Family Student Housing – Off Campus Housing
A Student’s Guide to Off-Campus Housing
La Grande offers a vast array of housing opportunities ranging from apartment complexes, to houses for rent or lease, to studio apartments and rooms for rent. Perhaps most importantly, any or all of these may be found in close proximity to campus and downtown La Grande. Rental amounts can range from just over $200 to upwards of $800 a month.
Within this wide range of possibilities exist residences that will meet the needs of almost any individual or family situation.
WHEN TO LOOK
For fall quarter, we strongly encourage you to have a rental secured by very early summer. Although there are places to be found, they become scarce in August. Finding off-campus housing is a challenge and does take work. The housing market in La Grande is usually tight and competitive.
WHERE TO LOOK
Apartments in La Grande
While we do not maintain or provide a list of available apartments in La Grande, there is a bulletin board on the second floor of Hoke Center where people can post notices for roommates and properties to rent. Listed below are apartment complexes in La Grande that advertise in the yellow pages of the local telephone directory.
- Cimmaron Manor & Kingsview Manor 541-963-1210
- Country West Apartments 541-605-0430
- Foley Apartments 541-663-9000
- Grande Wood Apartments (Family Assisted Housing) 541-963-8051
- Green Tree Apartments 541-963-7476
- Pinehurst Apartments (Family Assisted Housing) 541-963-9292
- Sac Annex Building 541-963-3733
- Tamarack Court Apartments (for over 58 and/or disabled individuals) 541-963-4491
- Thunderbird Cove Apartments (Family Assisted Housing) 541-963-3785
- Carpenter Properties 541-910-3696 or 541-428-2111
Other good resources for finding available housing are:
- The Observer newspaper (classifieds) www.northeastoregonclassifieds.com 541-963-3161
- Nickel Want Ads 541-963-6237
- Northeast Oregon Housing Authority www.neoha.org 541-963-5360
- CraigsList eastoregon.craigslist.org/
- Trulia www.trulia.com
Local real estate businesses handle rentals:
- Century 21 Eagle Cap Realty 23097 East Adams Avenue www.lagranderentals.com 541-963-1210
- Ranch-n-Home Real Estate, 1526 Jefferson Avenue www.ranchnhome.com 541-963-5450
- Valley Realty, 10201 West 1 st St, Suite 2, Island City valleyrealty.net 541-963-4174
- Northeast Property Management, LLC 541-910-0354
- John J. Howard & Associates www.johnjhoward.com 541-663-9000
- Linda S. Hansen Property Management 541-910-3696
- Catherine Creek Property Mgmt. 115 Elm St., Suite 6, www.catherinecreekpm.com 541-605-0430
Motels in La Grande
- Union County Chamber listing of local Hotel/Motels
Students living off campus may contract to eat meals on campus. Contracts are available in the Residence Life Office, Hoke Center, Room 216, beginning each fall.
CAN’T AFFORD IT?
Financial assistance is available to qualified applicants through various programs designed to assist those individuals and families demonstrating need. Contact the following agencies for specific information:
- Northeast Oregon Housing Authority
PO Box 3357
La Grande, OR 97850
Rent and utility assistance for disabled people, low income families, one parent households, and housing specifically designed for rent based upon income is also available in La Grande and the surrounding area.
Help with utility costs can be found through the Energy Assistance Program. Eligibility is based on income. Energy assistance funds are sometimes limited. Interested individuals are therefore encouraged to apply as soon as possible.
- Adult and Family Services
1901 Adams Avenue Ste. 4
La Grande, OR 97850
- Community Connections
104 Elm Street
La Grande, OR 97850
A subsidy for families with minor children may be available when parents are complying with the Jobs Program. If parents are not eligible, their children may be.
Food Stamps are available for:
- Families who have children six years old or younger when the parents meet financial eligibility requirements. If parents are not eligible, their children may be.
- Work-study students: Students who are working at least 20 hours per week at a job that pays at least minimum wage.
COMMUNITY SERVICES AVAILABLE
The local electrical utility is Oregon Trail Electric Consumer’s Cooperative, 2408 Cove Ave (corner of Cove and 21st Streets), La Grande, 963-3155. WP Natural Gas may be reached by calling 1-800-659-4427.
The phone number for the La Grande City Water Dept. is 541-962-1313.
You may contract for garbage collection services through the City Garbage Service, 541-963-5459.
La Grande City Police have their station near the west end of the university campus on 6 th street. Their office number is 541-963-1017. Their emergency number is 911.
The La Grande Fire Department’s office number is 541-963-3123. Their emergency number is 911.
RENT OR LEASE-WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
Some people are confused about these terms. Often subtle, these differences could prove to be crucial under certain circumstances. The following excerpts have been reprinted from Oregon Legal Services Self Help Series #3, and offer some pertinent information and advice.
What is a rental agreement?
This is a spoken or written agreement between the landlord and tenant which spells out the responsibilities of each. If you have a written agreement, your landlord must give you a copy. Any changes should also be put in writing. Be sure to read any agreement carefully before signing it. Having a written agreement is a good idea; it might help if you get into a dispute with the landlord.
A rental agreement must include any rules made by the landlord. For a landlord’s rule to be valid, you must be notified of it when you enter into the rental agreement, and it must apply fairly to all tenants. If a new rule is made after you enter into the rental agreement, the landlord must get your consent to the rule in writing.
Must a landlord honor spoken agreements?
A spoken rental agreement can be the basis of a court case, but you have to prove what the landlord agreed to. The best proof is the testimony of witnesses present when the agreement was made. Written agreements are better since they are easier to prove.
What is a lease?
Although technically a lease is just a rental agreement, most people use the word “lease” to describe a rental agreement for a longer term, such as a year, at a fixed rate of rent. However, a lease can also say you can be evicted or the rent can be raised with just 30 days written notice. A disadvantage of a long-term lease is that you are obligated to pay rent for the entire term if you move out early unless the landlord finds another tenant. If a new tenant moves in during that time, you do not have to pay for any days the new tenant is there. Your landlord must make reasonable effort to find a new tenant if you move out. (These principles hold true for a month-to-month rental agreement also.)
If you do vacate before the term is up, you can negotiate with the landlord to see if s/he will accept less than full payment. But if the landlord wants full payment, and you refuse, s/he can sue you in Small Claims Court or deduct the money from your deposit.
The Self Help Series #3 offers many answers to legal questions regarding
tenant rights, rental agreements, deposits, repairs, evictions, and other important items.
Copies are available from:
- Oregon Legal Services Regional Office
PO Box 1327
Pendleton, Or 97801
Another good source is http://directory.tenantsunion.org/oregon.html
What’s expected of my landlord?
Essentially the responsibilities of landlords are whatever is agreed to in the rental contract (another reason to read this document carefully.) There is, however, a basic responsibility mandated by State law. Landlords must provide a place of residence that is “habitable.”
“Habitable” would include such items as decent plumbing, locks on outside doors and windows, working appliances and a residence free from vermin.
A typical agreement of landlord duties in a rental contract would be as follows:
Landlord duties : The landlord agrees to make all repairs and do whatever is necessary to put and keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition in compliance with applicable state, county, and municipal laws and regulations.
The landlord will provide: effective water and weather protection, plumbing which conforms to applicable code and is maintained in good working condition, adequate heating facilities, and an electrical system which conforms to applicable codes, and is maintained in good working order, adequate receptacles for removal of garbage, and approved and adequate water supply capable of supplying hot and cold water, physical plant, including appliances, in good repair, safety from fire hazards, premises in clean and sanitary condition, and will maintain all areas under his/her control in a similar condition including grounds except as otherwise agreed upon, and working locks, with keys for all tenants for all outside entries.
What’s expected of me?
In accordance with Oregon State Law, you are required to give 30 days written notice of intent to vacate the premises. You are financially responsible for the premises for 30 days after the vacate notice was received by the landlord.
Shorter notice, however, may be agreed to in the rental contract. (Know your rental agreement!)
Some typical responsibilities that a tenant would agree to in a rental contract are as follows:
Tenant Duties: Tenant agrees to conduct him/herself, and require others on premises with his/her consent, to conduct themselves in a manner that will not disturb neighbors’ peaceful enjoyment, keep all areas under his/her control, and all plumbing fixtures and appliances s/he uses as clean as their condition permits, and to dispose of all waste in a clean and safe manner, use the premises in a reasonable manner considering the purposes for which it was designed and intended, use all appliances and facilities on premises in a reasonable manner, and not deliberately or negligently destroy or remove any part of the premises or knowingly permit others to do so.
In return for all your careful scrutiny, discerning maintenance, and timely rent payments, you should receive, according to the law, “quiet and peaceful enjoyment of the premises.” With good luck, your landlord will grant you this right for which you will be paying. With a little effort and prudence, your relationship with the landlord will be one of mutual respect, and you will gain his/her coveted admiration for being a “good” tenant.