Leases and Contracts

Leases (Towers 1, 2, and 3)

Types of Leases


Sole leases apply to those living in studios (Tower 3.) and those in couples housing (Towers 1, 2, and 3.) In the case of two CUIMC students sharing couples housing, they must decide who will be the sole leaseholder.  

The leaseholder is responsible for the apartment and rent. 

Multiple Occupancy (Furnished Apartments)

Our multiple occupancy apartments can be found in Towers 2 and 3; they include furnished 3- and 4-bedroom units.

The Office of Housing Services assigns tenants to these apartments; tenants are not able to select roommates. These apartments are single-sex, and students from different schools and programs often live together.

As in all apartments cohabitated by multiple students, tenants are responsible for their individual rents and for determining how to divide payment of utilities, such as gas and electricity.

Joint and Several Lease (Unfurnished Apartment Shares)

Many unfurnished apartments in the Towers 1, 2, and 3 are designated as apartment shares and occupants sign a "joint and several" lease. You can join an apartment share by participating in the Bard to Towers Lottery or when there is a vacancy in an apartment share.

A joint and several lease means that you and your roommates are jointly and separately responsible for the apartment, the rent, and selecting a new roommate when a current roommate moves out.

The original leaseholders are the students who first moved into the apartment; their names appear on the lease for the apartment. When a student decides to vacate the apartment, the remaining tenants have a limited time to select a new roommate. This person must be a full-time Columbia University Irving Medical Center student and will become the second and final leaseholder.

Any student who subsequently moves into the apartment must vacate the apartment when the second and final leaseholder vacates. If the student wishes to continue living in CUIMC housing, he or she must notify us at least 45-60 days before the final leaseholder's vacate date. We will attempt to locate comparable housing on campus.

Signing Your Lease

After you send us your signed housing offer, you'll need to set up a lease signing appointment before you arrive on campus by emailing Rocío Calixto at or emailing us at You can also call 212-305-HELP (4357), option 2, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Your lease signing appointment will take place in person at the Office of Housing Services, which is open for signings Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday signings are only available during the August move-in period, on select Saturdays, 9 a.m.-11 a.m.

You can only move in after you have signed your lease. Plan your travel arrangements to account for your lease signing and move-in dates.

You will be billed starting from the day you sign your lease and obtain your keys. You'll get your keys when you sign your lease—we can't provide them beforehand.

If you are receiving couples housing, please fill out the Couples Housing Access ID Request form (.pdf) and submit it on the day you sign your lease.

What to Bring to Your Lease Signing

  1. One personal check. The check must be in the name of the tenant of record.
    One money order
    One certified bank check. If you are obtaining a certified bank check abroad, make sure it's endorsed by a United States bank. A U.S. address must be included in the check. 
    Note: The check or money order will cover your security deposit and your first full month’s rent. The payment should be made out to Columbia University.
  2. Your Columbia University ID, if you have one, or your driver's license or U.S. passport
  3. If you are not a U.S. citizen or U.S. resident, please bring your passport or visa.

If You're Moving Into Couples Housing

  1. Review Couples Housing Qualifications for any required documentation you'll need.
  2. Bring the Couples Access ID Form (.pdf) to your lease signing.
  3. If any children under 10 years old will be living in the apartment, notify the Office of Housing Services beforehand.

Lease Terms and Renewal

Towers 1, 2, and 3 are all lease-type accommodations and receive the standard New York City lease with additional riders particular to Columbia University. All leases expire on May 31 or June 30 and can be automatically renewed with a standardized increase on June 1 and July 1, respectively, for a one-year term.

Eligibility: Eligible tenants must maintain full-time status in the same degree program. Fourth-year medical students who match at Columbia University Irving Medical Center can remain in CUIMC housing for an additional year and will be relocated to a studio in Tower 3 or 154 Haven, if available. Matched medical students who are already living in couples housing may stay in the same apartment for the additional year. All tenants must be in compliance with the terms and conditions of the lease and contract.

Renewal: Offers to extend a lease agreement are normally emailed to you in May, with start dates of June 1 and July 1. Tenants are responsible for the rent throughout the term of their lease, including the summer months. If you expect to be out of town for the summer, you may want to sublet your apartment. Residents of Bard Hall and Georgian Building cannot sublet their units.

If you choose not to renew: If you don't renew your lease and want to apply for CUIMC housing at a later date, you'll have to reapply and will be placed on a waitlist for continuing students.

Questions about your lease? Email or call 212-305-HELP (4357), option 2.

Housing Contracts (Bard Hall, Georgian Residence, and 154 Haven Ave.)

Signing Your Contract

Once you've submitted your application online, we'll review available housing units.

If you are assigned to Georgian Residence, Bard Hall, or 154 Haven Ave., you will receive an offer packet, which includes a contract and offer sheet, via email sometime between mid-June and late August. If you decide to accept the offer, please email us a signed copy of your contract. Upon receipt, a $300 initial room payment will be billed to your student account. The $300 payment is part of the fall semester charges and is non-refundable for incoming students. The remaining semester balance will be charged to your account soon after. Students at 154 Haven Ave. are not charged a $300 initial room payment.

The contract start date is the earliest move-in date; it is listed on the offer sheet. You can move in as long as you have notified the Office of Housing Services of your arrival date and your signed contract has been submitted. You will be billed from the day you obtain your keys.

If you are receiving couples housing, please fill out and submit the Couples Housing Access ID Request form (.pdf).

Contract Terms and Renewal

If you live in Bard Hall, Georgian Residence or 154 Haven Ave., we provide you with a housing contract. Contracts are billed by term by Student Financial Services and terminate in either May or June. Check your contract for your specific end date. Contracts can be renewed, with a standardized rent increase, each April for the following academic year, as long as you are eligible.

Eligibility: Eligible student residents must maintain full-time student status in the same degree program. You must be in compliance with the terms and conditions of the contract. If you violate the terms and conditions or other University policies, your contract will not be renewed. Contract start dates vary, so check your contract for your start date.

Renewal: Contract holders can renew their contracts in April. When you graduate, or if you no longer maintain the same full-time student medical center affiliation, your contract automatically terminates and you must vacate your unit.

If you choose not to renew: If you don't renew your lease and want to apply for CUIMC housing at a later date, you'll have to reapply and will be placed on a waitlist for continuing students.

Summer housing: Students currently living in Bard Hall or Georgian Residence who will be doing academic work during the summer at CUIMC can apply for summer housing. Applications are available in March at the Office of Housing Services, with an April deadline.

Questions about your housing contract or about summer housing? Email or call 212-305-HELP (4357), option 2. For billing-specific questions, call Student Financial Services at 212-342-4790.