Leasing For The 2020-2021 Academic Year

General Information

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) 2020-2021 lease year begins on November 14, 2019.

To view the University of Maryland Housing website for South Campus Commons and The Courtyards, please visit:

http://reslife.umd.edu/housing/commonscourtyards/

View a Video of our Information Session HERE

The Process

If you are considering leasing in South Campus Commons or the Courtyards, 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 2019-2020. The leasing application will be available online beginning November 15, 2018 at 9:00 a.m. by logging into the StarRez Portal and select the “Commons / Courtyards” link.

  • To be listed as a pull-in by a current SCC/CTY resident renewing their lease, Leasing applications must be submitted prior to February 9, 2020 at 3:59PM EST.
  • The priority application deadline is March 1, 2020 at 3:59PM EST
  • Any student who submits a leasing application after the deadline will lose their priority group status and only be eligible to attend after all other applicants have had a chance to select from available vacancies.

Please Note: The leasing application is the same for both SCC and CTY (i.e. you only need to submit one leasing application for the 2020-2021 year). Completing the no-obligation leasing application does not affect your status as Residence Hall student or prevent you from participating in room selection if you are eligible to do so and decide you don’t want to sign a lease in Commons or Courtyards.

Only those residence hall students who go on to sign a lease at Commons or The Courtyards will pay the $25 application fee and lose their ability to participate in room selection.

Eligibility
  • Leasing eligibility is determined by the University of Maryland’s Department of Resident Life.
  • Students must be in good academic, financial, and judicial standing with the University to be eligible to sign a lease.
  • Lease-holders must be undergraduate students registered full-time at the University of Maryland, College Park.
  • First priority for leasing for the August 2019 – July 2020 year is given to current (Spring 2019) on-campus residents who are rising 3rd year students (rising Juniors*)
  • To be pulled in to either community by a current SCC/CTY resident, you must eitehr be a current SCC/CTY resident or a rising 3rd year (rising Junior*) on-campus resident student
  • Students must submit a 19-20 SCC/CTY leasing application by the March 8 deadline.

The chart below outlines the order of priority for leasing in South Campus Commons and The Courtyards.  This priority order is based on the Department of Resident Life’s Housing Commitment Policy.

Order of Priority for SCC/CTY Leasing appointments Group Description Number of Semesters of Undergraduate Study # of Semesters of Undergraduate Study (including the Spring 2019 semester) Eligible to be pulled in to spaces by current SCC/CTY Residents?
1st Priority On-Campus residents – “Rising Juniors”* 3-4 Yes
2nd On-Campus residents – “Rising Seniors”* 5-6 No
3rd On-Campus residents – “Rising Sophomores”* 1-2 No
4th On-Campus residents – “Rising 5th year Senior”* 7 + No
5th Off-Campus Students Any Number No

 

Timeline

Information Sessions and Tours

There will be multiple information sessions for students who would like to learn more about leasing at The Courtyards and South Campus Commons. We also strongly encourage you and your family to attend the upcoming community tours to learn more about SCC, CTY, and the leasing process!

Information Sessions Schedule
Date Place Time
Wednesday, November 13, 2019 Prince Frederick Multipurpose Room 6:30pm
Thursday, November 14, 2019 Oakland Multipurpose Room 6:30pm
Wednesday, December 4, 2019 Annapolis Hall Multipurpose Room 6:30pm
Thursday, December 5, 2019 Cambridge Community Center Rm 1100 6:30pm
Wednesday, January 29, 2020 Prince Frederick Multipurpose Room 6:30pm
Thursday, January 30, 2019 Oakland Multipurpose Room 6:30pm
Thursday, February 6, 2019 Leonardtown Multipurpose Room 6:30pm

 

Courtyards & South Campus Commons Tours
Date Place Time
Saturday, January 25, 2020 SCC Seminar 5 11:00am-1:00pm
CTY Clubhouse 12:00-2:00pm
Sunday, January 26, 2020 SCC Seminar 5 11:00am-1:00pm
CTY Clubhouse 12:00pm-2:00pm
Friday, January 31, 2020 SCC Seminar 5 4:00pm-6:00pm
CTY Clubhouse 4:00pm-6:00pm
Saturday, February 1, 2020 SCC Seminar 5 11:00am-1:00pm
CTY Clubhouse 12:00pm-2:00pm

 

