returned to you. For example, most security deposits are refundable if the renter does not damage the property while living there.

Rent—Amount paid every month to landlord or building owner for housing.

Security deposit—A certain amount of money required to be placed on deposit with the landlord before you enter a rental unit. The amount is often equal to one month of rent and is usually refunded soon after you move out if there is no damage to the unit.

Utilities—A service that is provided to the public, including water, electricity, and natural gas for heating. Renters may or may not be responsible for these charges, which are usually billed and due monthly.

People — Who is .... ?  Who are ... ?

Landlord—Owner or agent for rental property.

Maintenance person—Service person who may enter a rental unit to repair or replace broken items.

Neighbor—A person who lives next to or near another person.

Property manager—Oversees maintenance and repair for rental units and is usually the person you speak with to request that something be repaired or replaced.

Roommates—People who share an apartment or house and who usually share the cost of utilities. In the United States, you will often be assigned a roommate if you live in student housing. Otherwise, having a roommate in a house or apartment is a choice. People often choose to have a roommate, or more than one, to share the costs of renting housing.

Tenant—A person who occupies land or property rented from a landlord.

Amenities—rental unit features

Air conditioner, window unit—Cooling machine that is usually installed in a window to provide cooling in that area.

Balcony—An outdoor sitting area connected to a rental unit located on floors higher than ground level.

Business center—A place providing office facilities and services, including computers and printers, for a fee.

Cable–ready—Rental unit is wired for cable access and ready to be activated. Service is usually activated by the tenant setting up an account with an area cable provider.

Carport—A roofed area for parking cars, which can be for one or multiple cars.

Ceiling fans—These fans are usually mounted in the center of a room's ceiling and have a pull string to start the fan and one to turn on a light if the fan has one. These fans are mainly used for cooling in the summer.

Central heat and air conditioning—Mechanical systems designed to change the air temperature and humidity within an apartment, house, building, etc. via an air conditioning unit for cooling or a furnace for heating. The temperature is controlled by a thermostat that is usually mounted on the wall.

Closet—A storage area for clothes, linens and other household items, which usually has a door. Types of closets:

  • Linen closet—For storing sheets, bedding, and towels.
  • Walk-in closet—Extra large closet, usually accessible from a bedroom, with a huge amount of storage space.

Clubhouse—A building within an apartment or condominium community that is available for all tenants to use for specific activities, such as parties and meetings. The clubhouse can also include staff offices.

Dishwasher—Unit includes a machine that washes dishes.

Dumpster—A centrally located garbage container where tenants get rid of their household trash.

Fitness center—A place of business with equipment and facilities for exercising and improving physical fitness, such as the WMU Student Recreation Center.

Furnished—Rental unit includes furniture.

Garage—A small building for parked cars, which may include one or more parking spots.

Garbage disposal—A kitchen appliance located in the sink drain for disposing of food garbage that is easy to grind.

Laundry options

  • In-home washer and dryer—The rental unit includes a washer and dryer, which you do not share with other tenants.
  • Laundry room—Building includes a laundry room that is available for all tenants to use, with one or more washers and dryers that may be used for a certain fee.
  • Laundromat—A business open to the public that is equipped with coin-operated, self-service washing machines and dryers.

Microwave, built in—Microwave oven is available in unit kitchen.

Pantry—A food storage area typically in or close to the kitchen.

Patio or porch—A place directly outside of a housing unit, where people can sit and relax outdoors, which may or may not have walls or a fence for privacy.

Pet–friendly—Pets are allowed per the terms of the lease agreement.

Playground—Outdoor play area for children.

Satellite-ready—Rental unit is set up to receive TV and Internet access via a satellite dish. Service is usually activated by the tenant setting up an account with an area provider.

Unfurnished—Rental unit does not include furniture.