FAQ | Transfers for Faculty, Staff & Postdocs

Transfer Eligibility

All faculty, staff and Postdoc residents in Columbia Residential may apply for a transfer if they have an eligible full-time affiliation that does not end within six months and remain in good financial standing with the Office of the Controller.

Incoming residents who are in housing from the Postdoc waitlist are not eligible to apply for a transfer during their one-year lease. To be eligible to remain in housing beyond the one-year lease term you must request an Affiliation Review to obtain an allocation from your respective school.

You can check your affiliation end date by logging into the Housing Portal and clicking “Tenant Profile,” then “Affiliation.”

Screenshot of housing portal showing Tenant Portal and Affiliation tabs circled in red, along with the affiliation end date on file for the resident also circled in red.

We can only accommodate transfers during our transfer season which runs from October to March.

PRO TIP! You need to be a resident with an active agreement to apply for a transfer. If your agreement is ending and you would like to transfer in the future, be sure to sign your Renewal for the current apartment.

Non-tenured faculty, postdocs and eligible staff whose application status is Single or Couple may choose from studio and one-bedroom units, and Families with Children may choose from one-, two- and three-bedroom units (three-bedroom units are reserved for non-tenured faculty with 2+ children only). See Accommodations.

Tenured faculty transfer assignments are determined by the University's Housing Priorities Committee, which is chaired by the Provost.

Completing the Application

Transfer requests for non-tenured faculty, postdocs or staff residents can be submitted on a rolling basis and are reviewed the first week of each month between October and March, availability permitting.

Transfer requests from Tenured faculty are reviewed by the Housing Priorities Committee on a monthly basis.

Non-tenured faculty, postdocs or staff may apply for a transfer by logging in to the Housing Portal, then click the “Transfer” tab.

Screenshot of Housing Portal showing Transfer tab circled in red.

Transfer requests for tenured faculty must be initially submitted to their respective department for approval. A transfer request letter on your behalf will be submitted to the Housing Priorities Committee for review and approval. Once approved, you may submit a transfer request via the Housing Portal.

Be sure to completely fill out the application and provide information in all required fields/boxes. Also, be sure to make sure all required boxes are checked off before proceeding. Revise any field/box marked with a red exclamation point (!) to make sure your application is submitted successfully.

Screenshot of housing portal showing transfer tab and button that must be clicked (Review Status / Request Transfer) to submit new app.

PRO TIP: If you previously created a portal account with a personal email but are trying to submit a transfer request with your UNI, your tabs may not be active. Please reach out to [email protected] for help linking your account!

Transfer requests for non-tenured faculty, postdocs or staff residents are reviewed the last week of each month during the review season (October – March.) Email status notifications are sent out to applicants the first full week of each month.

Tenured faculty do not participate in housing selection. Assignments of individual apartments are done during the monthly Housing Priorities Committee. If assigned to an apartment, an apartment assignment offer will be sent via email by Columbia Residential.

Housing Selection

We recommend reviewing the Housing Selection FAQs to prepare for this important step! This is the same housing selection process many residents went through during the Application Process.

PRO TIP: You may also review our Residential Building Profiles to learn more about the Columbia Residential portfolio. Information on individual units will be reflected during your Housing Selection appointment.

You are not obligated to give up your current apartment and accept a transfer offer. If you are not interested in any of the options available, you simply don’t select a unit and your transfer application will be made history. You will then need to reapply to be placed on the transfer list again.

You are typically approved for a transfer housing selection appointment based on current availability at that time, so we are not always able to move your appointment to a date too far in the future. You may reach out to [email protected] to check if your appointment can be moved.

Accepting a Transfer Offer

Non-tenured faculty, postdocs or staff who participate in a housing selection round and accept a transfer must complete their move between 7 to 14 days (1 to 2 weeks) from the date the unit is confirmed. You are given one business day to complete the move in process.

Tenured faculty who accept an offer for a “move-in ready” apartment must move in within two months from the date of acceptance.

PRO TIP! Many residents find it useful to transfer on a Friday (if appointments are available).

For example, if the new move-in appointment is on Friday, the keys for the old apartment must be returned to the Superintendent by Monday (or via the Express Move-Out option).

PRO TIP! If seeing the unit is super important, be sure to select one with the “Earliest Move-In Date” that suits your needs. Units cannot be viewed before this date.

Occupied units and units undergoing construction cannot be viewed.

You may visit the unit after you have selected and received a housing offer.

Log into the Housing Portal and click Housing Assignment to schedule a viewing appointment. Appointments are available Monday-Friday between 9 AM - 3 PM. Same day appointments cannot be made.

In order to accept a transfer offer, a security deposit payment is required - which is equivalent to one month’s rent.

We can typically accommodate an extension of a day or two to complete a transfer move if needed.  However, due to our very limited availability and a long list of applicants, we are not able to allow residents to delay their move by more than 14 days from the day of housing selection (for non-tenured faculty, postdocs or staff) or two months (for Tenured faculty.)

If you cannot complete a transfer during the given time your transfer will be cancelled, and you may reapply to be added back to the transfer list.

Unfortunately, you must be physically occupying your unit to complete your transfer move in order to accept a transfer offer. If you cannot complete a transfer during the given time your transfer will be cancelled, and you may reapply to be added back to the transfer list.

Moving Into a New Unit

Columbia Vendors:

Be sure to have a Certificate of Insurance (COI) emailed to [email protected] 48 hours before your scheduled Move-In date. 

IMPORTANT: Deliveries cannot be accepted prior to move-in. We cannot guarantee the safety of packages that arrive without you there to receive them. You will want to plan accordingly.

VERY PROACTIVE! Please review our new Moving-In FAQs for further information and tips!  

Vacating the Old Unit

No. Our office will submit this Move-Out notice on your behalf.

Remember, your move-out date will be one business day after your transfer move-in date. You will receive the keys for the new unit on your move-in date, and you will have until 4 PM on the following business day to remove your belongings from the previous unit and return the keys to the superintendent. 

PRO TIP! Be sure to return your keys to your Super or Express Move Out Box as you will continue to be billed until the keys are returned.  

Be sure to complete the “Final Checkout” feature on the exact Move-Out date. You will receive daily reminders until this is complete. 

Log into the Housing Portal click “Move Out” tab and the “Final Checkout” subtab.

Transfers FAQ - Final Checkout

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


Billing for the new apartment starts one day after the old apartment is vacated. Both rents (old and new) are prorated, based on the specific date. Please review the Billing and Payment webpage for further information.

If you paid a full month of rent for your old apartment and transferred during that month, you will receive a rent overpayment refund. The overpayment will not transfer to the new apartment’s rent account

Residents should allow up to 60 days from move out for processing of their refunds for both, the security deposit and any rent overpayment (if any) from your old apartment

You will receive an email notification once the Superintendent confirms the Move-out.

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!