Even when you have a general idea of what you would like in an place to live, finding an apartment can be a difficult, and sometimes frustrating process. DrexelOCH is currently recommending starting your search 6 months ahead of time in order to maximize your options.
Listed below are sites for you to browse for housing. Utilize as many resources as you can, the more you shop around, the better deal you can get. We recommend using as many resources as you can, the more you shop around, the better deal you can get. The best place to start is the Drexel Off-Campus Housing Site
The links below will help you learn about neighborhoods, and the department of licenses and inspections
http://cml.upenn.edu/crimebase/ This is the crime base database. They utilize the crime data that is collected by the Philadelphia Police Department to create graphs and look at trends. They have a detailed user guide section, but for a quick start you can click on "Neighborhood Reports", then under the advanced section, click next with "Zipcodes" as your geography.
http://www.phila.gov/build/ This is the Philadelphia BUILD website. Here you can search records for individual addresses. L&I stands for Licenses and Inspections. This tab will let you know if there are any violations on record for any given property.
http://www.phila.gov/li This is the Philadelphia department of Licenses and Inspections website. On it, you will find a link for "certificate of rental suitability". I would encourage you to read the letter from the commissioner to landlords that is available there. Also, check out the link for “Partners for Good Housing”. It’s a document that states what makes a habitable home in Philadelphia county.
And finally, please feel free to download the Apartment Scouting Checklist, that can help you keep track of the different apartments you will view.
Any information given on this website is not a substitute for legal advice. If you have a legal question, please seek out legal counsel as soon as possible. Additionally, any information given is presented as a service. Drexel University Off Campus Housing does not endorse any website, realtor, apartment, or home. Drexel OCH encourages renters to be cautious and aware, and to make informed decisions when searching for housing.