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June 7, 2021

Approved Housing in BYU-Idaho: 4 Need-to-Know Points

Ayden Rennaker

The housing policy for BYU-I can feel somewhat complex. For example, all students who live in Madison county, have never been married, are younger than 27, have no extended family nearby, must live in student housing. BYU-I wouldn’t grant exceptions to any student.

It’s a lot to read at once, so we’re here to break it down for you. Keep reading to have some specifications about what BYU-I approved student housing is and who can use it.

What is approved housing?

BYU-I has made a set of standards that any housing has to meet in order for students to live there. This includes a level of upkeep and communication that apartment owners and managers have to have with students. The focus of the approved housing is to have a location for students to study and worship in a home environment.

Contracts

The contract that approved housing complexes use in Rexburg is actually written by the school. This includes statements instructing how landlords have to reach out to students, how landlords can deal with cancelations or evictions, and what required quiet times are. This even includes that the honor code is an apartment requirement. It also has applicants mark that they are a student eligible for approved housing. The apartment complex decides the price, but the price is listed in this part of the contract. All approved housing has to use this contract.

Addendum

Many complexes add an addendum – to be able to list other requirements of those who apply to live there. Aspects such as how air conditioning will work or what vehicles can be on the property. This also includes any additional fees the apartment will charge for things like clean check failure and parking passes. 

Requirements for the Apartment to Qualify as Approved Housing

Owners have to apply for their apartment complex. This goes through an approval process with BYU-I. For an apartment to be allowed as approved housing, the apartment must meet certain rules listed in the Approved Housing Guidebook

Listed Restrictions

In approved apartments, BYU-I does not allow pets, weapons, or single-occupant rooms (unless the apartment was built before 2004, apparently. Then it can offer single-occupant rooms!). Apartments are required to have quiet hours on Sundays and daily between 10 PM and 8 AM. Apartments have to be separated by sex. Managers and owners have to have filters on the internet and cable and have to block movie and other channel types from the TV. Landlords have to assign apartments a month prior to check in and check if those who apply for housing meet student requirements.

Personal Requirements of Landlords

Even the landlords have specific requirements to uphold. If landlords receive too many complaints or fail/ refuse too many inspections, they will lose the school endorsement. If this happens, they can’t be listed as approved housing. Managers have to complete a specific training to work for approved housing, including how to do student living meetings to communicate with tenants. All managers and landlords also have to abide by and support the honor code and the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet. They are asked to make an environment where students can “learn and live the principles of Zion.”

Personal Requirements of Managers

Managers at approved housing complexes have to meet certain standards. For example, managers have to be married and must be ecclesiastically endorsed every year. Managers have to live in an apartment separate from tenant apartments. Every month, apartment managers have to attend training and forums from BYU-I Housing & Student Living Office. Other trainings are available for managers to take on their responsibilities for the complex, like clean checks and fees.

Physical place

The apartments have very specific physical requirements, such as how doors and windows look and function. This is specified for the inside and the outside of the buildings. For things like parking lots, preventing puddles and snow accumulation is a main responsibility. Stairs outside apartments have to meet a certain level of repair. 

The location can’t share its facilities with any other apartment complex, including the parking lot and any common rooms. Inside, apartments are required to have good heating included in the price of the apartment. The apartment has to be furnished with clean and functional furniture and appliances.

Who Can Use Approved Housing?

Only some individuals can use the housing that the school approves. Because this is created to be a learning environment and a religious environment for students, it makes sense to have some restrictions.

Students

First and foremost, only BYU-I students are allowed to live in student housing. Students of BYU-I who are off track or who are online can live in student housing, but don’t have to. If students will be off track, they can leave Rexburg and move elsewhere. But if students are off track in Rexburg, they should live in student housing. Online students who live in Rexburg also should live in student housing. 

Excemptions for Active Students

BYU-I are allowed to apply for an exemption in some cases. If a student has family in the area, they can live with their family. Students living with parents don’t have to put in an application for an exemption, but students living with extended family do have to apply to live there instead of in student housing.

