Housing Vocabulary: Words and phrases you should know



View of Laird Campus housing from the Laird Bridge

It can be hard to understand all of the special words and phrases that are specific to your housing situation.

To help you to better communicate with staff about your housing-related needs, we have created this list of words and phrases.


These are the things that you get at your apartment or in the apartment complex. ELI housing amenities always include basic furniture and utilities. Some ELI apartment options include a swimming pool, movie theater, or a study lounge in the amenities. 


These are the water, electric, heat, and air conditioner in your apartment. Utilities can be very expensive, so one benefit of choosing an ELI housing option is that the utilities are included in the rental fee.

Maintenance Request

This is what you should do if something is broken or not working in your apartment. You should always submit your maintenance requests by email so that you have proof that you told the management that something was broken.


A legally binding contract between you and the property management of an apartment complex. A lease is signed by you and the management before you can move into your apartment. You should always read your lease carefully or ask someone for help if you do not understand the terms of your lease. Always take a copy of any lease you sign.

After you sign a lease, you are legally responsible to meet the terms of the lease. Do NOT sign a lease unless you understand what you are signing!

Renew Your Lease

If your lease ends, you have to move out. If you are going to continue studying at the ELI and you do not want to move out, you can choose to “renew your lease” for another lease term. This is common at the ELI. Students are encouraged to sign a “session-long lease” and then renew the lease if you plan to stay for another session.


This is the money that you pay to live in the apartment. Rent might be due in full before you move in or you might pay your rent month by month.

In Full

This means that you are required to pay the full amount of money for rent before you move in.

example: Rent is due “in full” when you move in at Pine Brook.

Security Deposit

The payment you make when you move into your housing to pay for anything that is damaged when you move out.

Terms and Conditions

The rules and policies at the place where you live. Be sure to ask questions if you do not understand the terms and conditions of your lease.

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