Procedures

This section outlines helpful housing procedures for University of Pennsylvania residents.

Facilities and Information Centers

Residents who suspect they have bed bugs or any other pests should immediately report the issue to Facilities by creating an AiM ticket. After creating this ticket, residents should notify their Residential Services Manager for additional support. The RSM and Exterminator will notify the resident of the next steps in treatment if a bed bug is found in the resident's room or if the room needs to be further treated for a pest.



Residents are expected to comply with the instructions of the Exterminator and University Personnel when it comes to the room inspection and any possible treatment that results from that inspection.

Buildings with traditional brass keys:
Room and mailbox keys will be issued to you when you move in at the beginning of occupancy. The acceptance of keys or a key card for room access constitutes a "move in" and should always accompany an official check-in to the residential occupancy system at either an Information Center or other check-in location. The acceptance of keys constitutes taking occupancy, even if the resident does not stay in the room or place belongings there. Residents who place belongings and/or stay in a room without picking up keys are also considered to have taken occupancy of that room.



Buildings with electronic keys:
Either a card key will be issued to you or access to your room will be placed on your PennCard when you move in at the beginning of occupancy. The acceptance of key cards or the granting of electronic room access constitutes a "move in" and should always accompany and official check-in to the residential occupancy system at either an Information Center or other check-in location. The acceptance of a key card or room access constitutes taking occupancy, even if the resident does not stay in the room or place belongings there. Residents who place belongings and/or stay in a room without checking in are also considered to have taken occupancy of that room.

Buildings with traditional brass keys:
When moving out, residents must return all residential keys and check out at the Information Center. The move out is not complete if keys are not returned. Residents who do not turn in their keys or who do not move out of their space by their deadline will be charged a late move-out fee plus room rent charges, until their move-out can be verified by a Residential Services employee. Please see the Residential Services website for the late move-out fee cost.



Buildings with electronic keys:
When moving out, residents must check out at the Information Center. If the resident has a key card that isn't their PennCard, this key card just be turned in at check-out. Residents who do not check out or who do not move out of their space by the deadline will be charged a late move-out fee plus room rent charges, until their move-out can be verified by a Residential Services employee. Please see the Residential Services webpage for the late move-out fee cost.

The most common time for residents to be assessed fines for damages is after their move-out, but fines for damages, cleaning, or vandalism can be assessed at any time.

Here are the most common (but not exclusive) reasons for damage fines:

  • Wall Damage: Room or apartment walls will not hold heavy objects and residents will be charged for damage to their walls beyond normal wear and tear. See "Room Decoration" for more details on other situations that could result in damage fines.
  • Wall Painting: Residents may not paint walls or any part of their living area furnishings. All painting must be done by Facilities Services. Failure to comply will result in financial penalties, including union grievances.
  • Cleanliness: Residents are expected to maintain a reasonable level of cleanliness in their room(s) throughout their occupancy. In the event that health and safety standards are not maintained, the University will intervene. Residential Services will conduct periodic inspections for health and safety conditions. Possible actions can include apartment/room cleaning at the resident's expense, disciplinary warning, reassignment, and/or eviction.
  • Post-Move-Out Cleaning: When roommate moves out, those remaining are each equally responsible for cleaning the apartment/room before the move out. In the event of a room change, if an apartment/room is found to not be in acceptable condition for a new resident, cleaning service will be provided and each resident charged. Residents will be billed for trash that is excessive or disposed of improperly. Residents will also be charged for excessively dirty floors, furniture, and surfaces, and any cleaning expenses that result.

