Estimated Housing Costs

photo: rental agreement

We are currently experiencing an explosive growth in the local rental markets. Housing prices for long term rentals in the San Francisco Bay Area continue to be higher than other areas due to demand. In 2013 the San Mateo-Mt. View rental market rose an average of 11.5% (average asking rents, fourth quarter 2013 in complexes with at least 50 units – SF Chronicle, 3/9/14).

Estimated prices below are based on current averages ranging from the cities of San Mateo to Santa Clara. You will find some rentals lower than this and the Housing office will always strive to secure the lowest possible rates.

Typical Rental Rates

Studio apartments

$1500-$2100/month (often furnished*)

1 bedroom / 1 bath


2 bedroom / 2 bath


3 bedroom houses


Rooms in Private Homes
(with or without kitchen privileges and private or shared bath)

$40-$50/night, $850-1200/month

*Furnished apartments are often more difficult to find, but we work with a furniture rental company and can help you arrange furnishings. There is also an IKEA store located in Palo Alto.

Lease Conditions

To rent a house or apartment you will need to give the owner a security deposit plus the first month's rent. Some owners may even ask for last month's rent, but this is rare. This deposit must be in U.S. funds drawn on a U.S. bank, cash or travelers' checks. Credit cards are accepted at the Stanford Guest House and some of the larger apartment complexes but may NOT be used for rentals in private homes, apartments or houses.

A rule of thumb is not to spend more than 33% of your pre-tax income on rent and many landlords are now adhering to this.

Housing Services Office

To request assistance from SLAC's housing services team, please complete our housing questionnaire:

When completing your housing questionnaire, it is important for us to know as much about you as possible (such as will you have a car, or be bringing pets). This will help us to see what direction we should take in our search.

When requesting assistance for a long term stay, advance notice is always appreciated; but in order to do a true search, the client must be here and ready to put down a deposit and the first month's rent.

When requesting a room in a home or one of our furnished studio’s, we would also like as much advance notice as possible. We are able to pre-book these accommodations and will reserve them on a first-come-first served basis.

Stanford Guest House

Please book the Stanford Guest House on your own by visiting their website. Advance reservations are required. If they are currently booked they will put you on their waitlist and let you know if a room becomes available. Once a reservation with the Guest House has been confirmed, you will need to provide them with a credit card number to guarantee the reservation. Should they be unable give you a room, you may contact the Housing Office to try and find a room in a home for you.

SLAC Rates at the Guest House effective as of January 1, 2016:

For SLAC Users:

$131.00/night (standard room - 1 queen bed) (*Rates include tax)

$171.00/night (deluxe - 2 queen beds) (*Deluxe rooms may be made handicap accessible by removing one queen bed)


For SLAC Visitors/Employees:

$151.00/night (standard - 1 queen bed)  (*Rates include tax)

$191.00/night (deluxe - 2 queen beds) (*Deluxe rooms may be made handicap accessible by removing one queen bed)