Dear 100 Hour Board,
How difficult is it to get BYU to waive not living in "approved" housing? If me and my friends want to split on living in a normal house that isn't originally intended for students, will that cause any problems?
I looked into waiving the housing requirement for myself last summer term, but I didn't end up needing to, so I don't have any personal experience to offer. While researching, I got the impression from conversations with friends and from posts on BYU Housing groups on Facebook that as long as your roommates were willing to sign a paper stating that they would live by the honor code, it wouldn't be hard to get a waiver. Unfortunately, though, I haven't been able to find any record of those posts or conversations, so maybe I'm just going crazy. I do know of one of my friends' roommates who had her housing requirement waived while she lived with other students in Orem, but I don't know the details of her experience. There's also a comment on Board Question #87449 indicating that it might be easier to get a waiver if you started BYU as an older student or if you're living with friends instead of living alone.
I think a more reliable source, though, would be this 2017 Daily Universe article, which quotes Off-Campus Housing Office general manager Garry Briggs as saying, “We don’t like to grant a lot of waivers because that means they are living in places that aren’t contracted, and then if they have problems with roommates or the facilities we don’t have any leverage to help them.”
So, it might not be as easy as I thought or hoped. But I don't think that means you shouldn't give it a shot. Maybe don't sign a contract just yet, but definitely submit the waiver and see if it's a possibility!
It was super easy for me, but I was living at home with a faculty member (thanks Dad)! However, I've heard of this happening so give it a shot!
I hope that helps!
-Sunday Night Banter
There are definitely lots of normal houses out there that are approved for BYU students, so you could also go that route and not worry about needing a waiver. I found several with just a cursory search of the BYU off-campus housing website's vacancy list.
Best of luck,