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How to Avoid Dorm Damage Fees

May 10, 2013
How To Avoid Dorm Damage Fees

As the school year concludes, dodging the dorm damages can be the final challenge to your semester. Dorms are bound to get some wear and tear, though universities are not always the most understanding of this reality. Here are some tips of the trade to pampering your dorm room before RA’s give it the run through:

1. Careful with the tape!
Whenever you’re pulling off posters or pictures, be sure not to tear too hard. Many dorm walls don’t respond well with tape, wall stickies or blue tacks. Using a wall scraper (you can find at most any hardware store) is a good way to ease the stickies off the wall without tearing wallpaper or paint.

2. Go over your roommate’s side of the room
While it may not be your fault, you’ll definitely want to check up on your roommate’s cleaning skills. Consider it a 50/50 partnership in ensuring the dorm room’s cleanliness, so a check and balances system on both sides can be helpful.

3. Be prepared to show your dorm condition card
At the beginning of the school year, roughly 8 months ago, you more than likely were given a dorm condition card asking for any damages of the room prior to you moving in. Hopefully you kept that card and it’ll save your bacon—it’s your proof of any damage done preceding your stay!

4. Vacuum
It likely goes without saying, but doing a spot on run through with the vacuum is a must if you want to avoid pesky fees. Hopefully your floor has a vacuum around, or else ask your folks to bring one because it can make a big difference in the look of your room when the RAs and dorm staff run through it.

5. White-out
If some of the paint on your wall chips off, white-out can be a quick fix to hide the discoloration. Of course, you’ll want to touch up your painting skills to ensure it’s done well. Just remember, white-out can only cover so much. White-out can also be used to fill tiny holes from minor thumbnails in the wall, or if you have a larger hole, try toothpaste.

6. Keep a check-list nearby
Most dormitories provide a checklist of what room conditions and requirements. Taking it one step at a time in a procedural manner is a good idea—pretend you’re in the RA’s shoes and run through all the same spots they would check up on!

7. Have a Student Handbook nearby
Knowing the rules and consequences of dorm damages can be imperative in escaping them. Typically you won’t know about the fees until a few weeks after the school year, so be sure to have the guidelines and dorm damages appeal process.

8. Take pictures of your room once you’re through
Just to track your steps, take a few snapshots of your room once you’re done and it is pristine. RA mistakes can be made and you want to make sure you’re not victimized by dorm damage errors or issues!

Be diligent and precise in “hiding” your tracks and making your dorm room look as good as it was when you moved in! If you’re worried about damages in your next dorm or apartment, you may want to consider a renters insurance policy.

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