Gap Stay Resources

Sometimes situations arise in which you need a place to stay in a short amount of time. Listed below are hotels in the Columbia area within 5 miles of campus that have been rated at a minimum of 3.5 stars by guests.

Staybridge Suites (Must be 21 to check in)
805 Keene Street, Columbia, Missouri 65201 United States
(573) 442-8600

Candlewood Suites ( Must be 21 to check in )
1400 Creekwood Parkway, Columbia, Missouri 65202 United States
(573) 256-0200

Holiday Inn Express & Suites (Must be 21 to check in)
1402 Cinnamon Hill Lane, Columbia, Missouri, 65201 United States
(573) 442-8034

Extended Stay America Columbia Stadium Boulevard ( Must be 21 to check in)
2000 West Business Loop 70, Columbia, MO 65203
(573) 445-6800

La Quinta Inn & Suites Columbia (Must be 18 to check in)
2500 Interstate 70 Dr SW, Columbia, MO 65203
(573) 445-1899

Drury Inn Columbia Stadium Boulevard (Must be 18 to check in
1000 Knipp St. Columbia, MO 65203
(573) 445-1800

Best Western Plus Columbia Inn ( Must be 18 to check in)
2904 Clark Ln. Columbia, MO 65202
(573) 397-6471

Comfort Suites Columbia – University Area (Must be 21 to check in)
1010 W Business Loop 70 W, Columbia, MO 65202
(573) 443-0055

Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Columbia, MO (Must be 21 to check in)
817 N Keene St, Columbia, MO 65201
(573) 445-8585

Wingate by Wyndham Columbia (Must be 21 to check in)
3101 Wingate Ct, Columbia, MO 65201
(573) 817-0500

Ramada by Wyndham Columbia (Must be 21 to check in)
901 Conley Rd, Columbia, MO 65201
(573) 234-4459

Quality Inn & Suites (Must be 21 to check in)
801 N Keene St, Columbia, MO 65201
(573) 449-4422

If you would like your property to be listed as an option for students looking for temporary emergency housing or a gap stay, please contact us at or

Rental Insurance

Before moving into your new rental home, make sure your belongings are protected. Renter’s insurance is available at a relatively low cost and is one of the wisest purchases an apartment resident can make.

Landlords and property owners’ property insurance will not cover your personal property. If you are still on your parent/guardian’s insurance, you may be covered by your parent’s homeowners’ insurance; check with your parents to determine what is and is not be covered in the event of a loss.

Insurance agents are listed in the yellow pages under “Insurance.” Prices vary so shop around for a good price before buying a policy. Your car insurance provider may also offer renter’s insurance to you at a discounted cost.

Rental Terminology


Property owners and landlords cannot refuse to sell, rent, sublease, or otherwise make housing unavailable based on a renter’s race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, or national origin. Property owners and landlords also cannot charge some individuals higher rent or falsely state that housing is not available for discriminatory reasons. If you believe you have been a victim of discrimination, notify any of these agencies:

City of Columbia Human Rights Commission: (573) 817-5024
City of Columbia Office of Community Services: (573) 874-7488
Missouri Human Rights Commission Jefferson City Area: (573) 751-3325
St. Louis Area: (314) 340-7590
Kansas City Area: (816) 889-5100
Sikeston Area: (573) 472-5320
Toll-Free: (877) 781-4236
US Department of Housing and Urban Development Housing Discrimination Hotline: (800) 669-9777
Rental Applications

Rental applications ask for a great deal of sensitive information, such as social security numbers, bank account numbers, phone numbers for references and employers. This is why it is important that you have made a sound decision that the property for which you are filling out an application is the one you really want.

Most rental applications ask that you give permission to the property owner for the release of a credit report. Many property owners want to know if you have had trouble with payment of other items in the past. This is a standard procedure.

Caution: Some apartment complexes combine their rental application with actual lease. So it is important to read what you are signing and submitting.


A lease is a written agreement between a tenant (the person renting) and a landlord/property owner. This agreement offers both the tenant and the landlord protection of the property and well-being of tenants. When a lease is signed by both parties it becomes a binding legal contract. If you or your landlord does not fulfill all of the terms of the lease, then the person who defaults can be sued. This can cost a great deal of time and money, so be sure to do your part in fulfilling the terms of the lease.

Never sign more than one lease. You will be required to pay all rent wherever you sign. This is not a suitable way to temporarily hold a property.

Some landlord/property owners do not require a Security Deposit, which means even if you don’t pay a security deposit when you submit the lease, it is still legally binding.

Online Leases: Read Carefully!! If you sign and submit a lease online, it is still binding even if you don’t get the complexes signature. If possible sign a lease in person so that you can get a signed copy of the lease from the complex.

If you have any questions about your lease, contact Student Legal Services at (573) 882-9700 before you sign it.


In a majority of cases, full-time students are required to have co-signers. In the state of Missouri a co- signer is someone who signs the lease in addition to the student. This means that the co-signer agrees to:

Have the landlord check his/her credit
Guarantee that the tenant complies with the rental agreement
Guarantee the payment of rent
By having a co-signer on the lease, a property owner has the ability to collect payment if you default on your rental payments. Most students have a parent or guardian as a co-signer. However, it can be anyone who is willing and earns in excess of 5-6 times the amount of the monthly rent of the property.

Do not sign the lease until you have confirmed that your Co-Signer/Guarantor has agreed to sign your lease, if you sign the lease and they back out, you are still legally bound by the legal document.

Security Deposit

Some landlords require a deposit at the time of signing the lease and others waive the security deposit. This deposit is money that the landlord collects as security against property damage, unclean conditions, and unpaid rent. The amount may vary, but it cannot exceed two month’s rent in the state of Missouri.

Within 30 days from the date the lease ends, the landlord is required to either return your full security deposit or give you a written list of reasons why part or all the security deposit was withheld.

It is important for the tenant to make it known to the landlord where they will be staying during the 30 days after the lease ends, so the security deposit can be sent to the appropriate location. The landlord may retain all or any portion of the deposit to cover any damages or charges for which you are liable under the lease. The landlord may also retain all or any portion of the deposit if you break the lease agreement.

If you are not required to pay a security deposit, any charges as listed in the lease, damages, and unpaid rent will be billed after you have moved-out and a walk-thru of the property has been done by the property owner.


A landlord may not evict without a court order. The landlord may begin eviction proceedings if a tenant:

Damages property Fails to pay rent Violates the terms of the lease Injures the lessor or another tenant Allows drug-related criminal activity on the premises Fails to vacate at the end of the lease term Gambles illegally on the property Subleasing/Re-let If for any reason you want to move out of a current location before the end of your lease, you must first have a sublease, re-let agreement or continue to pay the rent and other monetary arrangements made when you first signed the lease. If you do not pay for the entire leasing period then you could face a lawsuit.

A subleaser is someone who agrees to lease your current property from you. This means that you can still be held responsible for any damages or problems that may occur during the remainder of the lease.

A re-let agreement is someone who takes over your lease from you. This means that your lease is cancelled and a new lease is drawn up between the property and the person who is taking over your lease. You will only be held responsible for any damages or problems that occurred during your rental period.

Visit OrgSyncto safely advertise your apartment or house for sublease or explore sublease options!

Rights & Responsibilities

The City of Columbia has a number of regulations in place meant to protect the quality of life for you and others who call our city home. Becoming familiar with these rules can help you and your neighbors.

By Leigh Kottwitz, Manager of Neighborhood Services

Your rights as a student living off-campus

You have the right to live in a rental unit with a current Certificate of Compliance issued by the City of Columbia. The certificate is evidence that the unit has been registered with the City and inspected for safety and maintenance. You can ask your landlord to see the current certificate or contact the City of Columbia’s Office of Neighborhood Service to verify the unit’s compliance.

