Most international students who stay for over a semester choose to live in nearby off-campus apartments. Sharing a standard apartment with one or two roommates may cost the same or even less than the cost of the dorms.
If you live in Ramat Aviv, you can walk to TAU. Living in the city center allows you to have access to the beach and the city action. From Tel Aviv, the bus takes anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes to reach the university.
The first question to ask yourself when looking for housing is: Do I want to live near the University in Ramat Aviv or in central Tel Aviv? Please refer to the Map of Tel Aviv.
Apartment hunting in Tel Aviv can be quite time consuming, and the process might be lengthy. This can be partially explained by the extremely fast-moving market. Students are advised to set time aside specifically for apartment hunting prior to the start of the program. Two to three weeks are recommended for apartment searching.
There are plenty of real estate brokers but expect to pay one month's rent as a finder's fee if you find an apartment through them, plus 18% VAT.
As previously mentioned, students may also want to consider finding a short-term solution, such as short-term rentals or hostels for the first couple of weeks while looking for a permanent apartment.
Feel free to ask anybody and everybody. This is actually a very effective way of finding housing, jobs, and information in the area. Personal connections go far in Israel, especially since apartments come and go very quickly in the city. We are happy to help, even if it is just to brainstorm ideas about finding what is right for you. Another great resource for apartments and other things is our Tel Aviv University International student HUB Facebook page. You can post questions and see other relevant posts.
When looking for an apartment, we highly recommend clarifying the following issues:
- Where is the apartment located?
- How big is the apartment in square meters?
- On what floor is the apartment? If it is on the ground floor, are there security bars on the windows?
- What appliances are included in the apartment (many apartments do not include major appliances such as an oven, stove, or fridge)?
- What furniture is included?
- Is there air conditioning? Heating?
- What else is included in the apartment?
- Is there a roommate? What are your impressions of him/her?
- What does your rental payment include (va'ad bayit - building maintenance fees? All inclusive - water, gas, electricity, maintenance fees, cable Internet, phone, etc.?)?
- How often is payment due and in what form (12 checks in advance? 6 checks in advance? 1 lump sum? Cash - never pay cash unless you receive a receipt)?
- How much is arnona (municipality tax) and water every month?
- Is there an electric heater for water (dood chashmal) or is it solar powered (dood shemesh)?
- How much is electricity, on average, per month?
- How much are the va'ad bayit maintenance fees each month?
Signing the Lease
- Can the lease be written in English?
- Is there a need for a guarantor?
- Do they require a lawyer to review the lease? If so, who covers the cost?
- Make sure to visit the neighborhood during both the day and at night to get a feel for the area. Is it loud at night? Does it feel safe after dark? Is it near a bus route to the University?