Below is a list of many of the common charges for damages post-move-out:

 

Items Cost
Clean Kitchen $50.00
Clean Floors $30.00 per space
Clean Refrigerator $50.00
Clean Bathroom $50.00
Replace Exterior Door $350.00
Repair Interior Door $150.00
Install New Interior Lockset $90.00
Remove Trash (determined by number of kitchen-sized bags to be removed) $10/estimated per bag
Remove Small Item $25.00
Remove Large Item $50.00
Relocate Common Area Furniture - Large $100.00
Relocate Common Area Furniture - Small $50.00
Wall Damage (depending on severity of damage) $50 (increments)
Missing Window Coverings $125.00
Missing Smoke Detector $125.00
Replace Carpet $560.00
Missing Furniture (per piece) $1500 (up to)

 

Residents or University-Affiliated groups seeking to post information in the College Houses should visit https://www.collegehouses.upenn.edu/resources/posters for details on posting procedures.  Residents or University-Affiliated groups seeking to post information in Sansom Place are encouraged to contact living@pobox.upenn.edu for details on posting procedures. 

Lost Keys
Residents MUST report lost keys to their Information Center.

To minimize potential security risks, the lock core on the room door will be changed and new keys will be issued. Residents requiring a core change will be assessed a fee to help recover the cost of this change. A $200 fee will be assessed for the changing of a core.

If a brass mailbox key or Quad exterior and bathroom key is lost, the core will not be changed but residents will be charged for replacement of the lost key. This cost is $30. Lost lounge and other common keys are handled on a case by case basis in consultation with the House Director or Sansom Manager.

Stolen keys are considered lost keys and are subject to the costs and policy as above.

In buildings with electronic key card access, no additional fee (other than those assessed by the PennCard Center) will be imposed for residents who lose a PennCard. Residents who lose a non-PennCard key will be assessed a $25 charge for replacement of that key card.



Lock Outs
Lock out keys and loaner cards are available at each Information Center. To obtain a spare key or loaner card, your identity and room assignment will be verified by the Information Center staff.

You'll be allowed to sign out the key or card for 1 hour. Lock out keys or cards will be provided at no charge for the first ten (10) requests. However, failure to return the lock out key or card within the hour will result in a fine of $25. Residents may be asked to verify that they are in the possession of their original room key by presenting it when they return the lock out key.

When a resident exceeds ten (10) requests per semester, each new lock-out request will incur a $35 fee per each subsequent incident.

Failure to return a brass lock out key within 48-hours will result in an automatic core change. Any key card is deemed lost when not returned within 48-hours and will result in a lost card fee.

All aforementioned fees can be found on the Residential Services website.

Mailboxes are assigned to residents with their room assignment. Mailboxes are linked to the room and not the person, and a room change will necessitate a mailbox change. Residential Services reserves the right to change mailbox numbers in the event of a distinct operational need.

All non-emergency maintenance requests should be made via Facilities AiM website. AiM can be accessed through http://www.collegehouses.upenn.edu/request. Residents should seek out their Residential Services Manager for assistance in following up on any work orders.


Emergency maintenance requests (issues that could lead to damage to property or injury to people, or issues that make a living space uninhabitable) should be made by calling Facilities directly. Residents can call 215-898-7208 to get a hold of an operator in Facilities's Work Control or Operations Control Center. Residents should seek assistance from the Information Center (front desk) after calling facilities.

Each residence is equipped with trash rooms and recycling areas. Residents are responsible for learning the designated locations to dispose of trash and recycling and for properly using these locations.

Most buildings have trash chutes for trash disposal. Large or bulky items should NOT be disposed of in trash chutes as they are likely to clog the chute. Trash should be bagged, and any item placed in the trash chute should be small enough to pass through the chute to the building compactor below.

Medical supplies such as lancets, needles, and so on should be placed in well-sealed rigid containers. Contaminated waste, such as insulin pump tubing, should be double bagged and sealed. Both of the above can go in regular trash if properly contained.

Residents should refrain from leaving bagged trash or recycling outside of their rooms/apartments.

Residents who fail to properly dispose of trash and recycling will be subject to fines and other University sanctions.