If you have a property maintenance issue that is not being addressed in a timely manner by your landlord, you have the right to file a tenant complaint with the City. After you have filed the complaint, a city inspector will visit your unit, document any issues and give your landlord a deadline to make the repairs. Always talk with your landlord first and give them an opportunity to fix the problem, and don’t withhold rent due to a maintenance issue.

Citizen Rental Complaint Form and Consent to Enter Property

Your responsibilities:

  • Two’s a party, three’s a crowd and 10 or more can cost you! A social gathering of 10 or more people on residential property that results in certain crimes happening at the site of the gathering is considered a nuisance party with a minimum fine of $500 per person.
  • Keep the exterior of your property clean. Loose trash must be picked up or the leased tenants/owner of a property are subject to ticketing by the Police.
  • Know your trash day. Bagged trash cannot be placed on the curb earlier than 4:00 p.m. the day prior to scheduled pick-up day.
  • Don’t put a couch or recliner on the porch. Furniture manufactured for indoor use may not sit outside longer than 48 hours if it can be viewed from off of the property.
  • Car talk. Parked vehicles may not block driveways and sidewalks or be parked in the yard. Vehicles may not park on a city street longer than 24 consecutive hours. Priority Snow Route – Parking Prohibited. Whenever snow accumulates more than 2 inches on the roadway, any vehicle parked on a designated snow route must be moved off of the roadway immediately per city ordinance 14-304.
  • Get in the zone. Don’t break the City’s zoning laws by allowing too many people to live in your unit. No more than three unrelated people can live together in R-1 and some PUD zoning and no more than four may live together in other zoning districts.

Tenant’s Rights and Responsibilities

  • Pay rent on time.
  • Pay for damages resulting from your own negligence, guest or pet.
  • Don’t take on additional occupants or subleasing without the property owners written permission.
  • Allow the property owner access to the premises to make repairs and inspections.
  • Follow ALL provisions of the lease.

Property Owner Rights and Responsibilities:

  • Property is livable and complies with building and housing codes.
  • Make and pay for timely repairs due to ordinary use.
  • Not turning off utilities.
  • Not unlawfully discriminating.
  • Not raise rent or change other lease provisions without 1 months written notice.

Short Term Lease Options

(Please check with properties for current rental rates)


August through May only
Short Lease Fee: $50/month
T: (573) 443-3121

Broadway Communities

3-12 month lease options (Furnished)
6 month lease options, 9 month lease options (Unfurnished)
Short Lease Fee: Contact for more Information
T: (573) 445-1613

Campus Lodge

5 & 10 month lease options
Short Lease Fee: $75/month for 10 month lease
$100/month for 5 month lease
T: (573) 443-2950

Campus View

5 month lease options
Short Lease Fee: $150/month for 5 month lease
T: (573) 397-6056

Copper Beech

6 & 10 month lease options
Short Lease Fee: $20/month for 10 month lease
$50/month for 6 month lease
T: (573) 256-5700

Cross Creek Villas

January through July only
Short Lease Fee: contact for current pricing
T: (573) 234-4205

District Flats

January through July only
Short Lease Fee: contact for current pricing
T: (573) 818-2042

Domain at Columbia

6 month lease option (limited number available)
Short Lease Fee: $125/month
T: (573) 214-2323

The Den

5 & 10 month lease options
Short Lease Fee: $75/month for a 10 month lease
$150/month for a 5 month lease
T: (573) 284-0743

The Links at Columbia

Month to month lease option
Executive Unit (month to month): $1570-1770/month fully furnished
T: (573) 474-4399

The Lyfe

6 & 10 month lease options
Short Lease Fee: $100/month for 6 month lease
$0/month for 10 month lease
T: (855) 660-8356

Lyon Crest Properties

Short Lease Options at Landlord Discretion
T: (626) 394-6298

Mills Properties

3-12 month leasing options at all five locations:
Boulder Springs Columbia
Columbia Crossing
Courtyard Apartments
Heather Ridge
Tiger Village
Short Lease Fee: Contact for more information
T: (573) 443-4000

The Pointe

5 & 10 Month Lease Options
Short Term Lease Fee: Contact for more information
T: (573) 228-9016

The Reserve

5 & 10 month lease options
Short Lease Fee: $75/month for 10 month lease
$125/month for 5 month lease
T: (573) 256-7344

Rise on 9th

6 month lease option
Short Lease Fee: call for more information
T: (573) 561-5440

The Row

6 month lease options
Short Lease Fee: $100/month
T: (573) 260-1616.

University Place Apartments

10 month lease option with 3 & 6 month options at landlord discretion
Short Lease Fee: Call for more information
T: (573) 443-3798


The Renters’ Guide to Outfitting Your Energy Budget

Gas Service

Columbia area natural gas service is provided by AmerenUE. Apply via telephone: 1 (800) 552-7583.


Where you live in Columbia will depend on which provider will serve you.

If your area is served by the city of Columbia, apply at the City-County Building, 725 E. Broadway or online at For more information call (573) 874-7380.

If your area is served by Boone Electric Cooperative, apply in person at 1413 Rangeline. For more information contact (573) 449-4181.

View tips on energy conservation from the City of Columbia!

Water service

The City of Columbia and the public water districts are the water providers for Columbia. The provider that will serve you is dependent on the location of your residence. If your area is served by a public water district, your landlord can tell you which district to contact.

Trash collection

Curbside trash pick-up is provided for residents once a week by the city. To find out which day trash is collected in your neighborhood, call (573) 874-6291. You are automatically billed for trash collection when you open your water and electric account with the city.

If you live outside the city limits, you must contact private companies for trash collection.


The City of Columbia provides curbside collection for recyclables along with the trash service. Many apartment complexes also provide a recycling bin on a rotational basis. Call Columbia Public Works Department at (573) 874-6291 or your apartment complex manager for more information.

Moving In

Welcome to the neighborhood! As MU students living off-campus, it can be difficult to acclimate to life away from home and out of the residence halls. Here are a few tips you can use to help your new neighborhood feel a little more like home:

When you move in, there are some things you need to do first!

Do you know what to do and look for during the move- in process?

  • Schedule a check-in time with your property owner.
  • ALWAYS fill out a condition checklist before moving your things in.
  • BE SPECIFIC: what is it, how big is it, and where is it located. Don’t forget to look at furniture too.

Do you have a working camera and place to securely store pictures?

  • Take pictures of the place prior to moving any of your belongings in.

Do you know what to do if you have concerns on walk-through day?

  • It is important for you and the property owner to both agree on any discrepancies before you move in.

Do you know how to set up your utilities?

  • Who services your new place (City of Columbia, Boone Electric, Ameren) and which utilities you wil need to set up (electricity, water, trash, sewer and gas).
  • Where is the location of the fuse or breaker box and water shut off?

Purchase Supplies

Download the Move-In Checklist for a list of suggested supplies you may need.

City Ordinances

Keep the following ordinances in mind.

“Nuisance Party” ordinance 16-301 and 16-302
What makes a party a nuisance party?

