Before residents leave campus, we strongly recommend that they have their RA look at the room to help identify any possible problem areas. RAs do not have the final say on what a resident may or may not be billed for, but they can be very helpful in pointing out any big problems. After closing, professional staff will make final billing determinations during room inspections.
Typical damage charges are for extra cleaning; missing recycle bins; wall repair and repainting; and furniture repair, reassembly or replacement. We make every effort to repair or replace damaged items for which we bill. Students who do not check out of their hall properly (either at their desk or by using Express Checkout) forfeit the right to appeal any room damage charges.
Charges are based on any changes to the room's condition from the time the resident moved in. All charges are posted to student accounts by mid-June under the descriptor "assigned damage." We notify residents of any room charges, and give them the opportunity to view charges and appeal any they believe to be in error. Deadline for all appeals is June 30th.
We do all we can to make sure students know how to check out properly, but sometimes it happens -- a student fails to check out properly and gets charged for a lock change or an improper checkout. Here are the five easiest checkout pitfalls and how to avoid them:
1. The mistake: I forgot to turn in my key! In the rush to move all their things out to the waiting car and be out before the May 11th 8:00 p.m. deadline, some students forget that all-important step of giving their key back to the front desk of their residence hall. This results in a $55 charge for a lock change.
How to avoid it: Get an express checkout envelope ahead of time and fill it out in advance, placing it right on top of all of the things you're moving so you can't miss it! Be sure your student turns it in at the front desk, either to a person or to the express checkout drop box, as soon as they check out. We don't have time before handing over our buildings for summer housing to wait for students to mail back keys, so be sure they are handed in before your student heads out!
2. The mistake: I forgot my...(math book, favorite sweater, refrigerator, etc.)! Sometimes things get left behind -- either they don't fit in the car, students don't want them anymore, or they are just forgotten behind a door. Leaving things behind could result in an extra cleaning charge.
How to avoid it: Check through the entire room as thoroughly as possible to check for forgotten items. Any clothes, books, or other small items can be donated in bins in the lobby during finals week, but larger items might require a little more advance planning to donate to a thrift store.
3. The mistake: My room is a mess! When you've been moving boxes, suitcases, and furniture for hours, it's easy to call it done once the room is free of personal belongings. However, failing to sweep, wipe down surfaces, and/or clean the suite bathroom will result in an excess cleaning fee.
How to avoid it: Complex front desks supply basic cleaning supplies during closing week, including brooms, vacuums, rags, and some cleaners. Be sure that the room is in clean condition when you move out. You'll save our custodians a lot of extra time and work, and save yourself an extra cleaning charge.
4. The mistake: But that was broken when I moved in! When staff go through the rooms at the end of the year, they check for damages. If something is found to be broken or damaged and it wasn't listed on the room condition form at the beginning of the year, students may get charged for repair.
How to avoid it: This one is difficult if students didn't note it on their room condition form at move-in. However, if there is anything broken or damaged in the room, students should talk to their office manager about what they can do.
5. The mistake: But my plane/train/automobile doesn't leave until Saturday! Sometimes it is cheaper or easier to travel on Saturday morning, but we do publish the building's closing date well in advance and request that students make their travel plans before Friday at 8:00. If your student didn't request a late checkout in advance, however, they could be charged for an improper checkout if they aren't out by Friday, May 11th at 8:00 p.m.
How to avoid it: The best way to avoid this is to make sure all travel plans are before the May 11th at 8:00 p.m. deadline. However, as we know that isn't always possible, we offer a late checkout option which students can apply for -- it requires documentation of the travel (copy of the plane, bus, or train ticket, or an email from whomever is picking the student up) and it should be in before Tuesday, May 8th at 4:30 p.m.