Renting in Athens

Introduction to Renting in Athens

How much should I pay for rent:

Rent varies greatly in Athens. Renting a house with a group may be cheaper than apartments, but it depends on the location and condition of the unit. Check below to get a rough idea of how much you can be expected to pay:

Things to Ask Before you Sign:

  1. How often is rent due? (rent is usually due monthly or semesterly. Be aware of when you get paid and when rent is due)
  2. How is rent paid? (online, mail, drop-off)
  3. How long is the lease? (12 months, 9 months, monthly)
  4. Are utilities included in rent? What utilities do I pay?
  5. What happens if you break your lease?
  6. Are you able to sublease?
  7. Which, if any, pets are allowed? Are there pet fees (annual or monthly, or both)?
  8. Maintenance hours and emergency maintenance?
  9. Is parking and guest parking available?
  10. Who is responsible for lawn care?
  11. Should I have renters insurance?
  12. Can I have a roommate or long term guest?
  13. What appliances come with the unit?
  14. Is the unit furnished?
  15. What apartments are family-friendly? If with children, what are the options for schools in the area?

The Athens Area:

West Side - The Western side of campus, also referring to the Western side of Athens City. Close to the engineering buildings on west green. Usually quieter, mix of students and residents.

Live At: OU Commons, College Park Condominiums

East Side - Close to East green and South green. Near Nelson dining hall and the shopping centers on East State Street (Kroger, Walmart). Near Athens Public Transit route and the bike path that can take you to East State Street. The East side and Uptown are home to "fest" season (weekend street parties during the Spring semester).

Live At: River Park, River Edge, River Gate, Mill Street Village, TSI Housing, Putnam Square Apartments

Uptown - Refers to Court Street and the neighboring streets. Close to Baker Center and Alden Library on college green. 

Live At: Cornwell Properties, Court Street Apartments, Ohio University Rentals, Ohio University Housing from University Off-Campus Housing

The Plains - A small town located 10 minutes North-West of campus. It has a small population and many students who have cars commute from there. A small population bike and there is a bus route as well, however it is very infrequent.

Live At: The Reserve at the Falls, North Plains Village

Richland Avenue - The road leading out of the University, heading south out of town. Home to many (uphill) apartment complexes, some fast food stores, other local shops, and gas stations.

Live At: Summit, University Courtyard, Campus Heights

Outside of the Immediate Athens Area- There are several opportunities to rent from smaller or private owners in areas such as East State Street, Albany, Wonder Hills area, Pomeroy Rd., Radford Rd. Check out local Facebook pages or smaller realtor pages in the area. There are several condominiums and townhouses for rent in these areas too. 

Information on the Larger Rental Companies in Athens:

Large apartment complexes take care of most things for you, such as roommate matching. They may bundle utilities into rent, have plenty of parking space, have available maintenance crew, have a bus that runs to and from campus, etc.

Apartment Buildings:

Local Realtors:

Housing Advertisement Websites:

General Renting Information

Houses for rent in Athens vary widely, make sure to see the house before you rent so you know the condition. Renting a house instead of an apartment might entail several separate utilities cost that you have to manage, yard maintenance, and trash (+ fees if you leave a can outside or something). Some houses are divided into multiple rental units. Some may not have parking, washer/dryer, dishwasher, etc. Many houses in Athens are very old, but that doesn't necessarily mean poorly maintained. NOTE: Be aware of what you sign, e.g. lead paint disclosures. Also, be sure to get any promised improvements or fixes in writing on the lease.

Driving distance: Beware parking on campus - both space and lot parking. Commuter lots on campus are usually no permit required after 6pm, however these lots often close for events. Some places WILL tow cars if the are parked incorrectly, a common spot is the River Park, and the parking lot around the are is very complicated. The River Park lot is next door to a University owned lots and buildings, do not park in the wrong lot on accident!

Additionally, there are several opportunities to rent from community members outside of the immediate university vicinity. These rentals are usually cheaper but may require access to a vehicle. Check out local Facebook pages to get information on these. Townhouses and condos are common beyond the Richland Avenue Area and in the Albany area that may be ideal for individuals with pets and partners/families. When renting from independent/ private residents, make sure you have a written lease that specifies the details of the rental agreement.


Helpful Hints to Find a Roommate:

  • Some apartment complexes match can you based on basic preferences (sleep/cleanliness/eating habits typically)
  • Facebook group: Ohio University (OU) Housing, Sublets & Roommates 
  • Check with your department and see if anyone else also needs a roommate


Security Deposit and Move-Out Advice:

Before you move out, double check the move out procedure in your lease. Ask your landlord for a cleaning checklist or written note describing how the unit should be left when you leave. You can often request that your landlord walk through the unit with you before you move out to ensure you have cleaned everything to the proper standards.

Take pictures and videos of everything when you move in and again when you move out. If you have a dispute with the landlord over your security deposit, the Center for Student Legal Services (CSLS) can help you refute the charges best if you have pictures and videos. If you waived the Student Legal Fees, the CSLS lets you enroll during the semester by paying the fees. 


Additional Helpful Links:

  1. Center for Student Legal Services:
  2. List of every rental unit:
  3. Legal services pamphlets on housing:
  4. Transportation services: