Short Term Housing
Short term housing is available through the University, through Hosteling International-USA, at a Bed and Breakfast, as well as through private owners.
The University of Tennessee at Knoxville has several short term housing options available. For detailed information, check out their web site at: http://uthousing.utk.edu/
There is only one hostel located in Knoxville and they do not currently accept bookings on line. The hostel is called the Knoxville Hostel and they are located at 404 E. Fourth Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37917. Phone: (865)546-8090. Cost between $15-$20 per night.
Bed and Breakfast
Generally these are more expensive option but they may be useful while you look for longer term housing. Bed and Breakfasts in Knoxville include:
Maplehurst Inn Bed & Breakfast
European Style Inn - Downtown Historic District
Maple Grove Inn
Southern-style house in a quiet wooded area.
One source of short term housing are corporate apartments. The largest provider of this are apartments located in apartment communities located throughout the city. Many of these apartments include extra amenities, but are higher in price than other options. For more information go to: http://www.corporatehousing.com/display.asp?site=3482 http://www.suitenet.org/cities/Knoxville.asp If you wish to sublet a house, we recommend, www.sublet.com
Long Term Housing
Long term housing is available both on and off campus.
Information about on campus housing is available through the University Housing Office. Their website is: http://uthousing.utk.edu/ Scholars are required to make their own housing selections and arrangements. We strongly recommend that you make your housing plans in advance as hotels can be expensive here.
Off campus Housing Accommodations- Long Term
There are a large variety of housing options available to international students and scholars in the area. While living on campus provides you with the opportunity to meet and socialize with other students, you may want to save on costs by living off campus. Relatively inexpensive housing is, however, available both on-campus and within walking or driving distance to campus. Knoxville also has bus and shuttle service available to many residential areas.
Most international students and scholars live in apartments or houses which they share with other students in the vicinity of campus. Often students enjoy sharing living space with other students and it also helps them to save on their expenses. Generally, many students and scholars prefer to rent the less expensive unfurnished apartments and then buy inexpensive second hand furniture.
Renters or "tenants" generally have to pay for their own utilities (electricity, gas, water and telephone), although the monthly rent may include some of these. The owner or manager will provide you with information about obtaining utility services. It is important when renting an apartment or house to ascertain which utilities, if any, are included in the rent such as water, heat, and/or electricity. Phones are never included in the price of the rent, although cable television may be. The CIE can provide you with information about signing up with utility companies if they are not included in the rent, although the landlord will generally have this information as well.
A good source of information about off campus housing in the area is through the free bi-monthly publication called Apartment for Rent. This publication is a comprehensive guide to apartments and other rental properties in the area. Another easy way to find an apartment is to simply walk or drive around the area and look for "apartments for rent" signs. Off campus housing is available through a number of private and corporate vendors.
The University web site lists some resources at: http://uthousing.utk.edu/offcampus.shtml
Some other web sites with listings include: http://www.theplacetolive.com/knoxville/index.html
What to Consider When Renting
When renting an apartment or flat, it is also important to promptly complete the checklist of defects, if any, so you are not charged for any damage to the apartment when you are moving out. You should also read carefully and thoroughly any lease you are asked to sign. When looking for an apartment or other unit to rent, keep these things in mind:
- Consider the convenience of the location to the Lewis campus(es), to neighborhood stores.
- Look at the neighborhood; will you feel comfortable?
- Look carefully at the rental property.;
- Is it in good repair?
- Does it have an air conditioner? (summers are hot in this area)
- Is it clean and are the building and grounds well-tended?
- Are pets permitted?
- Is there a swimming pool?
- Ask whether there are laundry machines to wash and dry your clothes.
- If not, is there a commercial laundromat nearby?
If you choose to rent a unit, you may ask to speak to references - that is, people who have lived there before and would be willing to recommend the place.
Renting in the U.S.
Usually, when you rent an apartment or house in the U.S., you will be required to sign a lease. A lease is a written agreement between a tenant and a landlord describing the rights and responsibilities of each. This is common in the United States as Americans like agreements reduced to writing so there is no misunderstandings.
A lease is a binding legal document which, among other things, makes the tenant responsible for any damage to the rental property. The lease also specifies the landlordís responsibilities for maintenance and repair of the unit. The lease will explain how much rent is due for each month, the date it is due, and the penalties if it is not given to the landlord on time. A lease may or may not contain provisions concerning its early termination.
When you sign a lease, you will usually have to pay a "security deposit" which may amount to as much as two monthsí rent. The landlord is required to return the deposit after you leave the apartment/house if you have paid your rent, left the apartment clean and undamaged, and have not been evicted (asked to leave by the apartment manager). If all of your deposit is not returned, the landlord should give you a written statement explaining why some or all of the deposit was withheld.
You should read the lease completely before signing. There are certain sections that require special attention. Make sure the lease runs for the length of time which you will need the apartment, but not longer. Ask if the lease can be renewed yearly or monthly when it expires and if there are options to sign the lease for shorter periods of time in case you find an accommodation which better suits your needs.
It is also important to find out what the conditions are under which you can "break" the lease (move out of the apartment), how much prior notice (usually one or two months) you have to give the landlord, and what the penalty is if you break the lease early. If you cannot break the lease, you may be required to pay rent until the end of the lease period even if you move out and live somewhere else. Ask if you may "sublet" (have another tenant rent the apartment in your absence) or if you can share the apartment with another. This can be helpful if you spend a semester away on an internship.
It is also a good idea to purchase "renterís insurance" (also called "homeownerís insurance") to protect against losses caused by fire, theft, or vandalism. This kind of insurance covers personal belongings in your house or apartment. It may also cover theft to items left in your car if you have one. It also covers damages for which you would be legally liable if a fire or other accident that was your fault damaged the apartment building and/or the property of other renters.
The cost of renterís insurance varies depending on the value of your personal possessions, but is relatively low. When buying insurance, get rate information from two or three different insurance agents. The names of insurance agentsí and their telephone numbers are in the telephonedirectory yellow pages under "insurance." Your landlord may also have information about insurance agents who provide rental insurance.
Off-Campus Telephone Service
In order to install a new telephone line in your apartment/ room, you will need to call BellSouth.International Students and scholars who are new to this country might be required to pay a fee deposit. BellSouth will return the deposit after one year.
BellSouth will provide your local service and you can choose a long distance carrier (AT&T, MCI, Sprint, LCI) at the time of installation.
Bellsouth also provides several custom features that can be added to your telephone service for an additional charge each month, as well as internet service. Cable television is provided through BellSouth as well as through other service providers such as Comcast.
You can learn about these features by checking the local telephone book or by calling BellSouth.
You will need to have a social security number or ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) and your local address available when you call BellSouth.