Housing Policies

If you're living on campus at Columbia University Irving Medical Center or thinking of living on campus, please review these policies.

Floor Covering

In the event that another tenant complains of noise, you will be required to provide area rugs that cover 80 percent of the floor area, to comply with the terms of your contract or lease.

Health and Safety

The Office of Housing Services wants to ensure the health and safety of all our tenants. In case of an emergency, call 911 and CUIMC Public Safety at 212-305-7979 immediately.

If you believe that a fellow student or tenant has a health or safety issue and feel it’s not necessary to call 911, call the Office of Housing Services during business hours (8 a.m.-5 p.m.). If it's after-hours, call CUIMC Public Safety at 212-305-8100 so a record of the issue is kept.

Student Health Service offers a variety of support services during the day, including:

  • Mental Health Services in Tower 1, Suite 1D
  • Addiction Information and Management Strategies in Bard Hall, Suite 102
  • Center for Student Wellness in Bard Hall, Suite 107 and Room 101
  • Primary Care Medical Services in Tower 1, Lobby Level B234

No Pets

Dogs, cats, and any other animals are not permitted in any apartment or residence hall at CUIMC unless you have written permission from the Office of Housing Services or the Office of Disability Services. There are no exceptions.

No Smoking

Smoking is prohibited on all CUIMC property, both indoors and outdoors. This policy extends to all CUIMC residential facilities, including all apartments; public spaces such as lobbies, hallways, and stairwells; building entrances; adjacent courtyards; garages; and rooftops.

If you, the tenant, or anyone in your apartment is found smoking, a $250 fine will be imposed on everyone living in your apartment for each occurrence. Learn more about Smoke-Free at CUIMC.

Overnight Guests

If you have a guest staying for one night only, you can sign him or her in with your building's door attendants or the Public Safety officer on post. If you have a visitor staying for longer than one night, you'll have to get a guest pass from the Office of Housing Services. Bring a copy of your visitor’s state ID or passport and a copy of your CUIMC ID. Guests are not to stay on a permanent basis and will be granted a 2-week maximum pass in any consecutive 30 day period. Be sure to inform your roommates about any expected guests and of the duration of their visit. Visitors must present their pass when entering a residential building. This pass does not grant access to any other building on campus. Tenants must be present when having a guest over. 

Lockout assists or duplicate keys will not be provided to any guests. You are responsible for the actions of your guest at all times.

Pest Control

If you suspect a rodent or insect infestation in your unit, contact the Office of Housing Services immediately. We have the right to enter your living area to verify the situation, with or without an outside professional. Evidence of an infestation must be found or no treatment will be performed.

Not complying with procedures given to you by the Office of Housing Services and outside professionals can result in future infestations.


All residents must cooperate with CUIMC and New York City’s recycling programs. Separate all newspapers, corrugated cardboard, and magazines, and rinse and separate jars, bottles, and cans before placing them in the designated recycling area of your building. Recycling and regular sanitation procedures are posted in your building. If you have any questions, contact the superintendent or Operations Manager of your building. Learn more on our Energy and Sustainability webpages and at NYC Zero Waste. Check out our pilot composting program.


The Office of Housing Services does not provide storage space on campus.

Unsanitary Living Conditions

The Office of Housing Services has the right to inspect all dorms, rooms, and apartments to ensure cleanliness. A notice will be sent to the tenant of record indicating the day and time of inspection. If the tenant of record is not available to give access at that time, we will go ahead and enter the unit.


Thirty to 45 days before you move out of your on-campus housing, a representative from the Office of Housing Services will inspect your living area. If it exceeds the normal wear and tear, we will inspect the damages and may charge you for them.

Window Guards

You should receive a child window safety guard notice when you sign your lease. After you move in, you'll get a notice once a year. New York City landlords are required by law to install child guards in your apartment if you have children under the age of 10 living with you, or if you request child guards. If small children will be visiting your apartment, you should install child guards. If you did not receive a child guard notice or if you decide you need child guards, contact the Office of Housing Services immediately.

Child guards are not the same as burglar or security bars, which can be wide enough to allow a child to slip through. Child guards are not designed to protect against intruders.