Important Leasing Information
Leasing For The 2018-2019 Academic Year
South Campus Commons is located adjacent to the South Hill Community residence halls at the southern edge of the campus. The 7 apartment buildings house 2178 students and are all single bedrooms within apartments which range from 4-bedroom/2-bathroom units, 2-bedroom/2-bathroom units, and a limited number of three-bedroom, one-bedroom, and studio units. Capstone staff manages the leasing, maintenance, service desk operations, and all financial matters for South Campus Commons. The UM Department of Resident Life manages the residence life program including the hiring and supervision of Resident Assistants who live and work in each of the halls. Residents living in South Campus Commons must adhere to the conditions of the South Campus Commons lease as well as the UM Code of Student Conduct and the rules and regulations set forth in the Community Living Handbook.
The leasing process for The Courtyards at University of Maryland (CTY) and South Campus Commons (SCC) 2018-2019 lease year begins on November 16, 2017.
If you are considering leasing in South Campus Commons, filling out an online leasing application is your first step. There is no obligation by completing this application; it only indicates your interest in leasing at the South Campus Commons or the Courtyards.
Only students who complete the online application by the applicable deadline will be eligible to sign a lease for 2018-2019. The leasing application is available online b by login into the MyDRL portal and selecting the “Commons / Courtyards MyDRL Portal” link.
Only those residence hall students who go on to sign a lease at Commons or The Courtyards will pay the $30 application fee.
Please be aware there are only a limited number of spaces still available. Complete your application and contact the leasing office to secure your space by emailing at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 301-226-8001.
Being assigned a leasing appointment time does not mean that you are guaranteed a space in Commons or Courtyards. A leasing appointment offers you the opportunity to attend a leasing meeting to see what apartment spaces are available at that time. Leasing appointment times are based on leasing numbers (akin to a Resident Life priority number; see below for an explanation of leasing numbers). As students with better (i.e. lower) leasing numbers attend their leasing appointments and sign leases for particular spaces with their eligible pull-ins, the number and types of available apartment spaces will be reduced. Remember, submitting a lease application and accepting a leasing appointment time also does not obligate you to sign a lease. However, if you choose to accept an apartment space during your leasing appointment you will be required to sign a lease at that meeting.
You will need to bring 3 items (and know one piece of information) with you to your Leasing Appointment:
- Check or money order for $300 (Lease Reservation Fee)
- Check or money order for $30 (application fee)
- A photo ID
- You must know your Social Security Number (you do not need your SS Card)
All three items must accompany the student at their designated leasing appointment. The “Payable to” field on the check should be left blank until the time that a student signs a lease, as the “Payable to” name will be different for leases in South Campus Commons and the Courtyards. If you do not have the checks at the time of your leasing appointment, you will not be permitted to enter Open Leasing or sign a lease. Credit Card payments and cash are not accepted for the lease reservation and lease application fees.
The management and leasing offices at South Campus Commons should not receive leasing appointment paperwork and/or monies in the mail or in person outside of a scheduled leasing appointment. Any paperwork and/or monies received will be returned to sender.
You will only turn in the checks/money orders if you actually choose a space and sign a lease. No money or checks will be collected if you do not sign a lease.
See below for a preview of what the Open Leasing process will look like.
On occasion students inquire about the difference between “Subletting” and “Re-leasing” their apartment. Hopefully this information will shed light on the difference between the two and why we only do Re-leasing at South Campus Commons.
Subletting means that you are allowing someone to use your apartment that you are renting for a period of time in return for payment. When subletting you are still financially responsible for the apartment and any damages that might occur even though you are allowing someone else to rent from you. Please review the section on “Illegal Re-leasing” for more information on this process.
Re-leasing is the official process of transferring financial responsibility for your South Campus Commons lease to another eligible student prior to the lease end date. Any students who study abroad, withdraw from the University, or need to leave due to financial constraints, must use this process. Once you re-lease your apartment, your individual lease is formally ended which means that you will no longer have access to your space and community services and you are released from your financial obligation.