  • A gathering of 10 or more people who do not live at the residence
  • An ordinance violation occurs, as defined in Ordinance 16-301 (below), including Peace Disturbance, Fighting, MIP, and Parking violations
  • Additionally, Nuisance Party attendees shall disperse when ordered to do so, or be subject to arrest


  • 1st Offense: Fine of $500-2000, or up to 3 months imprisonment
  • 2nd and Subsequent Offense: Fine of $1,000-4,000, or up to 3 months imprisonment
  • Can lead to eviction


  • Be aware of the noise level at your gathering
  • Only invite people you know and do not allow people who you do not know
  • Ensure guests act appropriately and if they do not, ask them to leave
  • If the party becomes out of your control, call the Police Department at 311, or 911 if it is an emergency, and request assistance in dispersing the party
  • Cooperate with law enforcement, including dispersing your guests, or dispersing if you are a guest

Ordinance Language


Nuisance party is a social gathering of ten (10) or more people on residential property that results in any of the following occurring at the site of the gathering, on neighboring property or on an adjacent public street:

  • Unlawful sale, furnishing, possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages
  • Violation of any of the provisions of article III of this chapter (noise)
  • Fighting
  • Property damage
  • Littering
  • Outdoor urination or defecation in a place open to public view
  • The standing or parking of vehicles in a manner that obstructs the free flow of traffic
  • Conduct that threatens injury to persons or damage to property
  • Unlawful use or possession of marijuana or any drug or controlled substance
  • Trespassing
  • Indecent exposure
  • Setting off fireworks
  • Discharging firearms


It shall be unlawful for any person having the right to possession of any residential premises, whether individually or jointly with others, to cause or permit a social gathering on the premises to become a nuisance party.

Occupancy Ordinance 22-184

This ordinance requires your landlord to disclose the zoning for the unit you are renting either through the lease or by signing a separate disclosure. The zoning laws regulate how many people can live in your unit and violating the zoning law can land you in front of a judge. Over occupancy leads to greater traffic, trash, noise and possibly safety issues for occupants. The general rule of thumb is no more than four unrelated occupants may live together in a unit but know that there are some areas where only three unrelated occupants can live together. If there are related occupants living together where occupancy may exceed the allowed limits, please feel free to ask if you will be in compliance with our codes.

Keeping these ordinances in mind while residing in Columbia will keep police officers from knocking on your door and it will keep you from appearing in Municipal Court. For a complete list of ordinances visit

Be a Good Neighbor

Welcome to the neighborhood! As MU students living off-campus, it can be difficult to acclimate to life away from home and out of the residence halls. Here are a few tips you can use to help your new neighborhood feel a little more like home:

Model the behavior you would like to see from others.You don’t want to be woken up in the middle of the night if you have a test at 8:00 the next morning. The same is true for your neighbors – they might have work or class in the morning, be elderly, or have small children.

Adopt a positive and solution-driven approach to resolving conflicts. Whether you’re facing a conflict with a neighbor or butting heads with your roommate, following this simple tip will help you find a constructive and practical way to address the problem. Need help handling a conflict? Contact Off-Campus Student Services at (573) 882-1753 to schedule a consultation.

Take time to learn more about a background or culture you are not familiar with to expand your own perspective and interpersonal skills. MU and the City of Columbia have hugely diverse populations. Take time to get to know your neighbors and find some shared interests. Fostering friendships and positive neighborhood relations enhances our overall health and may lead to new experiences or networking opportunities you didn’t expect!

Always remember to say please and thank you. Kindness has a ripple effect that extends far beyond the initial recipient. Treating others with respect and consideration can be as simple as being polite, no matter the setting. Set an example and be the best Tiger you can be!

Getting Ready for Winter

Before leaving for winter break, ensure your place is ready for the winter. Here are some tips so you can rest easy knowing that your housing will be safe from the cold over break.

  • Turning on your heat: You may smell dust burning off. Don’t be alarmed by the smells, unless there is a clear indication of a fire, in which case call 911.
  • Leave your heat on: This ensures that your pipes won’t freeze if the inside temperature of your house or apartment gets too cold. To save money, turn down your thermostat to a temperature that is above freezing yet cooler than you would normally keep your place. Turning your heat off completely will likely lead to busted water pipes.
  • Unplug all necessary appliances: Consider cleaning out your fridge and unplugging it to save extra money (Make sure you leave the door open to prevent mold).
  • Disconnect any water hoses: Ice can form and pressure can build up in the water lines inside your home. This could cause your pipes to burst.
  • Throw out unwanted perishable foods: This guards against insects and rodents.
  • Window Insulation kit: If your place is drafty this could prevent energy loss and the drafts.
  • Smoke detectors and sprinklers: Remove all fire hazards and make sure they are in good working condition.
  • Notify your property owner: They may be willing to check in on your place to make sure all pipes remain unfrozen.
  • Request your mail service be stopped or forwarded: Go online to USPS website.

Report Problems


Rock the vote.

Missouri has no residency requirements for voter registration, but voters must:

  • Be registered by the third Wednesday before an election
  • Be a citizen of the US
  • Live in Boone County
  • Be at least 18 years old by the day of the next election

You must re-register if you have changed your name or moved. To register, obtain absentee ballots or determine your ward or precinct, contact the Office of Elections and Voter Registration, Boone County Government Center, 801 East Walnut, Room 236, (573) 886-4375. Forms can also be accessed online at


Need to get your drivers license and register your vehicle? We’ve got you covered.

Within 30 days of establishing residency, drivers need to obtain a Missouri operator’s license. The Missouri Department of Revenue is the agency that has responsibility for, among other things, registration of motor vehicles and issuing driver licenses. You can find out what is required to apply for a Missouri driver license as well as search for a nearby location by zip code here. Information about registering a motor vehicle in Missouri is available here.

Staying on Budget

It is best to know exactly what you can afford before you contact any landlord. This way you will be able to limit your search and save time and money.

  • Download our Budget Tools!

Many mistakes are made when students begin to look at housing options without putting much thought into preparing a budget. Download this sample budget sheet to guide your decisions. Other resources to take advantage of as you create your budget are:

Student Financial Aid:
Office for Financial Success:

Exploring Utility Cost

Utilize the City of Columbia’s Historical Electric and Water Usage to explore the average cost current tenants are paying for utilities in Columbia. You can search by geographical map or specific addresses for rental properties.

In My Area: Find providers and compare prices for Internet, Cable TV and other home services available in your specific area. This service is at no cost to students and includes free relocation consultations.

Moving Out

When you move out, make sure to clean the place thoroughly. Clean the oven, refrigerator, bathroom, etc. If you do not do this, the landlord may deduct money from your security deposit. The key is to make sure the apartment/house is in as good, if not better, condition as when you first moved in. Keep these tips in mind too:

End of Lease

  • Document the condition of your unit before your landlord inspects it, and compare this to your move-in checklist. This will help ensure that you are only charged for damage or wear that occurred while you were living in the unit. Take Pictures! Do not leave any furniture or belongings behind-you will be charged to remove it.
  • Contact ALL the utility companies to terminate your services.
  • Remove your name(s) from the mailbox, and have your mail held at the post office until they receive your new address. The post office will forward all your mail when they receive your new address on a change of address form.
  • Make arrangements to have your landlord examine the apartment/house to get approval before you move out. You may save money from your security deposit if minor problems are found that you can repair yourself.
  • The landlord must schedule your “moving out” inspection at a reasonable time. Once this is scheduled, the landlord should notify you. However, if he or she does not, keep in mind that it is your right to be present at this meeting.
  • Return your keys to the landlord.
  • Give the landlord your forwarding address so that your security deposit can be returned to you.


  • Know the terms of your lease before attempting to sublease. Some property owners charge a hefty fee for subleasing or don’t allow it at all.
  • Take the time to get to know your subleaser. Keep in mind that if you do sublease, you are still ultimately responsible for the lease.
  • Know your rights! You have the right to receive your deposit check in-hand, or an explanation of why you are not being refunded, within 30 days of the last day of your lease.

