Page 1


2

Housing Guide Spring 2013


Housing Guide Spring 2013

Index.

FIND WHAT’S WHERE HERE

Tips to Picking the Perfect Pad ........................................................ 4

Alternative Transportation .............................................................. 16

How to be a Green Renter.................................................................. 6

Beware of Rental Scams ................................................................. 18

Utilities, Electric, Cable, and More .................................................... 7

Know Your Rigths as a Tenant ......................................................... 21

Don’t Panic! ......................................................................................... 8

Understand the Public Nuisance Ordinance ................................ 22

How to Communicate with Your Neighbors .................................... 9

STAFF

Managing a Budget .......................................................................... 10 U+2........................................................................................................11 The Bike Library................................................................................. 13 Safety First: Ways to Protect Yourself and Property ................... 14 Party Registration ............................................................................ 15

Contributions include Off Campus Life, Student Legal Services and the City of Fort Collins.

The Student guide to Living Off Campus is produced by the advertising and creative services staff of The Rocky Mountain Collegian in partnership with Off Campus Life.

Cover Design: Justin England

Publication Design: Sarah Thomsen

3


4

Housing Guide Spring 2013

Tips to Picking the PERFECT PAD People have different considerations when it comes to housing selections. Ask yourself what is important to you. Do not make a decision lightly, even when you see a place that seems perfect in an ad. Try and contact the current tenant; ask them about the landlord and the neighbors. Have they experienced problems? Do some background research for the neighborhood/ apartment complex. Get a copy of the lease and read it over before signing it. Leases are negotiable!

Most importantly, visit the exact unit and ask yourself the following questions: Cost

Safety:

•What is the rent and how often is it due? •What is included or NOT, in the rent? •Who is responsible for paying utilities hookup/ installation fees? •What type of heating method is used? Remember, this will make a big difference in the heating bill •What are the late fees if I do not pay my rent on time?

•Would I feel comfortable living here, daytime and nighttime? Do I feel comfortable with the landlord? •Are all windows in good condition and lockable? •Are there any smoke/ carbon monoxide detectors? •If the apartment has a security system, is it working? •Is there more than one fire exit? •Is the entrance well lit? Is my view blocked by shrubs? •Who has access to the house key and when were the locks last changed?

Location: •How long does it take to travel to campus? •Is it close to bus stops, or do I need to walk, bike or drive? •If driving, how much will it cost me in parking permits and gas? •Are there other students nearby or is it a single family neighborhood? •Are there any amenities/ stores nearby (e.g. pharmacy, grocery stores, and restaurants)?

Responsibilities: •Is there a snow shoveling service provided, or will I be responsible for shoveling snow? •Is there lawn service provided, or will I be mowing and/ or watering the lawn? •Who is responsible for maintenance, or will I be fixing everything?

•Has the unit been cited for a code violation recently?

Quality of Accommodation, Exterior Facilities: •What type of parking is available: garage/ off street? •Is parking sufficient (one space per car)? How about for visitors? •Is the parking area well lit?

Quality of Accommodation, Interior Facilities: •Is the unit furnished? What is included? •Are laundry facilities provided? •Are cooking amenities (e.g. fridge/ stove) in working order? •Will moving in and out be difficult? •Does the unit have good sound insulation (especially for apartments)? •Is there any evidence of pests? •Are the ceilings and walls in good repair? •Is the carpet/ floor reasonably clean? •Is the plumbing adequate? Is it too loud (check taps and toilets)? •Is there a good supply of hot water (ask current tenants)?

•Are there sufficient electrical outlets? •Are there adequate telephone and or/ cable jacks? •How old is the unit? •If renting an apartment, will I hear the people above and below me (ask current tenants)?

Lease Agreements: •What is the minimum and

maximum length of the lease? •Is the amount of security deposit written on the lease? •Is subletting allowed? If yes, who is responsible for subletting? •Is a pet deposit required? •Are there monetary penalties’ for code violations?


