Housing can definitely be hard to find in Okoboji as the number of people quadruples in size during the summer months!

Housing Resources
You should already have housing arranged before arriving into the US. However, if something changes here are some suggestions: Talk to your employer and/or the Okoboji JSOP committee. Other local options are Okoboji.com or exploreokoboji.com and there is no cost to place an ad on these sites and is it possible to find housing here. Some postings are for unfurnished or year-round rentals, so read them carefully! You will also need to search for “classified’ ‘Real Estate & Property Rentals.” Another site that is new is okobojigetaways.com that has a roommate wanted section.

Classified Advertisements: Local newspapers include Lakes New Shopper or Dickinson County News.

Signing a Lease

If you are required to sign a lease, please read this section thoroughly. A lease or rental agreement is a legally binding agreement between you as the renter and your landlord. All persons sharing a rental should sign the lease or rental agreement.

If you rent or sublet, you should make sure you and your landlord both sign a rental agreement, and keep a copy for yourself.

The rental agreement should include the terms you are agreeing to:

  • Rental amount
  • When the rent is due
  • The dates the rental agreement begins and ends
  • The amount of the housing deposit and if it is refundable or not
  • The conditions for having the housing deposit returned
  • If utilities are included in the rent or if there is an additional
    charge for some or for all of the utilities

Keeping your unit cleaned

Unfortunately, housing doesn’t come with a maid. You will need to keep your room clean, clean your own dishes, do your own laundry and take out the trash.  Be respectful of your other roommates and this will make for a positive living environment.

Make sure that when you cook that you pay attention to your food if anything starts to burn the fire alarm will go off and the Fire Department will be there in a matter of minutes and if it happens to often you may be fined!

Security Deposits

  • All states allow landlords to collect a security deposit when a tenant moves in. Security deposits are usually one month’s rent. Your rental agreement should clearly state the conditions for having your deposit returned.
  • Contact your sponsor to see if the housing is secured by them or your employer before you start searching for your own housing.
  • Ask to see the place you will be renting before you commit.
  • Check for existing damages or problems and make a list of them. Video is great. Be certain to discuss these issues with the landlord before you rent to make sure you are all in agreement about any issues.
  • Carefully read and listen to the terms of the housing agreements in writing and verbally. After signing and paying your deposit, you are expected to honor your commitment to the agreement for the full term of the lease.
  • Follow all of the housing rules.
  • Pay your rent on time and always get a receipt for any money that you pay.
  • Do not cause any damage to the apartment, grounds, furnishings, appliances, etc.
  • Do not move out without informing your rental manager.
  • Do not overcrowd your living area with extra students. This can usually put all of you in violation of building and fire codes.
  • Damaging your housing, overcrowding your housing, not paying rent on time, or not honoring parts of your agreement can result in not getting your deposit back and/or being evicted.

If you are having an issue with your rental, please try to resolve the issue with your rental manager. If you cannot come to an agreement, contact your sponsor. You may also contact the Okoboji International Student Committee and we will help identify the problem and solve the issue by contacting the proper authority.

Laundry Mats
We have one laundry mat in down Campus Coin Laundry Open 24 HRS 1710 Ithaca Ave Ste A, Spirit Lake, IA 51360
(712) 336-3391 Check with your employer to see if they can help you out with this.


If you want info on what your rights are as a tenant in Iowa here is a good reference for information.

Iowa Tenant-Landlord Laws