For the school’s specific list of exemptions and the methods to apply for exemptions, click here.

Age Exemption

While approved housing is mandatory for students who are 26 or younger, students who are 27 or older are no longer required to live in student housing. But can if they want. Students 27 and older are encouraged to move into housing in the community, but as long as they are a student, and as long as they aren’t married (see below), they can choose to stay in approved housing.

Who Can’t Use Approved Housing?

There are many individuals who aren’t allowed to apply for student housing.

Non-Students

Non-students, of course, can’t live in approved housing. Once students graduate, they can no longer live in the student housing; they’re no longer a student. Family members of students can’t live in the student housing either.

Students of other schools aren’t able to live in this housing either. Because the housing is specifically approved by BYU-I, only BYU-I students can live in this student housing.

Students Who Can’t Use Approved Housing

Still, not all active students qualify for student housing. Students evicted from any other approved housing complex can no longer live in any of the approved housing complexes. Any students who haven’t started their first semester yet can’t move into approved housing, even if they have a job in the area that starts a few weeks before. Some accommodations for international students can be made if they have to arrive early, and some accommodations can be made for students who have extenuating circumstances.

Marital status

Married students cannot live in approved housing. This includes if the individual is divorced or widowed, unless the individual applies for an exemption from this. Students who are married and not living with their spouse, like if their spouse is in the military, are still not eligible for student housing. 

Engaged

Engaged students and have their wedding scheduled during the semester are expected to be in student housing and the contract should be for the full semester. Students who have their wedding scheduled for just a few weeks into the semester can apply to live in community housing, but not share the housing with their fiance(e) until after they are married.

You can go here for specific information from the school about all exemptions.

What Requirements do Tenants Have?

Tenants of student housing have to follow the honor code that the school specifies. This is because students sign to agree to follow the code when they apply to go to school with BYU-I and when they apply for student approved housing. 

Students also agree to follow clean checks that the apartments do. This is part of the contract the housing has with BYU-I: that students will have a clean environment to facilitate learning and positive spirit.

Students state that they will abide by the quiet hours and the curfew listed as part of the contract and part of the apartment living standards. The curfew that BYU-I requests ends at midnight every day of the week, excepting on Friday nights. For Friday nights, the curfew is a little later at 1 AM. According to the curfew requirements, students are expected to be in their apartments by this time. 

Of course, students have to follow the regulations in the housing contract, and can’t have pets or weapons in the apartment and need to be appropriate in their use of media. Appropriate meaning no explicit content or content that goes against the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet. The requirements refer to this pamphlet frequently.

Students aren’t allowed to have overnight guests unless the housing manager approves, but the guest has to be the same gender of the students and has to follow the honor code during their stay. 

Selling Contracts

Students are able to sell their contract if they want or need to. Students will have to consult with their housing management and check their apartment contract to see if there are any fees or other specifications for selling a contract. 

Many students offer their housing contracts partially through a semester. Sometimes, students take on some of the payment and offer the contract for less than the usual price in order to sell it faster. Many students in these situations reach out on Facebook and other social media housing pages. BYU-I doesn’t have any specifications for this outside of the required part of the housing contract.

Why is Student Housing a Thing?

The point of having student housing is to create a location that is safe and doesn’t pose health or safety concerns to students. Having the university comb through the housing to ensure they meet requirements is one way to ensure this. It tries to make a place where students feel comfortable to live at all times, whether they be studying or worshiping or sleeping. Because it is such a rigorous process, and to make sure those who live in the locations are screened, the school makes these housing complexes available only to students of the school.  

Hopefully this answered all your burning questions about what exactly determines and qualifies for BYU-I student housing. For more information on the honor code, you can see the full list here. To view the contract that BYU-I housing uses and an example of an addendum, click this link. To read the full Housing Guidebook, you can see it here.

To get started, go to our housing guide!

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