When is the best time to start searching for housing in Isla Vista?

We’ve all heard “the early bird gets the worm,” but when it comes to housing for next year in I.V. and all of the other options you might want to consider, there are plenty of plump, juicy worms all throughout the year. Community Housing Office (CHO) deals with a lot (and I mean A LOT) of roommate conflicts every year, most resulting from people choosing their roommates in haste because of the unnecessary “housing rush” they fall into every Fall and early Winter. Get to know your roommates before signing a legally-binding, joint-and-several lease with people you barely know (or think you know but really don’t). Please take special note of this sentence: Best friends (new or old) often do not make best roommates. Take the time to figure out your rental budget and where in the community you want to live, especially since peer pressure can be very strong when it comes to making important housing decisions. Come to CHO with your potential roommates to pick up our list of roommate questions and ask CHO staff any questions you might have. We will read over your lease, help you figure out if your potential roommates are good matches, and help you brainstorm ways to tell someone you would rather not live with them (ugh!).

In summary, there are more than enough rentals in Isla Vista, as well as great options in university housing, that you don’t need to rush yourself or agree to live with incompatible roommates for a price you aren’t comfortable with. Looking all through winter and spring quarter is fine, and you may even see prices drop! CHO will be doing a series of programs in mid-January in the residence halls that will address everything you need to know about making the best choice for you. Don’t get caught up in the hype; there are way too many choices to consider before signing on the dotted line!


What is the legality of hanging out on our IV rooftop? Can our landlords kick us off (or out)?

Property providers are not trying to ruin your chance to see the Isla Vista sunset from a great spot or sun yourself high in the sky by disallowing you to hang out on the roof. They are protecting you (from falling off) and protecting themselves (from you falling off and suing them and damaging the roof itself). Rooftops are not meant to be used as social gathering places (they can’t handle a lot of foot traffic or weight) so it is appropriate for a landlord or property manager to include in their lease that this is disallowed. Your property provider (or the police!) can certainly give you a warning or two to stop the behavior, as it is a breach of your contract (and dangerous). If the behavior is continued, they could potentially give you a 3-day notice for breach of contract if the violation is substantial enough or charge you for damages caused by you and your lawn chair. Don’t risk your life and limbs or your lease — there are so many other beautiful places meant for gathering and sunbathing in Isla Vista and the surrounding Santa Barbara area.


How many bugs are too many bugs? Our house has lots of crawlers but we don’t want to go through the hassle of getting it tented unless it’s totally necessary.

First of all, make sure your house is clean and your stuff is put away since bugs are drawn to trash and leftover smelly food (plus, this is one of your responsibilities in keeping your rental habitable!). Secondly, use bug spray in and around your rental where you see bugs. If you notice an obvious hole or crevice where they are coming in or don’t have a screen covering your windows, submit a written maintenance request to your landlord for repairs. If all your attempts at keeping your rental clean and bug-free fail, submit a note to your landlord requesting they check out the buggy situation. You are entitled, according to California Civil Code section 1941.1, to “clean and sanitary buildings, grounds and appurtenances (for example, a garden or detached garage), free from debris, filth, rubbish, garbage, rodents and vermin.” Your property provider may need to send over an exterminator or maintenance person to see where the creepy-crawlies are finding their way in and spray with stronger chemicals. The cleaner your house is when this happens, the better, so that the property manager doesn’t try to hold you responsible. Typically a place won’t get tented unless the situation is really bad or many apartments have bugs and individual extermination treatments aren’t working. Having trouble getting a response from your property provider? Log onto CHO’s advising page (www.housing.ucsb.edu/chohelp.htm) for a speedy answer from our housing experts.


What is the average rent for an IV renter? How does that figure compare to university-owned housing or downtown apartment complexes?

We tell students to expect to spend $600-$700 to share a double room in Isla Vista; however, I’ve heard of students spending as low as $425 and as much as $950 for a double. Rental amounts depend on a number of factors (location, included utilities, laundry, parking, age of building, amenities, property provider, etc.). Prices for university-owned apartments tend to be below market value compared to Isla Vista (from $533-$716) and include all utilities, furnishings and 9-month contracts. Additionally, the security deposit for the university apartments is $150. UCSB Residence Halls are well-priced considering the meals, housekeeping, grounds, convenience, security, programming, utilities, furnishings, 9-month contract and requiring no security deposit. A little known fact: based on UCSB Financial Aid estimated budgets, if you live in the residence halls for your first two years, then in UCSB-owned apartments, you will spend less at the end of your four-year stay than if you were to live in the res halls your first year and I.V. the remaining three years!

Although the prices of studios ($900-$1,100) and one-bedroom apartments ($1,100-$1,400) don’t vary that much from Isla Vista to Goleta or downtown, it is the two-bedroom places where you notice the biggest difference. Two-bedroom apartments in Isla Vista typically are priced to house four people, so if you consider each person is paying about $650, you find an average price of $2600. Average two-bedrooms in Goleta or downtown are priced anywhere from $1400-$2200, depending on all the extras and whether it is an apartment, duplex or house. Security deposits for rentals in Isla Vista, Goleta and Santa Barbara can set you and your apartment-mates back up to two times the amount of rent for an unfurnished rental and up to three times for a furnished rental.

Maya Salmon is Program Coordinator for UCSB’s CHO.


Questions about mold? Concerns about housemates? Queries about leases? Roommate conflicts? CHO can help!


Stop by the UCen Third Floor, call us at 805-893-4371, email us at ucsbcho@housing.ucsb.edu or “like” us on facebook.com/ucsbcho.