Housing Guide Spring 2013

5


6

Housing Guide Spring 2013

How to Be a Green Renter

IT IS REALLY QUITE EASY BEING GREEN AND EVEN A SMALL ACT GOES A LONG WAY. The simple act of changing a regular bulb to energy-efficient light bulb is a good first step, but it takes many steps to bridge the green leap. We’ve listed a few methods to make your renting experience as green as possible.

BURLAP YOUR BAG

SKIP THE BOTTLED WATER.

BUY IN BULK

In fact, don’t just skip it, avoid it, protest it, and get rid of it. As much as 40% of the bottled water sold in the U.S. is just filtered tap water anyway. Be sure to check the label and look for “from a municipal source” or “community water system,” which just means it is tap water.

Purchase a cloth or burlap tote bag for shopping. Plastic and paper bags are a hit on the environment (and the company’s budget). Think Sam’s Club’s or Costco big. This saves on tedious and wasteful packaging, plus, you’ll have to go just once and you’ll be set on Ramen for months.

FIX THE LEAK

PLUG IT IN

DRINK COFFEE?

A leaking faucet and toilet combined can waste over 100,000 gallons of water a month!

Plug all those electronics into one power strip and turn it off when you are not using it. Items that are plugged in are still running what is called “vampire energy.”

Spread the coffee grounds into the garden – it adds nutrients to the soil. If you buy drinks from a coffee shop, bring in your own cup for them to fill.

For an extended and in-depth guide to green renting, visit:

http://www.ocl.colostate.edu/go-green

Pre-leasing for Summer & Fall! 3501 Stover Street

LOW RENT

970-226-5477

LOW

DEPOSITS

NO

APPLICATION FEE

AFFORDABLE/SPACIOUS 1&2 BEDROOM

- Rent Starting at $690*

- Great location next to the mall - Controlled access - Laundry facility in every building - Central A/C, gas heat

- Private balconies - Mature landscaping - Swimming, Volleyball, Tennis, Basketball, BBQ & Picnic areas - Ample open parking * Rates Subject to Change

email us: AspenLeafApts@yahoo.com


Housing Guide Spring 2013

7

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT UTILITIES, ELECTRIC, CABLE AND MORE. This may be your first time connecting utilities and perhaps you’re not sure which company to call. Here’s a quick guide for community resources in Fort Collins! When you move in to your new pad, remember that you may need to call and activate your utilities/electric. You should also call and request that the company change the bills over to your name. If you don’t organize this early on, you may be hit with a large bill months down the road!

determine your consumption. Water and sewage rates can be flat rates or metered and are often included in the monthly rent of a unit. Make sure you check with your landlord.

The Fort Collins City Utilities 117 N. Mason St. (970) 212-2900 www.fcgov.com/utilities

The City of Fort Collins provides electricity, water, and, sewage services. No deposit is required, unless you have a questionable credit rating. You can usually initiate your city utilities with just a phone call or a visit online. Your electricity bill is based on consumption, and a meter is used to

Xcel Energy

(The Public Service Co.) 1-800-772-7858 www.excelenergy.com

Xcel Energy Public Service provides natural gas to residents and can be reached by phone or online at least 24 hours prior to when you need the service. At the time of service, a security deposit is required, however, you may waive the deposit by providing your social security number for a credit check or by having a guarantor’s name added to the account. You can call during regular office hours: 6:00am to 7:00pm, Monday through Friday. Public Service has an alternative billing system available which operates like an automatic bank withdrawal. Xcel also has a “Budget Billing” program that allows a credit build-up during the warmer months to apply to the larger winter bills.

Century Link

Fort Collins Best Buy location 4040 S. College Ave Fort Collins, CO 80525 970-225-6003 www.centurylink.com

If you’re looking to set up your phone service, internet, or TV through Century Link, call the Best Buy location office and provide your zip code to ensure that this location can support your service needs.

Their services can be activated within 3-5 business days. A deposit may be required for long distance service based on credit. Additional services to consider are caller ID and call waiting. Package deals are available; you only need to ask for assistance. One suggestion is to only purchase local service, and then have each roommate obtain his/her own long distance service. That way, no one is left with a huge long distance bill that isn’t your own.

Garbage Services

Trash rates here in Fort Collins are based on volume; you are charged for each can or bag. Services for trash and recycling collection are offered by private companies, so you “subscribe” directly to local trash companies (or through your HOA). If you live in a house or apartment that doesn’t provide a trash dumpster, you will need to arrange for garbage pickup. Go to the city’s website: http:// fcgov.com/recycling/trash-rates. php for a list of trash and recycling companies in Fort Collins.

Comcast

1201 University Avenue (970) 493-7400 www.comcast.com

Comcast provides cable services within the Fort Collins City limits. Numerous choices are offered, including basic cable and digital cable options. High-speed internet is also available.


8

! Housing Guide Spring 2013

Don’t Panic YOU CAN STILL FIND THE PERFECT PLACE

Students often think they need to hurry and find a place, but they frequently make the mistake of renting a property they should have never visited or even entered. Even though the vacancy rate is tight, you still need to take time making a decision.

Here are a few tips to avoid common mistakes:

•Don’t rent the first and only place you look at without comparing it to others. Be diligent and shop around. •Don’t rent a place that you have only looked at online or in the paper. Make sure you actually tour the property. •Don’t sign the lease without checking out Student Legal Services’ “Lease Tips” link.

Let Off-Campus Life help you find housing: Spring Housing Fair

This annual, free event takes place in the Lory Student Center main ballrooms every spring. You will have the opportunity to meet landlords, apartment complex personnel, property managers, and community resource companies face to

face. There’s also giveaways, prizes, and a chance to win a free 42” Television donated by The Summit on College! You’ll get a lot of great information, all in one place.

websites. This is a great place to search for houses, condos, and duplexes! •Go to: www.ocl.colostate. edu.

RentalSearch

This program is designed to bring together people who have housing and are looking for roommates, and those who need a place and want to be someone’s roommate. If you are looking for a place to live or someone to live with, this is a great opportunity to meet people face to face before committing to a lease! Roommate Roundups provide a great chance to meet some awesome new people and potential roommates, gather information, and interview participants to find your perfect roommate match.

Visit Off-Campus Life’s RentalSearch data base to browse through potential housing options. With our Rental Search site (www. rentalsearch.colostate. edu), landlords, property management companies and students alike, at no cost, can do the following: •Post available houses, apartments, condos, duplexes, etc. •Post rooms for rent (roommate needed!) •Create a roommate profile and list themselves as an available roommate Whether you need a roof over your head, you have one room to fill, or are looking for students to occupy a full vacant property, Off-Campus Life can help! Just login with your eID and password and access to our RentalSearch is yours! Apartment Complex and Property Management Lists Also on the OCL home page are a list of resources. On the right-hand side of the site, under links, you will find an Apartment Complex List and a Property Management Company List. •Apartment Complex List: an extensive list, compiled into an excel spreadsheet with all of the details and information that you will need to know about apartments. These complexes rent to students and update all of their pricing, amenities, utilities, etc annually. •Property Management Company List: a list of property managers in town with their contact info and

Roommate Round-ups

Other Sources

You should always shop around and explore your housing options before signing a lease. Decide what you’re looking for and broaden your search! The following resources will help you do just that: •Newspapers: Collegian, Coloradoan, and other prints •Local Realtors •Bulletin Boards in public locations •www.NorthernColoradoRentals.com and other websites •Signs in laws/windows •Word of mouth: ask other students and community members! Find out what management company or apartment complex they have used, who their landlord was, and find out what their experience was like.