This formal process, which is completed through the Leasing Office, is necessary in order to protect the original leaseholder. Therefore, the process outlined below must be followed for a re-lease to occur.
The following information is designed to help you navigate the re-leasing process, through which you can end your lease early by transferring it to another eligible student. Please review this information carefully, as you retain financial responsibility for your apartment until the re-leasing process has been completed in its entirety. We recommend submitting the Re-Leasing Request 2 – 3 weeks before your desired lease transfer date. However, finding a re-lessor can be sometimes be difficult, so we recommend that you start looking for a re-lessor as early as possible.
- Step 1: Find a re-lessor (a student who is interested in taking over your lease). It is your exclusive responsibility to find re-lessor.
- Step 2: Your re-lessor must complete a South Campus Commons Leasing Application.
- Step 3: Submit a Re-Leasing Request. If your re-leasing request is approved, you will be prompted to schedule a re-leasing appointment.
- Step 4: Attend your re-leasing appointment with your re-lessor and complete your re-leasing paperwork.
Finding a Re-Lessor
Online Re-leasing Board
- Throughout the year, South Campus Commons leaseholders may be in search of someone to re-lease their space to. Prospective residents may view these boards to find a potential space to release. Current residents may also post advertisements in designated areas on campus. (Please note that SCC spaces require University approval before being posted).
- Female Re-leasing Board
- Male Re-leasing Board
- Ask your roommates if they know anyone with whom they might like to live.
- Ask friends if they know of anyone looking to live in Commons.
- Request a copy of the South Campus Commons wait list by emailing us. Please include your name and UID in your email request.
Currently, any full-time undergraduate student at Maryland who is in good financial, judicial, and academic standing with the University is eligible. Your re-lessor’s eligibility will be determined once you submit your Re-Leasing Request and you will be notified via email. For more specific questions about renewal eligibility, please email Kelly Ridings, Manager for Public Housing Partnerships with the Department of Resident Life, at email@example.com.
You can submit your Re-Leasing Request anytime, but re-leasing appointments are only available between the 4th and the 20th of each month (except August, February, and March). Failure to complete your appointment by the 20th of the month will result in you retaining financial responsibility for the following month.
- Your $100 lease transfer fee. This must be paid in certified funds*. Personal checks and cash are NOT accepted.
- The remaining portion of your financial responsibility through your new lease end date. This must be paid in certified funds*. Personal checks and cash are NOT accepted.
- Monthly rent installments are due on the first of each month. The person in possession of the lease on the 1st of the month is responsible for the rental installment. Installments are not prorated and South Campus Commons will not issue refunds for installments owed prior to the lease transfer. Any exchange of money relating to partial rent payments or personal refunds is solely between the leaseholder and the re-lessor.
*Certified funds are available from a teller at your financial institution in the form of a cashier’s check. Money orders are available at 7-Eleven, CVS, The United States Post Office, Giant, and other retail locations.
- $30 application fee. Check or money order made payable to South Campus Commons.
- $300 lease reservation fee. Check or money order made payable to South Campus Commons.
- Social Security Number. While your card is not required, you must be able to provide your SSN.
On your Re-Leasing Request you will need to select your re-lessor’s desired move-in date. Your move-out date will be at least three business days before their move-in date. All of your belongings must be removed from the apartment, even if you are studying abroad and plan to return to the apartment or to South Campus Commons in the future.
Illegally re-leasing a South Campus Commons apartment to an unapproved individual is strictly prohibited. If you are found to be illegally re-leasing your apartment, the leaseholder and the illegal re-lessor may be referred to the University of Maryland judicial process according to the Rights and Responsibilities handbook, Section B, 26. As the illegal re-lessor, you will be required to move out of the apartment immediately or go to the Leasing Office sign a lease at South Campus Commons.