Wall hangings, posters, etc. must not cause damage to University furniture or walls. Sticky tack or similar putty type adhesives are the only recommended product for handing decorations in student rooms. Scotch, masking, duct, adhesive, and electrical tapes, hooks, nails, map tacks, push pins, brads, blue or other similar items are not to be used for hanging room decorations. Similarly, the hanging of mirrors and hooks, whether adhesive or hung with screws, nails, etc., can be considered as an act of wall damage. Any wall damage will be charged to the residents of the room/apartment. Also see "Damage Charges."

In addition, decorations or other student items should not cause any interference with the fire alarm or suppression systems within student rooms, apartments, or common areas. This includes hanging items from sprinkler pipes, covering smoke detectors with decorations or any other materials, and other forms of decoration that would make egress difficult in the case of an emergency evacuation.

Room Selection and Accommodations

Gender Inclusive Housing allows students to be placed in housing without regard to sex assigned at birth or gender identity. Students who request Gender Inclusive Housing must comply with the following eligibility requirements and policies:

A student must be eligible for University housing.

A student must be 18 years of age by the official move-in date. Students under 18 must provide written parental consent in order to be considered.

Assignments will be made without regard to the sex assigned at birth or gender identity of roommates. If no vacancies exist in Gender Inclusive Housing rooms, you will be assigned according to your sex assigned at birth in the Student Registration System.

Students are invited to contact the Housing Assignments Office to discuss options. If a vacancy exists in a Gender Inclusive Housing room, the following will occur to fill the empty bed:

Housing Assignments will place another student who has requested Gender Inclusive Housing in the open bed.

If a roommate cannot be identified, Housing Assignments may require the remaining residents to relocate to another room; room type match not guaranteed.

For more information on the process for requesting Gender Inclusive Housing, click here.

Student Disabilities Services, Student Health Services, and Residential Services work closely together to review requests and identify appropriate and available housing. For information on applying for a medical accommodation please click here. Students with service and assistance animals should follow this same process.

Please note that residents who receive an accommodation for an assistance or service animal will be presented with additional policies and procedures regarding the care and behavior of their animal.

Residential Services coordinates three room change processes, typically in October, November and January. Click here for application information and dates. Residents experiencing roommate problems may contact their GA, RA, House Director, or Manager for Sansom Place for assistance with problem resolution at any time. All room changes must be authorized by Housing Occupancy. Residents making unauthorized changes will be subject to disciplinary action. Be aware that if a room change is made, rent will be adjusted to reflect the new room rate. Residents should pick up new keys and return old keys at the Information Center on the specified room change date. Picking up your keys early or returning keys late will result in additional rent charges. Note that partially occupied rooms are not cleaned prior to a student moving in.

Residents have a reasonable right to appeal all fees, fines, and charges associated with their residence on campus. These appeals, though, must be completed in a timely fashion and within three months of the charges being posted.


Residents who wish to appeal a charge or request an exception to a policy should begin by writing to living@pobox.upenn.edu. Residents who wish to appeal the initial appeal decision made by a Residential Services staff member (i.e., the response to the email sent to living@pobox.upenn.edu), should write to the Appeals Committee.

The Appeals Committee shall serve the purpose of overseeing cases where a resident is requesting an exception to a policy, procedure, or dining/residential charge. The Committee, or an appointee, will review each case and make a decision based on the information provided. A decision by the committee is final. However, a decision by an appointee may be appealed to the Committee and will be stated in the decision letter from the appointee.

The Appeals Committee is comprised of a representative from Housing Assignments, a representative from Penn Dining, a representative from Building Administration, and three University of Pennsylvania students. In the event that a member of this group has a personal connection to the appeal that person would be removed from the case.

To appeal a policy, procedure or charge, the affected student must submit an Appeals Form and any additional supportive documentation. Appeals can be submitted via e-mail at bsd-appeals@pobox.upenn.edu or delivered to Residential Services at Stouffer Commons, mailed to: Residential Services, Stouffer Commons, 3702 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, or faxed to 215-573-2061. 
Appeals of charges must be submitted within 90 days of being billed.

