A Place to Live
It may not be easy to find a good, inexpensive place for your family to live. You can find advertisements for places to live in the Lawrence newspaper, The Lawrence Journal-World, and the campus newspaper, The University Daily Kansan.
If you rent an apartment or a house, the owner may ask you to sign a lease. This is a legal agreement between you and the owner of the building about payments, repairs, and what to do when you move out of the apartment. Be sure you read the lease carefully and understand it before you sign your name. The Applied English Center staff will read the agreement with you if you bring it to our office. Student Legal Services will explain the legal requirements of the lease.
Apartments in the United States are rented furnished or unfurnished. Furnished means that basic furniture, such as tables, chairs, beds, a stove and a refrigerator, is in the apartment. However, you must bring your own dishes, silverware, pots and pans, sheets, blankets, and other things that you need. Unfurnished means that the owner provides no furniture, or else provides only a refrigerator and stove. If a stove and refrigerator are in the apartment, make sure the lease says that they are provided by the owner.
You will probably pay for utilities (water, electricity, gas), but the owners of some apartments may pay for one or more of the utilities. Your lease should say who (you or the owner) pays for water, electricity, and gas. Most customers must pay the utility companies a deposit (an amount of money). Deposit money might be returned after one year of service or when you move out of the apartment.
The City of Lawrence Water Department operates the water system. Some apartments may be “all electric” with electricity for heat and cooking, but other apartments will have gas for cooking, heating and/or water heating. Aquila provides natural gas. Westar provides electricity to homes in Lawrence. Utility charges (gas or electricity) for heat during cold weather and air conditioning during hot weather may be very expensive. Before renting an apartment you should ask the owner about average utility charges.