Failure to check in through the Landlord is subject to a $200 administrative charge. Failure to check in or out at a designated Service Desk is also subject to a $100 improper check in/out fee. Furthermore, current residents who do not properly check their keys into a Commons staff member at the Service Desk are subject to $150 core replacement fees for the front and bedroom door. Only legal leaseholders will be permitted to sign out the replacement keys in such circumstances.
To avoid incurring these charges and judicial sanctions, and to preserve the security of our community, it is imperative that all residents use the re-leasing process outlined here.
Management of Sensitive Information
Why Do We Collect Social Security Numbers?
In order to verify the identity of an individual, South Campus Commons must collect Social Security Numbers, which are the only precise identifier of an individual. No other information–full name, address, birthday, etc.—is as accurate at identifying an individual as a Social Security number. This precision is vital when reporting derelict accounts to our collections agency, which then uses the Social Security Number to report the non-payment to a credit scoring agency.
Our ability to ensure consistent payment is dependent upon our ability to have credible outside enforcement. In addition to providing financial assurance to our organization, a Social Security Number provides financial security to the residents and their guarantors. Given that South Campus Commons experiences a high rate of resident turnover, we often have many residents with a similar name. Since the Social Security Number is the most unique identifier of an individual, it ensures that the account being sent to collections matches the person who owes the funds.
What Documents Require A Social Security Number?
- Student’s Social Security Number is required only on the front page of the Lease.
- Guarantor’s Social Security Number is required only on the Continuing Guarantor of Lease form.
Who Has Access?
Only management, staff, and student staff have access to Social Security Numbers. All staff members, including students, must pass a background check prior to employment.
Social Security Numbers are never stored electronically. Documents containing Social Security Numbers are stored in locked file cabinets to which only management, staff, and student staff have access. The filing cabinets are located in our office, which is secured with a monitored alarm system.
After a resident who is clear of any balance has moved out and his/her lease has ended, Social Security Numbers on the Continuing Guarantor of Lease and the resident’s Lease are blacked out. If the resident owes South Campus Commons funds, their file continues to be securely held in the office. Once their balance is paid off, the Social Security Numbers on the Continuing Guarantor of Lease and the resident’s Lease are blacked out. If the balance remains unpaid, the Social Security Numbers on the Continuing Guarantor of Lease and the resident’s Lease are blacked out after the account is sent to our collection agency.
Annually, past resident files are digitally archived by an outside contractor. Once they are saved to a DVD, the hardcopies are destroyed. Archiving is completed for a full lease year. A lease year is only archived once we ensure that all accounts are either settled or in collections and all Social Security Numbers are blacked out.
As of 2014-2015 lease year, South Campus Commons requires all residents invest in renter’s insurance. South Campus Commons does not carry insurance on tenant’s personal possessions. Renter’s insurance can provide protection for accidental damage, theft, fire, water, and more. Please note, tenant will be held liable for any damages he/she may cause to a unit. Damage caused to a unit by a tenant will be charged directly to the resident found responsible or split among the residents of the apartment if a responsible party cannot be determined, regardless of acquisition of insurance.
Many tenants rely on parents’ homeowners insurance policies for protection while residing at South Campus Commons. Be sure to check your policy first as many will only provide partial coverage for personal property of the tenant. Renters insurance covers personal property as well as damage to the property for which a tenant may be liable. Renters insurance policies also tend to carry lower premiums.
Renter’s insurance rates vary from state to state. The cost also depends on the insurance company and the coverage level selected. According to Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIAB), the coverage cost for renters insurance is about $12 per month for $30,000 worth of property coverage and $100,000 of liability coverage.
You may benefit from speaking with an agent when selecting a policy, as some features of our properties could lower rates. Agents may also recommend other protective measures for your apartment that will lower the rates and further your protection. Some policies also cover listed property outside the apartment.
Click here for an informational pamphlet on renter’s insurance. South Campus Commons does not specifically endorse the company in the provided pamphlet. We provide this for informational purposes only to aid in your insurance-provider research.
Related article: “College Students Should Hit the Books on Insurance”