Housing Guide Spring 2013

9

How to Communicate With Your Neighbors

DON’T LET MISCOMMUNICATION CAUSE A CONFLICT Although we would like to think this never happens, sometimes conflicts come up between neighbors. Usually, problems arise because the two households have had a miscommunication or worse – no communication at all. Getting to know your neighbors can be challenging, even to the most outgoing neighbor. Here are some tips on how to play nice with your neighbors: Introduce yourself, meet your neighbors. A simple “hello” goes a long way. This is the first step in building a good relationship. If your neighbor knows your name, major and where you are from and other little details, they will start to see you as the unique individual that you are and not

“just another student”. Keep your neighbors informed. Regular communication is important. Contact your neighbors before doing something that might affect them (e.g. hosting a party, building a fence or getting a dog). Be considerate and aware of neighborhood expectations. Know local laws, HOA covenants and general expectations of the neighborhood. Put yourself in your neighbors shoes. Your neighbors job and kids can mean they need to get up early. When your neighbors are in need, offer to give them a hand. They’ll be impressed by your friendliness. And remember, if you need help, chances are your neighbors

will be glad to return the favor. Party responsibly. Talk with your neighbors before you throw a party. Leave them your phone number so they can contact you first if they think the party is getting out of control. Keep your guests inside and close the doors and windows. Even though it’s your right to party, your neighbors deserve a good night’s sleep. Be aware of differences: age, faith, ethnic background and family status can drastically impact how one goes about their daily lives. Handle problems politely. If your neighbors do something that bothers you, let them know. Keep in mind they might have had problems with previous renters

if they make unreasonable complaints. Be patient and polite, but if you cannot work out a fair compromise to your dispute, take advantage of the free a confidential mediation services offered by the City of Fort Collins Community Mediation Program (970) 224-6022. Knowing your neighbors can make the experience of living off-campus that much more enjoyable. This may also open the opportunity to share some responsibilities; if you shovel their walk after snow fall during the school year, they may do the same for you over winter and spring break. The ability to talk to and discuss things with your neighbors will save you more trouble

than you may have ever imagined! Your neighborhood will appreciate you being a conscientious community member and respecting those that live around you. Your efforts (and theirs in return) will continue to make Fort Collins a great place to live!

WHAT CAUSES CONFLICT? The most common types of neighbor conflicts are: •Noise and nuisance complaints (e.g. parties, vehicles, etc.) •Parking problems and occupancy concerns •Animal disturbances •Safety issues, such as speeding cars


10

Housing Guide Spring 2013

Managing a Budget If you live on campus and are considering a move off campus, you need to get a good idea of how much it will cost. Students living off campus for the first time often report that they were not prepared for the expenses they incurred. Paying your bills on time requires both planning and money. You will need money for utilities, transportation, food, furniture…etc. So, whether you’re moving off campus for the first time or for the tenth time, it is always a good idea to plan ahead for your budget.

1

•Average monthly rent- $520 per individual •Average monthly cost of utilities- anywhere from as low as $30 to as high as $120 for electricity, depending on the season and usage. Gas is as low as $40 and as high as $100 on average. Trash typically costs $12-35 a month but you are billed quarterly. This is all split between roommates. Other optional expenses include cell phone, cable and hi-speed internet, etc. •Additional expenses should include the cost of food, furniture, and other miscellaneous activities. If your income and expenses do not balance and/or show a negative balance, here are some suggestions on how to improve your budget: Increase your income: Obtain a part-time job, financial aid, or a loan. Decrease your expenses: You can try to cut fixed expenses by seeking less expensive housing and/or sharing housing with others. You may find that it’s easier to cut variable expenses like entertainment, credit-card purchases, or food. Change schedule for paying bills: There may be a better way to divide payments or spread them over the coming months. Check to see if you can do budget billing. Watch your daily spending: Carry only as much money as you need each day. Extra cash in your pocket is often a temptation to spend.

SAMPLE BUDGET

For college students, budget planning may be easier to do on a semester basis. If you are new to budgeting, you might want to

S

SPREADSHEET

keep track of your expenses for a couple of months to find out where your money goes. Don’t expect to have a perfect budget the first time you set one up. A budget is something you keep working and reworking until it fits.


U+2

Did you know that in the City of Fort Collins, no more than three unrelated individuals may live together? Prior to signing a lease, it is important to know the facts behind the occupancy ordinance and how it may have an impact on you.

Some facts...