General Safety

Safety should be an important issue to think about when looking for off-campus housing. Go to the property during both daytime and evening hours to view the lighting and safety practices. Consider the following things when viewing a prospective apartment or house:

  • Lighting for security: Is the housing well lit? Are all entry/exit points fully illuminated? Is emergency lighting provided in the apartment community?
  • Landscaping: Are trees and shrubs trimmed for natural surveillance? Are areas clear of landscape debris? Do plantings block the visibility of and from windows and doors?
  • Common areas: Are the common areas adequately lit, including entry and exit points? Are these areas well maintained? Is there police, fire or EMS access?
  • Door systems: Are all exterior doors made of solid wood core or metal construction? Are door frames in good condition? Is there a deadbolt? Are there peepholes on the doors?
  • Windows: Are screens and windows free of damage? Are there working locks on the windows?
  • Garages/Storage Areas: Are garage and storage areas equipped with doors that lock or are padlocked?
  • Fire extinguishers and smoke detectors: Are fire extinguishers provided by the landlord? If so, where are these located? Are there smoke detectors located on the premises and in good working condition?
  • Maintenance/Appearance: Does the space appear to be cared for? Are stairways, railings, balconies secure/free of debris? Does the roof appear to be well maintained?
  • Paint: Is the paint peeling? In older housing, there is a risk that the paint is lead based. This may cause safety issues with any children in the house.

Home Safety

  • Report all crime and any suspicious activity to the Columbia Police Department (911).
  • Keep your doors and windows locked at all times, especially when you are alone, sleeping, or when the apartment is unoccupied (even if only for a few moments).
  • Determine who is on the other side of the door before opening it. Have repair or service personnel show official identification and confirm their presence with the person requesting the service. Delivery persons should remain outside to await the person requesting the delivery.
  • Be sure you have blinds or curtains on your windows to discourage window peepers. Always keep your windows covered at night.
  • Be sure all outdoor lighting fixtures are in working condition.
  • Place items of value out of sight and in locked areas. Do not leave valuables unattended in such common areas as laundry rooms and lounges.
  • Make sure your car is always locked and that any valuables left in the vehicle are locked in the trunk or placed out of view.
  • Make a list of your valuables- DVD players, stereos, computers, jewelry. Take photos of the items, list their serial numbers and descriptions.
  • Check with law enforcement about engraving your valuables through Operation Identification.
  • For a free home security survey for a residence within the city limits contact the Columbia Police
  • Department Crime Free Housing Programs Coordinator at 874-7426.
  • Avoid walking alone at night, but if you must, stay in well-lit, open areas.

Secure Your Place

  • Whether you are going home during an extended university break, or are just leaving town for a couple of days, the following tips are ways to increase the security of your Columbia residence:
  • Be sure there is good lighting around all doors, especially those doors not visible from the street.
  • Lock sliding doors, and place a wooden or metal bar in the track of the doors.
  • Do not hide spare keys in places outside.
  • Arrange for a neighbor whom you trust to watch over your house or store your valuables with while you are away.
  • Take anything of value home with you. Don’t leave any valuable items near windows. Take pictures of any valuables in case they are stolen.
  • Make sure all windows are secure and close your curtains and blinds.
  • Stop mail and paper delivery.
  • Contact the Columbia Police Department and request a WIP (watch in passing). Provide them with the following information: your name, address, when you will be leaving, when you will return, a contact number, whether or not there will be cars in the driveway and what types, and if there will be lights on in the house. Please let them know if someone will be stopping by to feed any pets, water the plants, and/or collect mail.


  • If you return home and something looks questionable such as a slit screen, a broken window or an open door, do not go in. Call the police from a neighbor’s house or a public phone.
  • At night, if you think you hear someone breaking in, leave safely if you can, then call police. If you can’t leave, lock yourself in a room with a phone and call police. If an intruder is in your room, pretend you are asleep.

Vehicle Safety

Take these steps to protect any vehicle:

  • Lock your car.
  • Never hide a spare key on the vehicle.
  • Roll up windows completely.
  • Remove keys from ignition.
  • Park as close as possible to an open business.
  • Do not leave valuables in open sight. Place valuables in trunk if possible.
  • Always park with the wheels turned toward the curb.
  • If you have a garage, use it and lock the garage door.
  • When going out of town, if possible, remove the distributor cap or coil wire.
  • Never leave your car running while it is unattended.
  • Do not leave your registration inside your vehicle, but carry it with you. Important identification papers or credit cards should never be left in a glove compartment.
  • If your car is stolen, before it can be listed as stolen, you must have your license plate number and/or vehicle identification number.

Fire and CO

Prevent Fire

  • Be sure smoke detectors are in proper working condition. Install new batteries at the beginning of each semester.
  • Do not overload electrical outlets. If you need to plug multiple appliances into an outlet, use a fused power strip.
  • Put out candles and incense when unattended.
  • Extinguish all smoking materials thoroughly.
  • Clean up immediately after parties and take all trash outside.
  • Do not leave food unattended on the stove or in the microwave.
  • Plan your escape routes in case fire does strike.
  • Make sure all exit doors are unlocked and not obstructed.
  • Know two ways out of your apartment/house.

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a colorless and odorless gas. Proper installation, operation, and maintenance of fuel-burning appliances in the home are the most important factor in reducing the risk of CO poisoning. Purchase a CO detector in order to protect yourself from poisoning. Detectors can be found in stores that have home improvement departments.

The initial symptoms of CO poisoning are similar to the flu (but without the fever). They include:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • If you suspect that you are experiencing CO poisoning, get fresh air immediately. Leave the home and call for assistance from a neighbor’s home. You could lose consciousness and die from CO poisoning if you stay in the home. For more information contact the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Party Safety

Being a host or organizer is an awesome responsibility. In addition to having fun, you can be a successful host by being aware of potential hazards and taking precautions to minimize your risk level.

For more information, visit the City of Columbia Police Department website.

Here Are Some Helpful Suggestions to Get You Started

  • Before the event, develop a clean-up plan. Keep your house and property well maintained. Delegate cleanup responsibilities to specific individuals after an event.
  • Develop a guest parking plan so cars are not towed or cited.
  • Establish an emergency contact list with the numbers of designated “neighborhood contact” individuals as well as specified attendees. Make sure they keep their cell phones with them at all times with the loud ringer and vibrate setting on so that they can be reached if needed.
  • Check everyone’s identification and create a designation for those over 21 attending a function where alcohol will be served.
  • Consider Hiring Professional Security Staff to Assist With
  • Overseeing the function
  • Managing uninvited guests
  • Collecting car keys, calling taxis, or calling STRIPES at (573) 442-9672 for people who need rides
  • Checking the identification of invited guests
  • Never Promote or Sponsor a Function Where You/Your Organization may be Interpreted as Selling Alcohol Without a License
  • Do not sell drink tickets
  • Do not sell empty cups
  • Do not charge for “all you can drink”
  • Do not host an event in conjunction with a local bar or alcohol distributor
  • It is unlawful for any person to sell alcohol, in any quantity, without acquiring a liquor license. If you sell alcohol at or charge admission to a party, the person accepting the money could be charged with selling liquor without a license. Sentences for this violation involve up to two years in prison and/or fines of up to $1,000. If the alcohol is served to a minor, the server could also be charged with supplying alcohol to a minor. This also includes the selling of cups or wristbands intended for alcohol consumption.

Keg Registration

All retailers selling beer kegs must register the keg and affix a seal on the keg at the time of sale. The retailer will log the purchaser’s name, address, and the acknowledgement of proper use and care of the keg. If a keg is confiscated by police at a party at which underage persons have consumed alcohol, the purchaser of the keg can be identified-and arrested or fined-for supplying alcohol to underage persons. If a keg is returned with an ID tag defaced or missing, the deposit fee required at the time of sale is forfeited.

