Virtual Oakland




If you need assistance finding housing, you have come to the right place. You may feel like you don ?t know where to start to search for a house or an apartment. There are organizations that can assist you.

Finding Housing

Purchasing a Home?



How to file a complaint

Organizations that can help


Finding Housing

Many times apartments and houses are listed in the classified section of the newspaper.

Pitt's Housing Resource Center

Pitt's List of Inspected off campus Apartments

Short Term Housing

Guide to Leasing


Apartment Renting Tips

Apartment Renting


Apartments and houses for rent and for sale are listed in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette at:


the Tribune-Review at:


Purchasing a home

If you think you may be interested in purchasing a high quality, affordable home, call:

Oakland Planning and Development Corporation
Sasha Atkinson
Phone: 412-621-7863

Many people choose a local Realtor to help them purchase a home or other real estate needs. Houses should be free of termites and other wood destroying organisms.


Landlord Responsibilities

Landlords carry certain responsibilities when leasing to students.

Leases should:

  • identify the property to be rented
  • be clear on rules and regulations
  • specify payment information, including: monthly amount; the total amount to be paid over the term of the lease; when, where and how the rent is to be paid; and, if relevant, info. on discounts for early payments/ penalties for late payments
  • specify any penalties for failing to move out by the end date of the lease
  • be specific about right of entry as to the time of day, purpose and notice (24 hours is usually proper, unless an emergency situation is at hand)
  • include rent increases and notice of rent increases in the terms of the lease

 Properties should:

  • comply with Building, Housing, Health, and Safety Codes
  • be clean and safe for the new tenant; if not the landlord should accommodate the tenant until the work is completed
  • have electrical, plumbing, heating, and ventilation systems and fixtures in good working condition

Landlords should:

  • inform tenants of scheduled trash pick-up days
  • NOT require more than two months rent security deposit
  • place security deposits in an escrow account or be bonded to sufficiently cover the amount of the security deposits
  • not discriminate against present or potential renters because of race, color, sex, handicap, religion or national origin
  • maintain properties and fix things in a timely manner provide termite & pest control
  • provide running water and reasonably hot water and heat; unless the hot water and/or heat are supplied by a direct public utility hook-up under contract or agreement with the tenant
  • must return the security deposit within 30 days from the date the tenant moves out or send the tenant a list of damages the tenant caused in the apartment, the cost of the repairs, plus any extra money left over from the security deposit
  • evict tenants if informed by law enforcement officers of drug activity by the tenant, or a quest of the tenant in or otherwise connected with the tenant ?s premises

(This is not intended to be a comprehensive listing of all landlord responsibilities, for further information one could contact the University of Pittsburgh's Housing Resource Center or other entities with knowledge of landlord responsibilities)

Tenant Responsibilities

Students carry certain responsibilities when leasing from landlords.

Upon moving in the renter should:

  • examine the lease very carefully before signing anything; a co-signer is necessary if the renter is under the age of 18 (have an extra copy of the lease signed by the landlord)
  • carefully read the rules and responsibilities of the lease
  • make sure the lease does not prohibit subletting if this is of interest to the renter
  • take dated film or pictures of the property's appearance upon move in
  • contract directly with the utility companies if the lease says he/she is responsible for such utilities

During his/her lease period the renter should:

  • put out trash ONLY on the night before designated pick-up days and in a proper manner
  • remind the landlord frequently of any needed repairs; send dated, written lists of repairs (make sure to keep copies)
  • pay each month until the end of the lease period
  • keep plumbing and electric fixtures as clean as possible and use them properly
  • comply with tenant Housing, Health and Safety Codes
  • not damage the premises or permit guests to damage the premises
  • follow the lease as to the number of people permitted to reside there
  • conduct his or herself and house guests, as to not disturb neighbors (students are not the only people living in Oakland)
  • permit the landlord to enter the apartment if the request is reasonable and proper notice is given
  • comply with State or Municipal Drug Laws in connection with the apartment and require other household guests to do the same

Upon moving out the renter should:

  • provide the landlord notice (if a week to week or month to month was the original rental agreement) at least one rental period prior (preferably written)
  • assist in finding a new renter (if leaving before the year/semester ends)
  • eave the property in the same condition as it was upon move in (take pictures), return the keys to the landlord and provide a forwarding address where to send the security deposit
  • pay any damage charges or rent owed

If the renter is experiencing problems he/she can:

  • apply for "Rent Withholding" (a system whereby you pay your "rent" into an escrow account at a local bank, in order to force your landlord to uphold his/ her responsibility) by contacting the Allegheny County Health Department
  • file complaints against landlords: if renters wish to recover less than $8,000 excluding court costs, they should use the District Justice; if they are suing for more than $4,000 they should utilize the Common Pleas Court

(This is not intended to be a comprehensive listing of all renter responsibilities, for further information one could contact the University of Pittsburgh ?s Housing Resource Center or other entities with knowledge of renter responsibilities)


Organizations that can help

Community Housing Resource Center

The Community Housing Resource Center is located at 235 Atwood Street. If you need assistance with finding an apartment, understanding your lease, you have a problem with your landlord, you feel you have been discriminated against, you need a map of the area, or anything else having to do with housing or living in Oakland, stop by the CHRC. Services are free of charge.  Stop by Monday or Friday 1:00- 5:00 or call Kelly at 412-621-7863 to make an appointment or ask a question. 

Fair Housing Partnership of Greater Pittsburgh

It is illegal to discriminate based on race, color, national origin, sex, religion, familial status, or disability.  It is unlawful to, among other things, refuse to sell or rent housing or impose different terms for a lease or mortgage, based on the factors listed above. If you feel you have been discriminated against call the Fair Housing Partnership of Greater Pittsburgh at 412-391-2535

Oakland Planning and Development Corporation

OPDC is a non profit community development corporation. OPDC develops and sells residential units in the Oakland and Uptown neighborhoods. If you think you may be interested in purchasing a high quality, affordable home, call 412-621-7863

Pest Control
Property Managers

Solar Power

Solar energy can help protect our environment and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. It can be a vialble alternative for your home.

Solar Directory
Solar Online Guide
Solar Horizons

Home Appraisers

Knowing the value of your home is important to getting selling, purchasing or refinancing your home. Be sure to choose a real esta appraiser carefully. It's best to use an independent appraisal management company to find an appraiser in your area.


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