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All essential information for freshmen.
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Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:31 am


Postby Nish » Sun Oct 23, 2016 10:12 pm



Non-Eu students need to apply for a residence permit within 8 days of
landing in Italy. For the application, you will need to a permanent address. You also need a permanent address to apply for a codice fiscale.

If you’re not from Rome, and if you cannot speak Italian or if you don’t know anyone who does, you may find it quite difficult to find suitable accommodation as soon as you arrive (especially if you have to apply for the residency permit within 8 days of landing).

Hence there are 2 services that you may be able to use in such a situation

Sturent – This is a company that helps Sapienza students find apartments/rooms.
They let you search through their database based on your needs. Then you will be able to meet up with the landlords to discuss anything. It is free of charge and they will help you throughout selecting your preferred accommodation and signing the contract. It is free of charge and is highly recommended. You will be able to find Sturent desks near the HELLO office from October till November, and also afterwards but on selected days.

You could also email them at– They also have a facebook page – sturent sapienza, where you can find many pictures of their apartments.

Residenza conti/ Residenza Giulia – They have rooms with a price range from 500- 800/900 euros a month and offer private studios or rooms with shared bathroom and kitchen (with only one other flat mate). They also have an English speaking reception. They offer a monthly contract which you could extend or terminate at very short notice, so that you could move out to a better apartment once you get your bearings of the city and once all paperwork is over.

Email –

However, they are quite far from the university (20-40 mins by tram), and they
are not very well connected. Inside the building is very secure, however, the
surrounding neighborhood is rundown and not very safe.

You may also decide to search for accommodation on your own. The following information is to help with this.

Choosing a location.

Near Sapienza and all around the city center, prices usually range from 350 to 700 euros/month for a single room.However, in the periphery, you also get a whole apartment for the same price. The final price is determined by several factors, primarily by the location of the apartment, the number of rooms/toilets and other facilities (e.g. air conditioning). Moreover, monthly expenses vary greatly if you rent a single room (usually 20-40 euros/month) or an entire flat (you pay additional taxes).

Choosing the right area in Rome is critical. In fact, since you're probably going to rely exclusively on public transport, make sure it is well connected with the University. Take a look at: for all the available connections.

Moreover, here's a list of public transports in order of reliability (from best to worst):

1) Underground. It is efficient, frequent, but also crowded. Very few days a year, some underground stations may be closed for technical problems or very bad weather conditions.
2) Frequent buses.
3) Trams. They are convenient, frequent and mostly on time, but sometimes a car accident along the railway may block the entire circulation for hours (buses do not have this problem).
4) Trains and infrequent buses. The only options for the periphery.

Recommended areas are: 

- Trieste/Parioli: 10-30 minutes by tram, northern to La Sapienza. Lots of students, mostly from LUISS University. (highly recommended if you are a runner/street workout athlete, due to its huge parks) 
- Bologna/Tiburtina: 5-25 minutes on foot, eastern to La Sapienza. Lots of students, mostly from our University.
- Many others throughout the city.

Try not to choose an accommodation which is more than 40-50 minutes far from the Uni.

Selecting Accomadation

When choosing a new room, there are so many things to pay attention to. In fact, if you should have the misfortune to pick the wrong one, you may spend terrible months. This list will help you out in your selection process. Of course, it is unlikely that your accommodation will satisfy all of the following criteria. So, just pick up the essential ones (in your opinion):

- Is the apartment located in front of a major road, disco, pub, airport or railway station? 
- Is your room located next to the kitchen, toilet or any other source of noise during the night (e.g. washing machine!)?
- Are the fixtures new? Are they provided with double glasses?
- What about the thickness of the walls? Does your flatmate's Hi-fi/TV disturb you with the door closed?

- How many persons live in the apartment?
- Do they smoke? 
- Do they have pets?
- Are they students or workers? 
- Their routines/habits?
- Have they set any rule?
- Is the apartment clean? Who is responsible for cleaning? How often?
- Who is the landlord/lady of the apartment? Does he or she live in the same flat? Is he or she dependable and helpful?

- Is the toilet private? If not, is the persons-to-toilet ratio larger than 2?
- Is there a window? If not, is there a fan?
- Bath tub or shower?
- Standard WC or Sanitrit-based WC? (The latter type of WC is far less popular and breaks down much more easily)
- Hot water: gas or electricity? (Gas is much better! With an electricity-based heating system, you may run out of hot water after one single shower)

- Is the exposure of the room to sun light good enough? (High exposure to sun light may be preferable, but it also implies a very hot room during the late spring/summer period)
- Air conditioning?
- Wardrobe?
- Desk?
- Shelf?
- 24h Wi-fi connection? Is the Wi-fi connection satisfactory in your room? Does it really work well 24/7?
- Single or double bed?
- Balcony?
- TV?

- Is there a washing machine?
- Is there a dishwasher? (quite rare...)
- Is there a dryer for the laundry? If not, where can you hang outclothes? (try to avoid your room!)
- Has the refrigerator enough space for everyone?
- Microwave? 
- Oven?
- What about dishes/cutlery/tableware? Is the kitchen really furnished?
- Enough shelves?

- Terrace?
- Elevator? 
- Doorman?
- Is your apartment located on the first floor/middle/basement? 
- Is the apartment new or has it been recently renovated? 

- University (if distant > 5kms, are you really sure? Connections in Rome are not very good compared to other European cities)
- Supermarket
- Gyms, etc...