Other Tips

  • Serve non-alcoholic beverages (we have provided some recipes for you on the OCSS website) and provide food (again, refer to this website for suggestions) for guests.
  • Do not promote alcohol as the center of the event or encourage guests to engage in drinking games.
  • Serve alcohol in closed containers instead of large open “punch bowls,” so it is more difficult for someone to slip a drug into the container.
  • If you notice someone appearing very drunk early on, call 911, as s/he may have been slipped a predatory drug (e.g., roofie, GHB).
  • Limit the number of drinks your guests are drinking: alcohol is still the #1 date rape drug.
  • Avoid glass bottles. Don’t risk someone getting cut by broken glass, and make your clean up easier.
  • Provide transportation or taxis for guests who have been drinking. Take care of your guests. Call STRIPES, the FREE safe rides program for MU students. Students must have a student I.D. with you to receive a ride from STRIPES.
  • Prevent access to swimming pools and close bedrooms to guests. Protect your personal belongings and property. Keep the event in the specific areas.
  • Remember, over-indulgence of alcohol or any drug can lead to risky situations (read our information about serving alcohol and the signs of alcohol poisoning).
  • Establish a time limit for the event with a set end time. Four hours is a good estimate.
  • Avoid drinking and driving.
  • Close all access to your roof. Eliminate the risk of someone falling.
  • *This section above is a modified excerpt from The True Gentleman Initiative “Steps for Responsible Social Planning” handout. The information above was taken from UC Davis’s website on the Smart Party Initiative.

Tips for Party Guests

  • Avoid any party that you haven’t specifically been invited to.
  • Even with the best of intentions by hosts and guest alike, an “open house” kegger is a high-risk situation. If you decide to ignore this advice, here are some suggestions to reduce the chances you’ll be hurt, arrested, or wildly embarrassed.
  • Protect Your Health and Safety
  • Obey laws.
  • If you’re over 21 and choose to drink alcoholic beverages, keep your consumption moderate. (0 drinks if you’re driving, or if you are not the driver and do choose to drink, 1 per hour sets the pace, no more than 3 per day.)
  • If you’re drinking, also eat food.
  • Attend with a friend and look out for each other.
  • Leave your valuables at home. Carry only the ID and money you’ll need that night.
  • If you choose to be sexually active, bring and use condoms and other latex barriers.
  • Stay off all roofs and any balcony that is crowded.
  • Don’t play with fire.
  • Don’t argue with cops.
  • Remember drugs and alcohol don’t mix- even over-the-counter and prescription drugs can be very dangerous when combined with alcohol.

Care of a Drunk Person

Follow these tips when you need to care for a drunk person.


  • Calmly, explain to the person what you doing to them.
  • Get the person to bed and comfortable (confront their behavior later).
  • If the person is in bed, make you lay them on their side.
  • Check on the person as much as possible.
  • While dealing with the person, be calm and reassuring. Speak clearly to them and reinforce that you are trying to help. In any case where a person seems to be in a medically dangerous condition (such as being injured, unable to breathe, passed out, or having low or no respiration), CALL 911. The person may turn out not to need it, but it is ALWAYS better to be safe than sorry. If the person is unmanageable (aggressive, etc.), it is appropriate to call the police for help.


  • Don’t give the person any drugs (not even aspirin) to try to sober them up.
  • Don’t give the person coffee, tea, or any other food or liquid to sober them up.
  • Don’t give them a cold shower. The shock could cause them to pass out and injure themselves.
  • Don’t try to walk, run, or exercise the person.
  • Don’t attempt to keep the person awake.
  • Don’t try to constrain the person.

When You Call for Help

  • Identify yourself.
  • State your problem and what you feel you need.
  • Give your specific location and your phone number. (AND be there when help arrives, if at all possible.)

City Transportation

Go COMO – Your Public Transit Connection

Go COMO offers a semester pass to students for only $100 per semester, which gives them 5 months of unlimited ridership on any and all routes for only $20 a month.

The free Go COMO Mobile App on Apple and Android devices now makes tracking and catching a bus anywhere in the city as easy as looking at your smartphone. The GPS tracking lets you know exactly where every bus is in real-time.

For maps, schedules and other fare information visit

Apartment Shuttles

Most apartment complexes which cater primarily to students offer a shuttle to campus.

On average these shuttles pick up and drop off every 30 minutes. Some shuttles operate for more than one apartment complex; therefore pick up and drop off may take longer than 30 minutes. We recommend that you check with your apartment complex regarding late night shuttles.

The Domain
Starts at 7:00 am
Reaches campus at 7:15
Intervals: 15 minutes to campus, 15 minutes back
Last pick up on campus: 9:45 pm
Contact property for late night shuttle times

The Den
Monday – Friday (pick up at Strickland)
Starts at 7:00 AM
Returns to The Den every 30 minutes
Last pick up on campus 8:15 PM
Late Night shuttle runs Thursday – Saturday (pick up at Memorial)
Starts at 10:15 PM
Returns to The Den every 30 minutes
Last pick up on Memorial 2:00 AM

The Reserve
Starts at 7:00 am
Reaches campus: 7:15 am
Intervals: 15 minutes to campus, 15 minutes back
Last pick up on campus: 9:45 pm
Contact property for late night shuttle times
Starts at 12:00 pm
Reaches campus: 12:20 pm
Reaches Walmart: 12:40 pm
Intervals: 20 minutes to campus, 20 minutes to Walmart, 20 minutes back

Starts at 7:00 am
Reaches campus: 7:15 am
Intervals: 15 minutes to campus, 15 minutes back
Last pick up on campus: 6:45 pm
Contact property for late night shuttle times

Grindstone Canyon
Starts at 7:00 am
Reaches campus: 7:20 am
Intervals: 15 minutes to campus, 15 minutes back
Last pick up on campus: 7:50 pm
Contact property for late night shuttle times

Grayson Cottages
Starts at 7:05 am
Reaches campus: 7:20 am
Intervals: 15 minutes to campus, 15 minutes back
Last pick up on campus: 7:50 pm
Contact Property for late night shuttle times

Brookside Properties

Campus View

Shuttle Schedule

Campus LodgeShuttle 1
Starts at 7:10 am
Reaches campus: 7:20 am
Intervals: 15 minutes to campus, 15 minutes back
Last pick up on campus: 9:50pm
Shuttle 2
Starts at 6:55 am
Reaches campus: 7:05 am
Intervals: 15 minutes to campus, 15 minutes back
Last pick up on campus: 6:35pm
Contact property for weekend shuttle times

The Links at Columbia
Starts at 6:55 am
Reaches campus at 7:40 am
Intervals: The Links Shuttle
Last pick up on campus: 5:40 pm

The Lyfe
Starts at 7:00 am
Reaches campus at 7:15 am
Intervals: 15 minutes to campus, 15 minutes back
Last pick up on campus: 6:45 pm

The Row
Shuttle Schedule

If your property would like to have a shuttle schedule posted please contact us at with a copy of your schedule.

Tiger Line

Tiger Line, Mizzou’s student shuttle service, runs seven days a week during the fall and winter semesters and is available to all Mizzou students. The shuttle system is paid by Mizzou student fees, so there is no additional cost when you board the shuttle.

The Tiger Line day routes run in approximately 10- 15 minute intervals from 6am to 8pm, Monday through Friday. It stops at the following commuter parking lots: AV14 (Trowbridge Livestock Area), SG4 (Hearnes Commuter Parking Area) and RP10 (located east of the Research Reactor).

