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Fall Break: Tips, Safety, Parking

48 Hour Parking Rule

If you're heading away, but your vehicle will stay, refresh yourself on the details of this rule and avoid being towed and fines.

Frozen Pipes

As temperatures take a nose dive, take precautions to keep household pipes from freezing and avoid damage to your home and belongings. 

When the Snow Falls

Ready or not, it'll be here before we know it.  Know what your responsibilities are so that all people have access to your neighborhood's sidewalks for getting around.  Also, learn what to do when the City declares a snow emergency, as on-street parking will be limited to allow plows to fully clear the streets after an extreme winter storm.

SourceIowa City Update - Your source for Iowa City news and information.

Additional information:

Common Parking Violations & Regulations

Parking Violations and Regulations

The Parking Division of the Iowa City Transportation Services Department oversees the operation of parking garages, parking lots, and on-street (metered) parking. Parking Services enforces parking regulation in the central business district, while the Police Department enforces parking regulations in residential areas.

Recognizing that there is a high demand for parking in downtown Iowa City, Parking Services promotes turnover of on-street (metered) parking spaces in the core of the downtown. Customers with longer-term needs are encouraged to use the garages or on streets in outlying areas.

Some of the resources on the parking website include information on: 

To find this information, visit the website

Resources for Living Off-Campus

Parking Options

Parking Options

The Parking Division of the Iowa City Transportation Services Department oversees the operation of parking garages, parking lots, and on-street (metered) parking. Parking Services enforces parking regulation in the central business district, while the Police Department enforces parking regulations in residential areas.

Recognizing that there is a high demand for parking in downtown Iowa City, Parking Services promotes turnover of on-street (metered) parking spaces in the core of the downtown. Customers with longer-term needs are encouraged to use the garages or on streets in outlying areas.

Some of the resources on the parking website include: 

To learn more about parking, visit the website

Resources for Living Off-Campus

UI Rideshare

UI RideShare Network uses state-of-the-art technology and software to help university employees and students find commuting partners who also work or study at the University of Iowa.  The system can also be used for single-trip matching to athletic, performance, or community events plus options for finding walking, biking, and transit buddies.

For more information, please visit the UI Rideshare website

Resources for Living Off-Campus

Bike Safety & Maintenance

Bike Safety:

Bicycle riders should follow the rules of the road along with motor vehicles. Adhering to the laws protects you and other motorists. Remember these tips for everyone’s safety:

  • Wear a bicycle helmet
  • Respect the pedestrian right of way
  • Anticipate conflict
  • Follow the traffic laws
  • Share the road and walkways

To find more information on biking, including regulations and registration, click here

Bike Maintenance: 

University Parking and Transportation has installed several bicycle repair stations and air pumps on the main campus.  These stations and pumps are free to use and provide tools necessary to perform basic repairs and maintenance; from changing a flat tire to adjusting brakes.  For help with repairs use the Quick Read (QR) code on the front of the Repair Station to view detailed instructions on your smart phone. 

Locations can be found here.  

Maintenance & Utilities Resources for Living Off-Campus

UIPD

About the University of Iowa Police Department (UIPD)

UIPD's mission is to provide each member of the University of Iowa community with a sense of security throughout campus by creating a safe learning environment at all times and educating students, faculty and staff in matters of protection and personal responsibility. 

To learn more about UIPD and the Department of Public Safety, visit the website.

Resources for Living Off-Campus

Renters Insurance

Renters Insurance

If you think renters insurance is not necessary, you are sadly mistaken. Even though you may not own the home, apartment or unit, you do own the property that is inside of the home. If your items are lost or stolen, your home floods or catches on fire, or some other unforeseen accident occurs, you will need to replace those items with your own money. These items are things you purchased over the years, but when disaster strikes, you do not have years to replace your personal property, especially your everyday necessities. It could be really expensive to replace your personal items, which is why you should protect your investments. When it pertains to protecting your personal property, renters insurance is your most affordable option. 

To find out more information about renters insurance, visit The Zebra's website.

For more information on why renters insurance is important, visit the NOLO website

Resources for Moving Out Miscellaneous

Tips For Finding An Apartment

General Tips For Finding An Apartment

Start Looking Early: The process for finding apartments starts early. The following are possible resources for finding available properties:

  1. Local Newspapers
  2. University of Iowa Off Campus Housing Listing website. 
  3. Friends or classmates are often aware of possible vacancies.
  4. Bulletin boards in laundromats, etc., may have rental postings.
  5. Websites such as www.craigslist.com and www.facebook.com. However, DO NOT rent or agree to rent a property without seeing it first.