How to search for your housing

You may use the following websites when trying to find accomadation.

7) immobiliare - for real estate housing.

Facebook groups that may be of help include,

1) VCN Rome.
2) Expats of Rome Noticeboard.
4) STUDENTI in cerca di CAMERE in affitto [ROMA]
5) Fittasi Affitasi Stanze studenti o studentessa Roma.
6) Affitasi Roma
7) Cerco casa piazza bologna.

Spotahome has good rooms, but they will not allow you to visit the houses before signing the contract.

You may also try to search for a long term rental via Airbnb, but the choice available is very limited.

You may also phone the many apartments advertised on the University noticeboards and those posted outside but close to sapienza. Hello office offers to help you out, should you run into difficulties with the language. If you bring the adverts to Hello office they will talk to the landlord on behalf of you.

Alternatively you can also use newsapers, some of which are available free of charge near news stands, bars, pubs etc. Porta portese is a local paper which comes out on Tuesdays and Fridays with many classified ads. They also have a website Click on immobiliare and Affitto-Subaffitto

You can also choose to do this by word of mouth.

Some things to keep in mind.

1) Always insist on visiting the apartment before you sign anything. You will find many ads, both on websites as well as on facebook showing you pictures of beautiful apartments, but when asked to visit, the owner will tell you that they are out of town and to wire the money to a particular address with the promise of mailing you the keys. Do not fall into this trap. You will simply be cheated out of your money.

2) You are usually expected to pay 1-2 months deposit which is refundable at the end of your stay provided there are no major damages. 3 months deposit is sometimes asked, but this is not the norm. If its 3 months or careful.

3) If you use a real estate agent, you will be able to see some housing options faster and more conveniently but you will also be required to pay the fee of one month's rent to them ( which is non refundable) + VAT, in addition to the deposit paid to the owner. Also, you will most often not be able to meet the owner before you sign the contract, as the agent will be involved in handling these things.

4) Any natural repairs ( and most repairs for that matter) that is needed for the house should be paid for by the owner. However, if there are any major damages ( such as a hole in the wall, broken glass window etc), you will need to pay for it. This is especially true if the damage that occurred was your fault.

If it is your duty to pay, and the cost is very high, this will be deducted from your deposit. If the cost is not so high, you will have to pay for it.

5) There is a practice in Rome involving illegal student contracts ( ie – contracts that will not be registered with the agenzia dell'entrata so that the owner does not have to pay taxes). Although such rental agreements are usually cheaper and it is noted that a lot of landlords who do this are otherwise honest and will treat you fairly, bear in mind that If they don't, your contract will give you no legal protection whatsoever. You will be at the mercy of the landlord as to when to terminate the contract and contractual terms. Also, if your a non-EU student, keep in mind that such a contract will not allow you to get a permesso di soggiorno.

Bill no.23/2011 has made it easier to report dishonest landlords and force them to provide you with a legal contract. For more information you can visit

6) Before signing the contract, it may be a good idea to request the landlord to email you a copy the night before, especially if your not familiar with the language or if your not sure what a proper contract in Italy entails. This will give you enough time to check with someone who knows (sturent will help in this case, if you have already inquired their services. So will Hello office).

7) Student contracts in Rome range from 6 to 36 months. You will usually have to give at least 1-2 months notice before you leave the apartment. Ensure your contract has an early termination clause, ( which is again usually 1-2 months). Signing up for a longer time can be tricky but even if you do, make sure that you don't have to give notice ahead of more than 2 months ( it will be tricky for you to find another room this way).

8) Sometimes you may be asked to pay “contract fees” which will include half of the cost of registering the contract at agenzia dell'entrata. This is completely legal, but when it comes to student housing, most owners will not ask for this fee.

9) The tenant usually pays the water, Internet and energy bills and the owner is responsible for maintenance and condominium levies. Ask whether monthly bills you must pay for the apartment are fixed or variable. If variable ask for a copy of the cost breakdown.

10) Usually, all houses in Rome come with a minimum of a Study table and Chair, Wardrobe, Single bed, bookshelf, furnished kitchen. Almost all houses are equipped with hot water ( although it may sometimes replenish depending on your roommates and heater.). Internet is also included. This is the bare minimum. The higher you pay, the more facillities you get.

11) Most Roman houses are not equipped with air conditioning. You can expect central heating in almost all rooms but keep in mind central heating will only be turned on by November 15th and turned off by March 15th. Also, they are only available from 6-9 am in the morning and then again 6-10 pm in the evening. Other times the temperature will be just slightly warmer than outside.

12) By law quiet is imperative between 10.00 pm – 8.00 am and again from 1.00 pm-4.00 pm.

13) It is advisable to ask the owner for proof of visura castatale ( proof of ownership). This is to ensure that the person your paying the rental money to is the bona fide owner and not a family member/ factorum renting out the property without the owners knowledge. This could lead to your contract suddenly being annulled.

14) The owner cannot end the contract for family reasons. The only reasons that will allow the owner to end a contract are,

* Infringement of rules laid down by the condominium and contract.
* Willful damage to property.
* Repetitive non payments of rental and service fees.

15) For all matters not specifically covered in the contract, request the inclusion of a clause with reference to the Italian civil code and Italian Civil law no.431 of 1998. This way, you will be covered by the law in case of any unexpected requests.

16) The property must be returned to the owner in the same condition as to when you received it without prejudice to normal wear. In order to protect yourself it is advisable to take photographs of the apartment before occupation and handing them over to the owner for reference.

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