West Virginia University students interested in exploring their housing options are encouraged to attend WVU s annual Off-Campus Housing Fair Wednesday, Jan. 14.

The fair will be held from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. in the Mountainlair ballrooms.

More than 40 area landlords and property managers will be on hand to talk to students about their rental needs.

Students at WVU have so many options available to them,said Brian Walker, off-campus housing coordinator with the Office of Student Life .The fair is a good opportunity to explore those options and get a feel for the different properties available to them within their budget.

Representatives from WVU Student Legal Services , the Off-Campus Housing Office, the Morgantown Fire Department and city code enforcement will also be present at the fair to answer questions.

Participants will have the opportunity to win door prizes such as GPS systems, digital cameras and gift cards to various restaurants and stores. (Students must be present at the time the winners are announced to receive a gift. An announcement will be made 15 minutes prior to each drawing.)

When looking for a place to live, there are a variety of things students should consider, Walker said.

First, a student must establish a budget for housing. Students should include the cost of utilities, travel and other personal expenses, he said.

For many students, this is the first legal contract they have ever entered into, and they dont understand the ramifications,Walker said.

Students should also take a careful look at safety featureswhether the windows can be locked, no matter what floor they are on, and opened in case of a fire, he added.

Walker also suggests that students check all door locks to make sure they have deadbolts.

More information on off-campus housing can be found online at http://www.studentlife/wvu.edu/offcampushousing .