The night routes run in approximately 30-minute intervals and are available 8pm to midnight, Monday through Saturday, and Sunday from noon to 11pm.

Tiger Line buses are equipped with GPS and can be tracked in real time using the Go Mizzou smartphone app for IOS and Android.

More information about Tiger Line can be found here or on Go COMO.

MU Parking

If you plan on commuting to campus by car… familiarize yourself with Parking & Transportation Services. On their site you can apply for a parking assignment, find a calendar with important dates and a helpful map of parking options on campus. When in doubt, just contact Parking & Transportation!

Parking lots and Garages

The University provides on-campus daytime parking for a fee via the Online Tiger Park Portal ( Parking lots and garages are generally reserved for those with assigned parking passes, with the exception of outside the Virginia Avenue Garage and within Hitt Street Garage which also have metered spaces.

Metered parking

Meters are available to students for 60 cents per hour and are located in areas convenient to classrooms. Some meters on campus are intended for use by visitors with a rate of $1.00 per hour. Hitt Street Garage has 1,000 metered spaces that can be paid with either cash or debit/credit card. All other meters on campus accept American nickels, dimes, quarters or Cashkey.

For full details on MU Parking & Transportation Services, visit

City Parking

Go COMO – Your Public Transit Connection

Go COMO offers a semester pass to students for only $100 per semester, which gives them 5 months of unlimited ridership on any and all routes for only $20 a month.

The free Go COMO Mobile App on Apple and Android devices now makes tracking and catching a bus anywhere in the city as easy as looking at your smartphone. The GPS tracking lets you know exactly where every bus is in real-time.

For maps, schedules and other fare information visit

Types of Leasing

Joint leasing

You and your roommates are liable for one another in the event that one roommate cannot pay their portion of the bill. All bills (rent, utilities, cable and internet) for the unit are split between you and your roommates.


  • Condominiums
  • Duplexes

Individual leasing

Unlike a joint lease, your name is the only one that goes on the lease and you are responsible for only your portion of the rent and utilities. If a roommate moves out, you are still only liable for your portion.

  • Residential Life
  • Apartment Buildings
  • Townhomes

Creating a Budget

It is best to know exactly what you can afford before you contact any landlord. This way you will be able to limit your search and save time and money.

Download our Budget Tools!

Many mistakes are made when students begin to look at housing options without putting much thought into preparing a budget. Download this sample budget sheet to guide your decisions. Other resources to take advantage of as you create your budget are:

Student Financial Aid:
Office for Financial Success:

Exploring Utility Cost

Utilize the City of Columbia’s Historical Electric and Water Usage to explore the average cost current tenants are paying for utilities in Columbia. You can search by geographical map or specific addresses for rental properties.

In My Area: Find providers and compare prices for Internet, Cable TV and other home services available in your specific area. This service is at no cost to students and includes free relocation consultations.

Doing Your Research

  • Start your research during the Fall semester
  • Tour several properties and ask questions
  • Use our Property Research Worksheet for a list of suggested questions to ask
  • Use our Property Comparison Checklist as a guide to compare properties
  • Utilize the Columbia Police Department Police Call Log to assess the level of criminal activity in your area of interest.

Finding Roommates

The vast majority of students choose to live with roommates during their time off campus!

  • This helps keep rent and utility costs down.
  • It is common to want a roommate but not have anyone in mind.
  • Many apartment complexes provide roommate matching services.
  • Opportunities for students to find roommates online through our OrgSync discussions and/or Facebook group.
  • Any roommate you consider should be both reliable and respectful of how you choose to live.

Download the Roommate Matching Questions for a list of suggested questions you may need. You can also use our Roommate Contract to help create clear communication with your roommate. No two roommate relationships are the same, so here’s the Roommate Contract in a Word document version so you all can revise it to fit your individual needs.

Food Options

Campus Dining vs. Cooking or Buying groceries
Campus Dining Services

Campus Dining Services at Mizzou offers 30 restaurants, cafés and Mizzou Markets all across campus. CDS offers off-campus students a specific dining plan that meets the needs of busy schedule. For more information about Campus Dining visit and under dining plans, select Off-Campus.

Cooking/Buying groceries

Cooking at home allows you the freedom and ability to purchase your own food. However, it will mean that you need additional planning when preparing your meals.

Grocery Store Locations

  • ALDI: 807 Business Loop 70 West
  • ALDI: 1000 East Green Meadows Rd
  • A&Y Global Market: 15 North 4th Street
  • Clovers Natural Market: 2100 Chapel Plaza Court
  • Clovers Natural Market: 2012 East Broadway
  • Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture: 1207 Smith Street
  • Gerbes: 1729 West Broadway
  • Gerbes: 2900 Paris Road
  • Gerbes: 2050 East Nifong
  • Hong Kong Market: 3510 Interstate 70 Drive Southeast
  • Hy-Vee: 405 East Nifong Boulevard
  • Hy-Vee: 3120 West Broadway
  • Hy-Vee: 25 Conley Road
  • KEA International Market: 705 Vandiver Drive
  • Lee’s Market: 700 Cherry Street
  • Los Cuates Latin Store: 2908 Paris Road
  • Los Tres Hermanos: 601 Business Loop 70 West
  • Lucky’s Market: 111 South Providence Road
  • Mari’s: 1210 East Prathersville Road
  • Mosers Discount foods: 705 Business Loop 70 West
  • Mosers Discount foods: 4840 Rangeline
  • Mosers Discount foods: 900 North Keene Street
  • Natural Grocers: 400 North Stadium Boulevard
  • Rolwing Foods: 5504 Saddle Ridge Drive
  • Root Cellar: 1023 East Walnut Street
  • Schnucks: 1400 Forum Boulevard
  • Tiger Mart: 8650 North Highway VV
  • Walmart: 1201 Grindstone Parkway
  • Walmart: 3001 West Broadway
  • Walmart: 415 Conley Road
  • World Harvest International & Gourmet Foods: 3700 Monterey Drive

First Time Pet Ownership

Adopting a pet in college is a big deal, and there’s a lot that is required when caring for a pet. Here’s a list of things you may want to consider before making the decision to bring an animal into your life.

Why do you want a pet?

Whether it’s a dog, cat, fish, lizard or otherwise, it’s important to put some thought into whether you’re really ready for a pet and why you want one. Whether it’s for companionship or a workout buddy, take some time to think about it.

How much time do you have available?

No matter what type of animal you choose to bring home, they all require attention and care. Take time to consider what type of animal best fits your schedule. If you’re away for a majority of the day, a dog may not be the best fit, whereas a goldfish or more independent animal may be a better fit for you.

Does your landlord allow pets?

Most apartment complexes have restrictions on the breed, size, and types of animals they allow on the property, and some landlords don’t allow them at all. Be sure to check with your landlord before you bring an animal home to make sure they’re allowed on the premises.

Have you talked to your roommate?

Keeping the people you live with up to speed is always a good idea. Is your roommate okay with having an animal in the apartment/house? Are they allergic to any kind of animal? Do they have an animal that will get along with others? Always make sure your roommates are okay with having an animal before making the decision.

Can you afford to care for an animal?

Owning a pet can get expensive. Whether its vet visits for vaccinations and other medical maladies, bedding, toys, food or grooming, the costs add up. On top of those costs, it’s also important that you consider whether your landlord requires a pet deposit or damage fees to be covered when moving out as these can become a relatively expensive barrier when thinking about owning a pet. These are good things to think about before you make the decision to adopt.

Who will watch your pet when you’re away?

