UCSB's University & Community Housing Services is a one-stop resource for rental housing information and dispute resolution. Their experienced staff can answer questions and provide guidance regarding your rental rights and responsibilities. Additionally, they have a site featuring off-campus rental listings (UCSB NetID login required) and they also offer a wide variety of educational workshops, mediation services, and useful forms. Be sure to check out their comprehensive Rental Housing Success Guide as well.

Before signing a lease or putting down a deposit on an off-campus rental, it is strongly recommended that you reach out to the Community Housing Office to verify the listing and provide guidance.

General Information

We have created a map of the local area with neighborhood boundaries and brief descriptions, as well as some amenities like grocery stores, shopping centers, and movie theaters. This map also incorporates the information from the UCSB Community Housing Office.

Room Type | Isla Vista | Goleta | Santa Barbara
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*Based on 2021 average prices in Isla Vista, Goleta, and Santa Barbara provided by the City of Santa Barbara
**NSD= no sample data

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  • With the exception of Isla Vista, most off-campus housing options do not need to be secured months in advance. Landlords usually post open listings when they are available and will want tenants who can move in right away. Plan to start looking for housing about a month before you plan to move in.
  • Year-long leases are typical, but shorter leases and month-to-month options are not uncommon. Always try your hand at negotiating if you need something different than what is offered.
  • It is hard to find places with in-unit laundry, but most have on-site laundry.
  • While the area is very dog-friendly, it can be difficult to find rentals that allow any pets.
  • Most buildings in the area are more than 20 years old, so don’t expect many upgraded features.
  • Be prepared to fill out a rental application, which typically needs past landlord contact information, personal reference contact information, employment information, and financial information (bank and credit card account numbers). There may also be a small application fee.
  • For employment information, it would be helpful to have an enrollment verification letter from UCSB and any fellowship, TAship, or GSR information — the more information you can give a potential landlord about your ability to pay rent on time for the length of the lease will help you secure a place.
  • Expect to pay a security deposit of at least one month’s rent (property providers can ask up to two times the amount of rent for an unfurnished unit), though can be more if you are considered a risky tenant.
  • Depending on your rental history, income, or credit score, you may need to have a co-signer.

Rental Listing Resources

Information for Living in Isla Vista

Due to its close proximity to campus, some students choose to live in Isla Vista, the unincorporated community adjacent to campus that houses some 15,000 residents, most of them UCSB students. Below are some pros/cons of living in Isla Vista, as well as recommendations if you do choose to reside there.


Short walking distance to food (Pardall/Embarcadero Del Mar), lots of local parks, close to the beach, beaches are rarely crowded and are beautiful, biking to campus takes less than 10 minutes, very social atmosphere, some of the apartments do allow pets.


High rates of theft and vandalizing, very loud (especially Thursday-Sunday), lots of glass on the streets


  • Live as far from Del Playa as possible (if you like sleep). The farthest street away with housing is Picasso.
  • Don’t walk around IV alone at night.
  • Many apartments start booking for fall early in January, so start looking now if you want to find an apartment.
  • Bring lots of earplugs.

Some Isla Vista Property Management Companies & Complexes