Application and Lease Signing Timeline

Date Information
November 14, 2019 The 2020-2021 leasing application and Mixed Gender Apartment Living Applications (for new potential residents) are available online
January 2020 –
February 9, 2020
Students wishing to be pulled in to Commons or Courtyards next year complete the 2020-2021 Leasing Application. Current residents of Commons and Courtyards complete intent to return forms and name any students as potential pull-ins.
January 29, 2020-
February 1 2020
Students attend Information Sessions and Community Tours of South Campus Commons and The Courtyards.
February 9, 2020
at 3:59PM EST
Mixed Gender Apartment Living in SCC/CTY Applications are due
Feb 9, 2020
at 3:59PM EST
Deadline for current SCC/CTY residents to submit Intention to Return forms and name pull-ins. Deadline for new applicants to submit application to be named as a pull-in by current SCC/CTY resident
March 1, 2020 Current residents of South Campus Commons and The Courtyards attend leasing appointments to transfer to different bedrooms or units, and eligible pull-ins attend their pull-in leasing appointments.
March 1, 2020 Mixed Gender Apartment Leasing for eligible applicants groups.
March 1, 2020
at 3:59PM EST
The 2020-2021 Commons/Courtyards Leasing Application Deadline.
March 13, 2020
by 3:59PM EST
All eligible students who completed the 2019-2020 Leasing Application by the March 8 priority deadline receive an e-mail directing them to log in to the StarRez portal to view their leasing number and leasing appointment time for Open Leasing Nights.
March 25, 2020
at 3:59PM EST
Deadline to submit a late application to participate in open leasing in the 6th priority group of late applicants on March 26, 2020 (NOTE: Anyone who falls in the LATE category loses all priority group privileges).
March 23, 24, and 26 2020 Open Leasing Nights for new applicants to South Campus Commons and the Courtyards.

 

Appointment Requirements

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:

  1. Check or money order for $300 (Lease Reservation Fee)
  2. Check or money order for $25 (application fee)
  3. A photo ID
  4. You must know your Social Security Number (you do not need your SS Card)
  5. Completed Guarantor Form

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.

https://go.umd.edu/OpenLeasing2020

Navigating the Application

Check back later for an instructional video on how to successfully complete the application.

Leasing Resources

When choosing an apartment, below are some useful resources to assist in making the best decision for you.

SCC Floorplans

SCC Rates

Courtyards Floorplans

Courtyards rates

South Campus Commons Sample Lease for 2020 – 2021

 

To view the list of available vacancies at South Campus Commons and The Courtyards, log into your MyDRL portal and select “Commons / Courtyards MyDRL Portal.” Under that section, select the menu icon (3 bars in the top left corner) and select “Vacancies.” Available spaces are split by Male and Female.  Any apartment with all bedrooms available will be listed under both genders’ list.

For apartments that have returning residents, students can view roommate attributes via the MyDRL portal.  After logging in, select “Commons / Courtyards MyDRL Portal.”  Under that section, select the menu icon (3 bars in the top left corner) and select “Roommate Matching.” You will be able to select your search criteria, or view resident attributes by room.

Re-Leasing Information

 

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 being allowed by someone to use their apartment that they are renting for a period of time in return for payment. When subletting the lease holder is still financially responsible for the apartment and any damages that might occur even though someone else is living there. Please review the section on “Illegal Re-leasing” for more information on this process. Subletting is not permitted at South Campus Commons.

Re-leasing is the official process of transferring financial responsibility for a South Campus Commons lease to another eligible student prior to the lease end date in July.  Any students who study abroad, graduate, withdraw from the University, or need to leave due to financial constraints, must use this process.   Once and apartment is re-leased, the lease is formally ended for the original resident, which means that they will no longer have access to that space and community services and they are released from the financial obligation.  The re-lessor is then fully financially responsible and receives full rights of access to the space and corresponding services.

This formal process, which is completed through the Leasing Office, is necessary in order to protect the original leaseholder and the incoming resident. Therefore, the process outlined below must be followed for a re-lease to occur.

The Process

The following information is designed to help you navigate the re-leasing process, through which you can receive transfer of a lease from a current resident.