Are you away from home on a consistent basis? Do you go on frequent trips or live out of state? Do you travel for work? If you do, you may need to find a reliable kennel, pet sitter, or friend to care for your animal when you’re away. All of these are things to consider when adopting and may help you decide what kind of pet may best suit your lifestyle.

Have you thought about fostering?

If you’ve never had your own animal before, fostering provides a great opportunity to see what it would be like without making a lifelong commitment to an animal. After fostering a cat or a dog for a while, you might decide on one type of animal over another. Columbia and the surrounding area have a number of organizations that offer the ability to foster, and are always looking for help.


After considering all of these factors, are you still ready to adopt? If so, here is a list of local animal shelters and rescues that offer adoption or a foster option.

  • Local Resources
  • Central Missouri Humane Society (573) 443-7387
  • Unchained Melodies (573) 814-8073
  • Jefferson City Animal Shelter (573) 634-6429
  • Boone County Animal Care (573) 445-2248
  • Second Chance (660) 882-5050

Community Welcome

Welcome to Columbia!

The City of Columbia and the University of Missouri are always working together to create a harmonious relation between long-term residents of Columbia and students at MU. Each year we distribute Welcome Kits and explore opportunities for social gatherings to promote a neighborhood environment that is respectful to everyone. Everyone can help in this effort by getting to know your neighbors and respecting local laws.

Are you new to Columbia? Check out the city’s website for information about setting up utilities, bus routes, city laws and ordinances, parks and recreational activities, and more!

Explore Columbia’s Outdoors

Out and about in Columbia. Get to know these parks and nature areas in Columbia, or “CoMo”, for a great time in some fresh air.

Rock Bridge Memorial State Park
5901 South Highway 163

Rock Bridge Park provides several attractions: the half-mile Devil’s Icebox boardwalk, Connor’s Cave and an actual rock bridge. You can either explore the park on your own or take a guided tour. The 2,273-acre park encompasses 15 miles of trails, which are open to hikers, horseback riders and cyclists.

Peace Park
Elm Street and South 6th Street

Located between campus and downtown, Peace Park is the ideal setting for a study break. The open, grassy area provides great space for a game of Frisbee or a picnic. Take your PB&J and head down to Peace Park for a delightful lunch destination.

MKT Trail and Katy Trail
Five Accesses: Trailhead – Flat Branch Park (101 S. 4th Street – 4th & Cherry Street), 501 S. Providence Road, 800 S. Stadium Boulevard, 2701 Forum Boulevard, 3662 Scott Boulevard

Columbia’s major trail boasts 8.9 miles: 4.7 miles in the city and 4.2 miles in Boone County. It’s perfect for your morning jog, afternoon hike or evening walk. If you are really ambitious, you can take the MKT all the way to the Katy Trail. The Katy Trail is a 225 mile trail that has been converted from an old railway into a wonderful scenic route. Currently the trail extends from Clinton to St. Charles along the Missouri River. Take a day trip or a week-long cruise through Missouri.

Stephens Lake Park
2001 E. Broadway (East Broadway and Old Highway 63)

Stephen’s Lake Park features a beautiful 11-acre lake circled by a 0.6-mile trail for walking, running or biking. You can also fish on the east side of the boardwalk, boat in the lake go for a swim or plan in the spraygrounds.

Cosmo Park
1615 Business Loop 70 West

COSMO Park is known to be Columbia’s largest park. It is one of the most extensive parks around the area, loaded with different activities for you to partake in. It is full of many large fields used for soccer, football, lacrosse, gold, baseball, and softball. There are many different leagues that form each year through the Columbia Parks and Rec system. It also includes an impressive network of mountain biking and hiking trails. Also, COSMO is one of the only parks in the city that has a skate park used for tournaments and recreation throughout the year.

Nature Area and Capen Park Grindstone Nature Area – 2011 Old 63 South (property adjoins Capen Park) Capen Park – 1600 Capen Park Drive (property adjoins Grindstone Nature Area)

Wander through the 230+ acres of natural Missouri landscape. Grindstone Nature Area is full of informal trails leading to wonderful landscapes of Creeks, limestone cliffs, and open grasslands. This is a great park to take a picnic or a long, relaxing hike.

Columbia Law FAQs

What Would Happen If… For more information on the following and other violations, please contact the Columbia Police Department.

I am caught drinking as a minor?

It doesn’t matter if you are caught by University Police, Columbia Police, or Alcohol and Tobacco Control: illegal consumption, possession, or distribution of alcohol by a minor is a misdemeanor. If convicted, you may be fined up to $1000 and/or imprisoned for up to one year. In addition to fines, you will need to pay court costs and attorney fees. If you are a student and your violation occurs on campus, parental notification could take effect if you are under 21.

I use or am in possession of a fake ID?

Any person who is less than 21 years of age, who uses a reproduced, modified, or altered license for the purpose of purchasing, asking for, or in any way receiving any intoxicating liquor can be charged with a misdemeanor.

I am drinking in public?

Effective August 28th, 2005, Missouri law states that if the police have reason to suspect that you have been drinking and you are under 21, they can charge you with “minor in possession by consumption”. This means that even if you are not holding the alcohol container, but have consumed alcohol, you can be charged with an MIP. Additionally, any person who possesses an open container of alcohol on any street, sidewalk or city parking facility could be charged with a misdemeanor.

I am driving while drunk?

The legal BAC limit for DWI is .08. Those under 21 could be found guilty of a Zero Tolerance violation if their BAC is above .02. Consequences could include: fines, license revocation, classes, community service, and jail time, as well as misdemeanor or felony charges on one’s record. Visit for more information on University policies.

I have drugs or open containers of alcohol in my car?

In Missouri, anyone under 21 years old and operating a motor vehicle with either alcohol or illegal drugs in their possession can have their driver’s license revoked for 90 days. The Abuse and Lose law also requires that your license be revoked for 90 days if you commit any of the following offenses: any alcohol related traffic offense; possessing or using an illegal drug; altering a driver’s license; trying to use someone else’s driver’s license. Second and subsequent offenses result in a one year license suspension.

I play my music loudly?

Music that disturbs others or that can be heard at a distance of 50 feet or more is prohibited between 11:00 pm and 7:00 am. You could be charged with a misdemeanor and be fined up to $1,000. Any music from a vehicle that can be heard at a distance of 50 feet is prohibited at any time. Yelling and shouting that disturbs others is illegal at any time.

I shoot fireworks in the city limits?

As of October, 2012, it is illegal to own or shoot off fireworks in the City of Columbia. Any person possessing or discharging fireworks within the city limits shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor.

My party gets out of control?

A nuisance party is defined on page 44 Columbia police officers are authorized to order those attending a nuisance party to disperse. It is unlawful for any person who does not live at the site of the nuisance party to fail or refuse to leave the premise immediately after being told to leave by a Columbia police officer.

Penalties can range $500 (first time offense) to $4,000 (second time offense). Jail time is also a possibility.

I urinate in public?

Any person found urinating in public can be charged with a misdemeanor.
I receive stolen property?
It is illegal to receive stolen property. It is illegal to steal street signs or to receive stolen street signs. Any person caught could be arrested and charged with a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the value.

I leave trash in my yard?

Properties must be kept clear of excessive trash. Yards of all homes must be kept clear of inappropriate items such as tires, appliances, furniture, etc. Leaving trash in your yard could result in a special pick-up fee of $50 or more. Also, do not keep your indoor furniture such as couches and arm chairs on your porch or in your lawn. More information about trash collection can be found on page 46

I trespass?

Any person found trespassing on a private lot can be charged with a misdemeanor.

I park my car on grass?