As a general rule, appeal reviews by the Appeals Committee will involve review of the documentation and not involve attendance of the appealing student. In most cases, if a meeting is needed, it will occur with a representative from the Housing Assignments Office or Building Administration group. However, it is the discretion of the Appeals Committee if they choose to invite the student to present the case in person and answer questions.

Appeal decisions will be communicated by e-mail within 14 business days of being submitted, unless additional information is required.

Safety and Access

Each building has a card-reader-controlled access system that validates the PennCard holder before permitting entrance through a turnstile/portal. The card swipe must be accompanied by entering a PAC, a random 4-digit number. Residents are required to learn and use their PAC codes. This procedure must be followed every time the resident enters the building.

Should a resident lose or forget their PennCard, the security guard, Residential Services Manager, or Student Information Center Specialist will use an alternate method of verifying identity and granting access. This is a short-term solution. Residents who sign in through this method are subject to a $35 fine for each instance beyond their 10th sign-in each semester.

Special procedures are in place for those students who observe the Sabbath, please see your Information Center for details.

Residential Services reserves the right to accommodate or deny requests to move in early or to remain in residence beyond the end of the occupancy periods. Off-term utilization of the facilities, including construction, University events, and conferences or other building use are all considerations in planning for arrivals and departures. No early arrivals are permitted for the spring semester; no extensions are available at the end of fall semester as most residences close between semesters. Accommodations may involve the movement of the resident to a temporary location. Information regarding the early arrival and extension processes will be provided through email and the Residential Services website ahead of Move-In and Move-Out.

Residents should make themselves aware of the Emergency Procedures for their building and follow them. The basic fire evacuation procedures can be found on the back of the doors in all apartments and rooms. For additional emergency information, seek out the emergency bulletins located in elevators and common areas throughout the buildings or go to the Public Safety website. 

All Guests to the residences must be signed-in with a photo ID and be accompanied at all times by a resident host who must carry a valid PennCard. Guests and visitors may not sign in other guests and may not be signed in more than three days in a row unless an exception is granted by the Sansom Place Manager, House Dean or a Director.

During regular occupancy periods, guest passes will be available for residents and guests. Residents can get these passes at the Info Center and may use them for a particular guest for up to three days. Both the guest and the host must have proper ID for the guest to gain access to the building through this pass. Also see “Guest Policy.”

In accordance with the Room Entry Provision in the Terms and Conditions, University Personnel periodically make announced visits to student rooms for the purpose of doing Health and Safety Inspections.  The purpose of these Health and Safety Inspections is to look for violations to University policies and procedures, including but not limited to those policies and procedures found in the Residential Services Handbook and on the CHAS Website.  We do not open closet doors or drawers, or more or remove items during these inspections.  Residents found in violation of the policies and procedures are subject to the Residential Services and CHAS Conduct Policy, with the first step typically being a referral of the violation to the House Dean for the College Houses or Sansom Place Complex Manager for Sansom Place.

In the event of a medical or safety emergency, Penn Police should be contacted at 215-573-3333.

For more information regarding Public Safety and for tips on safety and security, please visit www.publicsafety.upenn.edu.

Special procedures are in place for those students who observe the Sabbath, please see your Residential Services Manager for details on these procedures.

During the special winter break, all residences close except Harnwell, Harrison and Rodin College House, and Sansom Place. Residents may not remain in closed buildings during this vacation period. Residents of closed buildings who wish to remain in the area during Winter Break must make alternative housing plans.

There are no move-out extensions at Winter Break, and there is no Early Move In at the start of the Spring Semester in January.

Open buildings will operate under low occupancy status during most breaks. Residents may be asked to physically present their photo ID to the security staff. Guests will need to be signed in individually, as no guest passes will be issued. 

Residents of Harnwell, Harrison, and Rodin who wish to stay in their College House over Winter Break are required to register with Residential Services. Information on how to register will be sent out in early December.