  • Step 1: Lease Holder finds a Re-lessor (an eligible student who is interested in taking over your lease). It is the Lease Holder’s exclusive responsibility to find a Re-lessor.
  • Step 2: The Re-lessor must complete a Commons/Courtyards Leasing Application in order to be able to complete the Commons/Courtyards Re-leasing Form.
  • Step 3: The Lease Holder and Re-lessor must each submit the Commons/Courtyards Releasing Form in the StarRez Portal. After the re-lessor is approved, the Lease Holder will be able to access the appointment scheduler via the Commons/Courtyards Re-leasing Form to schedule a re-leasing appointment.
  • Step 4: The Lease Holder and Re-lessor attend the re-leasing appointment and complete their re-leasing paperwork.Note: There is a 2 business day cancellation period on any newly signed lease. If a re-lessor exercises their right to cancel their lease, financial responsibility will return to the original lease holder.
Connecting Lease Holders and Re-Lessors
  • The OCH Database: A Resident Life resource that The Courtyards and South Campus Commons Lease Holders can use to post their vacancy and potential Re-lessors can use to search for vacancies.
  • Maryland Community Housing Facebook group: A housing resource that requires an @umd.edu email address to access.
  • The Courtyards and South Campus Commons Wait list: As a Re-lessor, you can join The Courtyards and South Campus Commons wait list by completing a Common/Courtyards Leasing application. Lease Holders can request this list so that they can reach out to interested students all at once.
  • You are also encouraged to use word of mouth! Ask your friends if they know of anyone looking to leave The Courtyards or South Campus Commons or if they know anyone who wants to move in to South Campus Commons or The Courtyards.
Eligibilty

A re-lessor’s eligibility will be determined after the Lease Holder and Re-lessor have completed the Releasing Form. Re-leasing eligibility is determined by the University of Maryland’s Department of Resident Life and generally includes the following:

  • Students must be in good academic, financial, & judicial standing with the University to be eligible to sign a lease.
  • Re-lessor must be the same gender as the lease holder (unless the lease holder is in a pre-designated mixed-gender apartment)
  • Fall and Spring Re-lessors must be undergraduate students, have been in college for at least one semester (freshmen are NOT eligible to re-lease in their first semester), and registered full-time at the University of Maryland, College Park.
  • Summer re-lessors may be undergraduate students who are affiliated with the University of Maryland College Park.

 

Who is Eligible? Fall Re-leasing Spring Re-leasing Summer Re-leasing
Fall First Semester Freshman at UMD N Y Y
Spring First Semester Freshman at UMD N/A N Y
UMCP Undergrad enrolled for Fall Y Y Y
UMCP Undergrad who was enrolled in the Spring N Y Y
UMCP Undergrad Enrolled only in the Summer N N Y
Student returning from Study Abroad Y Y Y
Transfer Student (must have Confirmed Enrollment for Semester in which they want to re-lease) Y Y Y
Non-UMD student who wants to live in friend’s apartment while friend is gone and isn’t affiliated with UMCP N N N

* needs documentation if not a UMD student

For more specific questions about renewal eligibility, please email the Manager for Housing Partnerships with the Department of Resident Life, at pppleasing@umd.edu.

Deadlines
  • Lease Holders and Re-lessors can submit the Commons/Courtyards Re-Leasing Request Form 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.
    Re-lessor approvals can take 2-4 business days to process after the both the Lease Holder and Re-lessor complete their Commons/Courtyards Re-leasing Forms. The re-lessor will not be evaluated for eligibility until both parties have completed their Re-leasing Forms.
Appointment Requirements
  • Current Resident:
      • Your $100 lease transfer fee. This must be paid in certified funds*. Personal checks and cash are NOT accepted.
      • You must have a zero balance.
      • If your transfer fee and balance are not paid at least 2 business days prior to your leasing appointment, they must be paid at the appointment in certified funds.
      • Installment payments 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 installment payment. Installments are not prorated and Capstone will not issue refunds for installments owed prior to the lease transfer. Any exchange of money relating to partial installment 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.

     

    New Resident:
    • $25 application fee. Check or money order made payable to “The Courtyards” or “South Campus Commons.”
    • $300 lease reservation (applied toward first month’s installment payment). Check or money order made payable to “The Courtyards” or “South Campus Commons.”
    • Social Security Number. While your card is not required, you must be able to provide your SSN.
    • Completed Guarantor Form
Illegal Re-Leasing

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 fee for the apartment lock AND a $150 core replacement fee for the bedroom lock AND a $35 replacement fee for the mailbox key. 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.

Renter’s Insurance

 

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

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