Frequently Asked Questions


[ This information is compiled by Library Staff and is deemed to be accurate but not guaranteed ]

Q: What is the expected fee for a security deposit?

A: San Diego landlords typically charge the equivalent of one month's rent for a security deposit on an unfurnished unit. There is normally an extra deposit (of a few hundred dollars) required for pets.  For more information about security deposits, holding deposits, application fees, and tenants and landlord rights, please visit:

Q: When should I start looking for housing?

A: We have found that rentals are normally listed no more than two weeks before the date that the unit becomes available. Often, the unit is "available immediately" for move-in. It is more likely that a large apartment complex with rental offices will provide information on upcoming availability with greater notice than individually owned housing units (ie. houses and condos).  Of course, it certainly helps to identify your targeted neighborhood ahead of time.

Q: What day of the month do the leases start?

A: Any day of the month is possible although there may be a slight tendency for more "1st of the month" leases than the other days.

Q: Is there a consumer credit report run as part of the application process for a rental unit?

A: Most of the time there is a credit check obtained on a potential resident. Be aware that the landlord can pass on the cost of this credit check to you. See for additional information. Sometimes the landlord may also require a criminal background check.

Q: Do you need a rental agent to find a place to live?

A: Most people have success conducting their own apartment search without use of an agent, as there are many on-line resources readily available.

Q: How do most people find their apartments?

A: Many people find Craigslist and the Union-Tribune most helpful when looking for apartments.

Q: Is the weather pretty much the same all over the county?

A: Winter temperatures are moderate in most of the county. Night time temperatures are typically lower in the eastern part of the county, and even lower up in the more hilly/mountainous areas such as Julian, Alpine and Ramona. These areas experience snow at the higher elevations. 

During the summer months there may be a difference of 10-20 degrees between the coastal communities and the east county region. Although temperatures can be fairly high during the day in the east county, night-time temperatures often drop 10-20 degrees. The coastal communities are cooled by clouds and ocean breezes. "May gray" and "June gloom" are terms used to refer to the low cloud cover common along the beaches in late spring and early summer. Often times the cloud cover does not lift until the afternoon. If you head further east into the desert area, temperatures can be well over 100 degrees during the summer months. 

These differences in temperatures around the county are often referred to as "microclimates."  More information on microclimates can be found on this realtor's website:

Be aware that a significant portion of the housing in San Diego does not offer air conditioning. Keep this in mind when you are "apartment shopping". Many people rely on fans to keep cool. Fortunately, it is not typically very humid in San Diego.

Q: Are there many earthquakes in San Diego?

A: Thankfully, very few earthquakes are felt locally. When they are felt, the impact is negligible. According to the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC), "in Southern California, the last major earthquake on the San Andreas fault was 150 years ago (1857), rupturing the fault from Central California to San Bernardino. Few people lived in the area so there was very little damage."  The County of San Diego's website states that "San Diego County, in comparison to other southern California areas, has sparse seismicity."

Q: Where do most UCSD Library employees live?

A: Library employees live all over the county.......... See the San Diego Regions maps for an overview of where staff live.