FAQ | Moving Out for Students

Getting Started

The move out notice can be submitted through the Housing Portal. Log in and click the “Moving Out” tab. 

  • We ask residents to submit a move out notice no less than 72hrs before their move

If the submit button is greyed out and you are unable to submit/update your own notice, please email [email protected]

Log into Housing Portal, click the "Moving Out" tab and click "Submit/Confirm/Update Vacancy" subtab.

When a move out notice is submitted by a resident, our office will interpret this as a final move out date. Once submitted, the move out date cannot be adjusted by the resident themselves. 

It depends! If you cancel housing early, the move out notice can be retracted if: 

  • The current unit is not assigned to another resident. 

  • You have additional time within the current housing agreement. 

Move out notices cannot be retracted if:

  • Your affiliation has expired or terminated by your School. 

  • Your current unit is assigned to another resident.

Requests to retract a move out notice should be emailed to [email protected].  

Prior to Move Out

Great question! Residents of these locations must adhere to the following procedures: 

Settle on a specific move out date and submit the move-out notice:

  1. The specific date is when billing/rent will stop (if move out is before May 1st) 
  2. This date is when keys should be returned directly to the Superintendent or Express Move Out Box. 

Clean assigned room and remove all belongings:

  • It is recommended that you consolidate all your packed belongings into a small area and thoroughly clean the unit. 

PRO TIP! To avoid any fees, you want to be sure to clean all areas of the apartment. 

  • Sweep all corners of the room. 

  • Wipe down furniture with a warm, wet cloth and cleaning products. 

  • Make sure all items/belongings are removed from personal space and common spaces. This includes refrigerators, cabinets, closets, drawers, etc. 

  • Remove posters/pictures from the wall.

Discuss with current roommates about cleaning in shared areas (kitchen, bathroom, cabinets, fridge, etc.)

Remember, all occupants (even if they are scheduled to vacate) are responsible for maintaining cleanliness in the apartment:

All current occupants are responsible for cleaning the shared areas. This includes current tenants who are scheduled to vacate the apartment soon! 

Residents must be physically present to complete the move out process and return the keys to the Superintendent or Express Move Out Box. You will need to be present to complete the move.

Yes! A Certificate of Insurance (COI) is required for all Columbia Residential residents using a moving company. It must be emailed to [email protected] 48 hours before your scheduled move out date.  

No. Unfortunately, we cannot facilitate furniture purchase or exchange. When tenants vacate, they must clear all personal belongings, or they may incur a fee. 

Great question! If you move out for the following reasons, there will be a $1000 cancellation fee applied to your student account shortly after the move:

  1. Voluntarily cancelling housing 

  2. Leave of Absence 

  3. Voluntary withdrawal from School’s program

If you move out for these following reasons, there is no cancellation fee applied


  • December graduates: the degree is conferred in February. A move-out is required by December 31st. regardless of the current agreement’s end date. 

For example, if graduation was October 19th, 2022, residents must vacate by December 31st, 2022, even if their current agreement ends the following May. A cancellation fee is applied but we recommend completing the Cancellation Fee waiver request to get this charge removed.

If the degree is conferred in February, failure to complete the move out by December 31st will result in an Overstay Fee of $1,000. 

  • May graduates: the degree is conferred in May. If residents need an additional month in housing, please review the Short-Term Housing Extension information. 
  • August graduates: the degree is conferred in October. The move out must be completed between August 1-31 to avoid the standard $1,000 Cancellation Fee. 

*End of housing agreement*

  • Only if the move-out is completed in the month the agreement ends.

For Example: for agreements ending May 31st, residents can move out anytime in May, without a cancellation fee; rent is not prorated in this month.

*Official medical leave of absence*

*Transfer to another Columbia Residential unit*

*Required military service*

*PhD Defense*

Possibly! I recommend submitting a Cancellation Fee Waiver request; approvals are not guaranteed. 

  • Please allow up to 30 days to receive the committee’s decision although most decisions come sooner!

If residents vacate between May 1-31st, they will be charged for the entire month of May. Rent is not prorated

If residents vacate before May 1st, rent will be prorated based on the specific move out date but a Cancellation Fee may apply.  

On Move Out Date

Clean up! ? 

  1. Be sure to remove all personal belongings from the unit, including personal property in shared or common spaces. 
  2. Check with roommates before removing any belongings from the refrigerator and cabinets

  3. Remove all trash and sweep throughout the apartment. 

Return the keys!

Keys must be returned directly to the Superintendent during standard business hours (Mon-Fri 8AM to 4PM) or through the Express Move Out box. 

  • Keys should not be left in the vacated unit. 

  • Keys should not be left with roommates. 

  • You will be billed until the keys are returned.

Final Check Out

Log into the Housing Portal, click the Moving Out tab, and complete the “Final Checkout” feature.

  • NOTE: The “Final Checkout” tab will be grayed out until your move-out date. You will only have access to the tab on that date.

Log into the Housing Portal, click "Moving Out" tab then "Final Check Out" subtab.

The “Final Checkout” tab will be grayed out until your actual move-out date. You will only have access to the tab on that date.  

  • If this is your move out date and it is still grayed out, email [email protected] for support. 

Visit the Express Move-out key-return box located in the lobby of 419 West 119th Street, directly to the right of the door attendant's office.

  • Please review the Moving Out for further instructions 

Billing / Rent

Rest assured! Your finances will reconcile about 5-7 business days after the move out is confirmed by the Superintendent

Here’s an example of the confirmation email:

This is an example of a 'Move Out Confirmation" email.

Student housing through Columbia Residential is billed on a monthly basis. The monthly housing charge should appear on the student account during the last week of each month for the following month.

Once your April move out is confirmed by the Superintendent, the May charge should be removed within 5-7 business days.

  • Be sure to double check your move out date within the Housing Portal.

Have a question you think we missed? 

Email us at [email protected] so we can address your question and possibly add it to this page to help other potential residents!