Rent Safely at UW-Madison with

When it comes to picking a place to live in a big city like Madison, it’s important to know as much as you can about your new neighborhood. We want you to love your new place, but we (and probably your parents) want you to be safe too and you can find the best and safest UW-Madison off-campus housing on But to make sure you’re staying safe on campus, read on to learn more about the best ways to be safe when you go to the University of Wisconsin.

There are tons of online resources that you can use to learn more about the neighborhood your next house or apartment is in, including crime rates. But what college student has time to sit down and do all the research? That’s why we did it for you.

We found the most common crimes that take place around UW-Madison and matched them up with some of the most popular neighborhoods you might be eyeing up for next year. We aren’t trying to scare you or freak you out, we just want you to be aware of your surroundings and be able to protect yourself and your friends!


Alright, let’s get ready to learn some law! Theft is the action crime of stealing – it’s pretty common when you head over to State Street, S. Carroll Street, and W. Washington Ave. To be exact, there are 18 reports of theft on these three streets in the average month

So, these all are pretty popular party spots, right Badgers? That tells us, it’s critical when you’re out and about to do your best to stay cautious and aware of your surroundings – even though awareness may not be your top priority on weekend nights on State Street.

Keep your belongings close and don’t carry anything super valuable if you can help it. Keep your friends close, your bag closed, your keys close: really just keep everything close.


So, according to the law, robbery is the taking of property through fear or by force and involves person-to-person interaction. How is that different from theft? You can commit theft without person-to-person interaction. Pretty straightforward.

Robbery is not nearly as common as theft around the UW-Madison campus – yay! But still, it happens. There has been a total of three robberies reported on State Street and the Block of Langdon Street within the average month. State Street is a popular party spot for students and it’s easy to lose your friends in the chaos of bar hopping. To prevent being a victim of robbery it’s so important you stay with your group!

Friends, watch your friends and get your friends to watch you. Walk on well-lit streets where there are lots of people, stay off your phone while you walk and stay alert!


By definition, a threat to attempt or inflict offensive physical contact or bodily harm on a person that puts them in immediate danger. Assault appears to be a little more common around UW-Madison than other crimes. Within the past month, multiple assaults have been reported on State Street, Frances St, Dayton St, Carroll St, W Washington Ave, W Gorham Ave, University Ave, and N Franklin St. A lot of these are popular streets where students may be going out or walking home from the bars or class.

You can protect yourself from assault by staying in groups and keeping an eye on your friends. If you’re at the bars keep an eye on your drink and don’t let anyone else handle it. Again, if you find yourself walking alone stay alert – keep your phone handy in case you need to call for help, but keep your eyes up and your ears open.

But try not to walk alone at night – students walking alone are popular targets for criminals. Try to take an Uber or Lyft or a campus shuttle if you’re stuck late at the library or coming home after going out.

Again, our goal isn’t to scare you. But if you’re more aware of these crimes and the area they happen in it’ll be easier for you to protect yourself and your friends. Keep these crimes in mind when you’re picking a place to live – it’s important you feel safe in your home!

Top Tips:

  • Stay in groups! All crimes are less likely to happen when you’re with a friend.
  • Most robberies and assaults happen at night, so if at all possible, get a ride and avoid walking late at night.
  • Be aware when you’re on popular streets for theft, robbery, and assault. State, Washington, and Langdon are all popular spots for criminals.


We researched neighborhoods and crime rates near UW-Madison. To find the most popular neighborhoods, we used the Madison Neighborhoods page made by the UW-Madison Law School. Crime Data was found using Spot Crime.


Chips and salsa aficionado, Ali Bartmer joined the Rent College Pads team in the fall of 2016 as the Operations Assistant and has since become a Content crafter. Cat mom of one, Ali prides herself in being a Bloody Mary connoisseur and with her Masters from Hogwarts there’s nothing Ali can’t do.

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