The University of Iowa

Off Campus Housing Information, Hotels, Rental Rights, and Utilities

Short-Term Stay

These options are available for students who arrive a few days before residence halls or apartments are open.  You can also check the "Hotels" section below for additional options.

  • Iowa House Hotel – A hotel located on campus in the Iowa Memorial Union that may offer discounted rates for both students as well as parents during orientation. Reservation recommended.
  • Heartland Inn - A hotel in Coralville with flexible short-term stay options, provides a shuttle to campus and other locations.  Flexibility for international students who do not have a credit card or are below the age of 21.  May have some information available in multiple languages  Reservation recommended.


There are many hotels in the Iowa City area where students and scholars can stay when they first arrive and before they are able to move in to their permanent housing.  It is recommended to always make a reservation.  A listing of lodging options can be found on the website of the Think Iowa City.

Students, or those making hotel arrangements for them, do need to be careful about age requirements and whether a credit card is required at the time of checking in.  Some hotels have minimum age requirements that would prevent a new 18 year old student from staying there.  Others may require use of a credit card at the time of checking in.  

On-Campus Housing Information

Types of student housing in Iowa City include University Residence Halls (for single students), University Apartments (which accommodate some single students as well as students with families), and off-campus rooms or apartments. The UI offers housing for single students in several residence halls, and for families in University Apartments. Information about both kinds of units is at the website for University Housing & Dining. The University Housing & Dining website also has helpful resources for new international students who plan to move into the residence halls.

Off-Campus Housing Information

The Off-Campus Living website can help students find off-campus housing information as well as other important information and support services related to off-campus living. 

Rental Guide - Your Rights While Renting

Student Legal Services provides legal advice to University of Iowa students at no cost.  They publish an informative series of articles in their Rental Guide covering the rights you have as renters.  If you ever encounter difficulty with a landlord, contact Student Legal Services immediately for guidance.

The City of Iowa City Human Rights Office also has a website that includes information on discrimination and fair housing, along with a complaint form that can be filled out by anyone experiencing instances of discrimination.  Their brochures are available in English, Spanish, Arabic, and Mandarin.

Renter’s Insurance

Prudent tenants purchase “renter’s insurance” (which might also be called “homeowner’s insurance”) to protect against losses caused by fire, theft, or vandalism. This kind of insurance covers personal belongings in your room or apartment, and 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 responsibility damages the building in which you rent and/or the property of other renters in your building. The cost of renter’s insurance varies depending on the value of your personal possessions, but is relatively low. When buying insurance, it is considered wise to get rate information from two or three different insurance agents.


Once you have your housing, you may need to contact services which provide utilities such as gas, electricity, and water. Ask your landlord which services are included in the rental costs. See the Off-Campus Living Guide for more information on maintenance, utilities, and other topics.  

Disposal of Trash and Garbage and Recycling

Ask your landlord what you should do with trash and garbage. Refuse is collected once weekly in Iowa City and Coralville.  If your apartment has a garbage (that is, food waste) disposal in the sink, be sure to ask your landlord what kinds of waste should and should not be put into it. (A garbage disposal is a machine that grinds food waste and allows it to be washed down the sink drain).

Curbside Recycling

Both Iowa City and Coralville have voluntary curbside recycling programs. Ask your landlord or a neighbor what can be recycled, what containers to use for items you want recycled, and what the pick-up schedule is in your neighborhood. Find out more about Iowa City recycling or Coralville recycling.

UI Recycling

The UI Office of Sustainability has recycling and waste reduction initiatives over the past few years.