Vehicles cannot be parked at any time on grass or yellow lines, or with the left side of the vehicles to the curb.
Vehicles cannot block, be parked on or across sidewalks or driveways.
Parking your vehicle in a public place for longer than 24 hours and leaving a wrecked or dismantled vehicle on a public street or private property is prohibited.
It is illegal to operate unlicensed vehicles (this includes expired license plates and vehicles with no license plates).

Trash & Recycling

Did you know… that you can get trash and recycling bags for free through the City of Columbia’s voucher system?

Vouchers are mailed out to residents every April, August, and December. Didn’t receive your vouchers? Contact WasteZero, Inc. at 800-866-3954 or online at to request vouchers in the mail. Vouchers can then be redeemed for trash and recycling bags at most grocery stores in town, including Gerbes Supermarkets, Hy-Vee, Schnuck’s Supermarket, Moser’s Discount Foods, Patricia’s IGA, Westlake Ace Hardware, and Menard’s.

How it works

Curbside trash, recycling, and yard waste pickup begins at 7:30 a.m. most weekdays. It is a violation of City Ordinance to place trash at the curb prior to 4:00 p.m. the night before your trash pickup day.

When is your trash day?

You can visit the Public Works Department – Solid Waste Division at to find a map of trash and recycling collection days.

All trash should be secured in disposable bags (like the free ones you got with your voucher!) or bundles, not exceeding 50 pounds. Columbia does NOT currently use a city-wide can system, so bags should be removed from trashcans and placed on the curb for collection. No can (plastic or metal containers) will be emptied by trash collectors.

Please be mindful of sharp or dangerous items in your trash. Each year several Public Works employees are injured by broken glass, needles, and other items. Please wrap these items carefully, or place them in a puncture-resistant container before placing them in your trash bag. You could even leave a note on the bag to help prevent injury.

Blue (comingled) recycling bags are used to collect only the following items: Glass bottles and jars, aluminum cans, metal food cans, #1-#7 plastic containers. Columbia is able to recycle #1-#7 plastics at this time. Recycling bags should also be limited to 50 pounds and placed out alongside your trash bags on your appropriate trash day, or dropped off at a recycling drop-off center.

Fiber materials (corrugated cardboard, chipboard, boxboard, paper, newspaper, magazines, phone books, etc.) can also be recycled by placing them curbside in a cardboard box or paper bag, next to trash bags and blue recycling bags, or by dropping them in a recycling drop-off center. Locations for these centers can be found at the GoColumbiaMO website. Everyone who has their trash and recycling collected by Public Works, be it curbside or in an on-site dumpster, is charged for trash collection. You can see this charge on your monthly utilities bill from the city

Did that dryer finally dry its last load?

You can arrange pickup of oversized items by contacting the Solid Waste Department at 573-874-6291 or by filling out an online request form at the GoColumbiaMO website.


Some items deemed hazardous to the environment cannot be collected with regular trash. Many of these items may even be common household items, like motor oil or antifreeze containers, caulk, pesticides, paint, batteries, medications and some household cleaners. Learn how you can properly dispose of these items, and see a complete list, by visiting and searching for “Household Hazardous Waste Collection”.

Need assistance?

Physically challenged customers may arrange for special pickup at no additional cost. Customers in need of such assistance must submit a letter from a physician explaining their circumstances.
Following these simple rules can help you avoid receiving fines of $50 or higher.

Recycling/Disposal Guide for Home Gadgets and Devices

This information, and more, can be found online at

Three Strikes

The Office of Off-Campus Student Services at the University of Missouri would like to say thanks for your efforts to keep our students safe as they reside within your property. Throughout the course of the academic year, we strive to provide you with opportunities to connect directly with the student body by participating in our Housing Fairs, advertising in our Off-Campus Living Magazine, GoMizzou App, and website; just to name a few. Consequently, with these opportunities come responsibilities on your part.

Our office has found it necessary to implement a “three strikes” practice. The following are the guidelines for this practice and we reserve the right to make adjustments as deemed necessary. Sanctions will be issued to:

  • Any property or landlord found in direct violation of the University of Missouri’s Solicitation Policy.
  • Any property or landlord that does not abide by the terms and conditions for attending the February and November Housing Fairs.
  • Any property or landlord that does not promote resident safety by adhering to maintenance codes, building codes, nuisance ordinances and overall well-being and fair treatment of students through proactive or reactive measures.
  • Any property or landlord that promotes discrimination based on color, nationality, race, culture, sexual orientation, disabilities, religion or sex.
  • After a thorough investigation, the Office of Student Accountability and Support will notify you in writing each time a violation has occurred. If we find you responsible, we will contact you about solutions to remedy the situation. If appropriate action has been taken, your property will receive a strike and we will continue to partner with you. If no action is taken to resolve the situation amicably, we reserve the right to immediately terminate our agreement.

If your property receives three strikes, you would no longer be able to participate in the following marketing opportunities for one calendar year:

Division of Student Affairs:

  • MizzouRec
  • Residential Life
  • Disability Center
  • Counseling Center
  • Student Health
  • International Center
  • February and November Housing Fair
  • Off-Campus Living Magazine
  • Off-Campus Website Listing
  • GoMizzou App Listing
  • Off-Campus Living Consultations

Thank you for helping our students have a great experience while living off-campus.


The Office of Off-Campus Student Services offers an annual educational training session for property managers and landlords. The purpose of this training is to enhance the relationship between lessors and lessees with a focus on creating safe and welcoming off-campus communities. It is our goal to address topics that will assist property owners and front line staff in dealing with situations that may arise throughout the year. Topics will be reassessed each year, but may include community building, mental health, resident safety, conflict resolution, alcohol awareness, and campus support services. Typically, this training is held in late April or early May.

Business Opportunities

Marketing and Advertising Options

Off-Campus Student Services offers opportunities for property owners and managers and community resources to connect with Mizzou students through a variety of options. 2020-2021 advertising options will be available in April. For more information please contact Off-Campus Student Services at (573) 882-1753 or

Sponsorship Levels

Gold, Silver, and A La Carte options described below

Gold Level

Full page (8″ wide x 10.50″ long) magazine advertisement
GoMizzou App
2 Tables at each of the November and February Housing Fairs
Inclusion in amenity comparison list in magazine
TOTAL: $3,250 (savings of $200)

Silver Level

Half page (8″ wide x 5.13″ long) magazine advertisement
GoMizzou App
1 Table at each of the November and February Housing Fair
Inclusion in amenity comparison list in magazine
TOTAL: $2,000 (savings of $150)

A La Carte Options

Magazine Options:
Full page (8″ x 10.50″) ad- $1800
Half (8″ x 5.13″) page ad- $1000
1/3 (8″ x 3.34″) page ad- $800
1/4 (8″ x 2.44″) page ad- $600
1/8 (8″ x 1.10″) page ad- $400
Inside back cover- $2000
Outside Back cover- $3000
Additional full page- $1800
Inclusion in amenity comparison list in magazine – $150

Housing Fair Tables:

½ Table – $150 (choice of shared with another vendor or small bar top table)
1 Table – $300
2 Tables $600


Event sponsorship – $300

Events available for sponsorship include workshops and breakfast stops. Selection of events by sponsors will be done in the order of request date. There will be a limited number of sponsorship opportunities, so not all requests may result in an opportunity. Sponsors will receive a refund if they are not granted an event or if the event does not occur.

Property would be listed as event sponsor in marketing materials, allowed to provide printed materials for attendees to pick-up at event and provide a 5 minute informational talk by a representative about the property(ies). The property would not be allowed to collect of information from participants or complete applications or leases at the event. Each company would be permitted to sponsor one event per academic year.