Precautions to keep in mind: NEVER RENT A LIVING UNIT WITHOUT FIRST TOURING THE EXACT UNIT YOU WILL BE RENTING. The amount of rent and other provisions in the lease, as well as the physical condition of the unit are key factors in determining whether to sign a lease. Before you even start looking, you should determine what your housing budget will be and stick to that amount . You do not want to get into a situation where you cannot afford your rent. Be aware of the length of the lease agreement you are signing. Most landlords offer a lease for a full year; in the Iowa City area they typically begin on August 1 and end starting late July. 

When your are looking for an apartment, you should also investigate the reputation of the landlord and manager concerning maintenance, return of security deposits and genera relationships with tenants. Look at the locks on the doors and windows, and the lighting around the apartment to evaluate the security of the apartment against theft. Consider the quality and the age of the construction and insulation as it will affect the cost of heating and cooling: Iowa City generally has hot summers and cold winters. Current and former tenants are good sources of information, as are neighbors. Ask lots of questions when looking at the property, find out what the average utilities are, and go visit the property at night to see if you feel safe in the neighborhood and if the area around the property is well lit. Check out "rate your landlord" websites: www.apartmentratings.com, www.apartmentreviews.com, and www.ratemyapartment.com.

Finally, before you sign a lease, Consider Signing a Roommate Contract

It is extremely important that you and your roommates are clear on your expectations. It is beneficial to all tenants to spell out your individual responsibilities in a roommate contract. By providing written documentation of each roommates responsibilities to each other, a roommate contract can help avoid disputes later on and help ensure that all roommates contribute equally to household tasks and cleaning of the apartment. Fill out your own roommate contract.

Miscellaneous

Things to Know Before You Sign a Lease

Things to Know Before You Sign a Lease

So you're moving out of the dorms? When making the decision to rent off-campus, one the most important factors to consider is your lease agreement. A lease agreement is a binding contract governing the terms of your residence in the rental property. Notably, these are very difficult to terminate. Private landlords are much less likely to be accommodating to unforeseen situations than University Housing would be.

Lease Agreements

A lease agreement is a binding contract which is very difficult to terminate. Once you sign a lease, you are responsible for the entire monthly rent for the term of the lease. This means that you may have to pay rent for a roommate if that person moves out!

You can have the lease reviewed by Student Legal Services prior to signing.

Tips For Finding Rental Property

Does it comply with the city code? You should first check to see if the rental unit has a valid permit, as well as the maximum occupancy limit. If a unit does not have a valid permit, it is probably due to a health or safety violation. You also want to make sure that only the number of people allowed to live in the unit are on the lease. DO NOT LET LANDLORDS TALK YOU INTO UNAUTHORIZED ROOMMATES AND THEN NOT INCLUDE THEIR NAMES ON THE LEASE.

Permit & Occupancy Information

Iowa City Housing Authority

Look Early

Apartments in Iowa City go fast. The following are good resources for finding available properties and roommates:

  • Rentals, roommates, sublets, furniture, etc.: University of Iowa Off Campus Housing:
  • Websites such as www.craigslist.com and Facebook.
  • Local Newspapers.
  • Bulletin boards postings in grocery stores, laundromats, etc.
  • Friends are often aware of possible vacancies.

Real Cost Of Renting

In addition to the rent, you should account for these additional costs:

  • Gas/electric/water: Contact the utility companies to get the average bill/month
  • Security Deposit (1st & last month’s rent) and Application Fees.
  • Moving expenses
  • Rental insurance
  • Parking
  • Cable T.V./Internet
  • Purchase of furniture, other items
  • Bus stops nearby?
  • Is there adequate security?

Try to talk to the current tenants without the landlord to find out more about the rental unit, utility costs, and reliability of the landlord.

Check out "rate your landlord" websites:

www.apartmentratings.com

www.apartmentreviews.com

www.ratemyapartments.com

WARNING: NEVER RENT A RENTAL UNIT WITHOUT FIRST LOOKING AT THE EXACT UNIT YOU WILL BE RENTING. Some landlords will show a "model" unit which will be in a much better condition than the unit you will actually be renting. Make sure that the address of the unit you are shown is what is shown on the lease agreement.

Miscellaneous