1. Occupancy in a residential

dwelling unit (single-family, duplex, and apartments) is restricted to: •One family and not more than one additional person, or •Two adults (and their dependents) and not more than one additional person

Housing Guide Spring 2013

KNOW THE FACTS

2. “Family” means any number of persons who are related by blood, marriage, adoption, guardianship or other duly authorized custodial relationship, who live together as a single housekeeping unit and share common living, sleeping, cooking and eating facilities.

Helpful examples...

11

So, who exactly can I live with? Here are some examples of what is and isn’t allowed: 1. Allowed: three unrelated friends 2. Allowed: two siblings and one friend 3. Allowed: three unrelated

friends and guests who stay 30 nights or less in a 12-month period 4. Isn’t allowed: four unrelated friends 5. Isn’t allowed: two siblings and their 2 friends 6. Isn’t allowed: three unrelated friends and guests who stay more than 30 nights in a 12-month period (anyone who spends more than 30 nights in a dwelling until in a 12-month period is an occupant)

There are exceptions...

A frequently asked question that students have is whether there are any places that allow

for more than three unrelated people to live in a place. There are options in the City that allow for extra occupancy. If you are interested in finding a place where you can live with additional friends, visit the Off-Campus Life website and under the Off Campus Housing tab you will find the “Extra Occupancy” list.

A little history...

Since the 1960s, Fort Collins has enforced occupancy restrictions. The City addresses occupancy to help ensure health and safety of residents, and to help protect the quality and character of neighborhoods.

Need more information...

If you are looking for a little more detail to this law, please visit www.fcgov.com (just type “occupancy” into the search tab) or contact Neighborhood Services at (970) 224-6046.


12

Housing Guide Spring 2013

Come See us at the Housing Fair TUESDAY, MARCH 5, 9AM-4PM Company

in the Lory Student Center Main Ballroom

Table

NorthernColoradoRentals.com, LLC .....................1 Touchstone Property Management LLC......... 2, 3, 4 Rams Crossing Communities ........................ 5, 6, 7 Ram’s Village Apartments ................................ 8, 9 Brandt Company, The .........................................10 Summit Management Services....................... 11, 12 Ramblewood Apartments .............................. 13, 14 KEVCO ............................................................... 15 Ram’s Pointe.......................................................16 Pavilions at Silver Sage, The ............................... 17 Heritage Park Apartments & Townhomes............18 ConAm Colorado, Inc. ........................................19 Aspenleaf Apartments ....................................... 20 Broderick Insurance Agency Allstate Insurance Company ....................... 20 Old Town Square Properties ...............................21 Hungryrams .......................................................22 Poudre Property Services....................................23 Credit Union of Colorado ................................... 24 Prospect Plaza Apartments ................................ 24 Rams Park Apartments .......................................25 CSU Housing & Dining Services ......................... 26 Door Prize Survey Tables .............................. 27, 28 Summit, The.................................................29, 30 Henderson Management and Real Estate ............31 Team Fort Collins ...............................................32 River Glenn Apartments .................................... 33 Brinkman Asset Management ............................ 34 Grove, The..........................................................35 American Family Insurance ............................... 36 SuperShuttle ..................................................... 36 Vantage Properties Management LLC .................37 Colorado Civil Rights Division (Dept of Regulatory Agencies, State of CO) ... 38 Colorado State University Police Dept. ............... 39 Fort Collins Police Services ................................ 40

B.K. Maxwell Co. ................................................41 City of Fort Collins Neigborhood Services .......... 42 CSU Student Legal Services ............................... 43 JRK Residential ................................................. 44 Rocky Mountain Student Media......................... 44 Fort Collins Utilities ............................................45 Fort Collins Cat Rescue & Spay/Neuter Clinic .... 46 CenturyLink .......................................................47 My House Property Services .........................48, 49 Preserve at the Meadows, The ........................... 50 CORT ................................................................. 51 GreenPath Debt Solutions................................... 51 City of Fort Collins Environmental Services ........52


Housing Guide Spring 2013

13

A Fort Collins hidden treasure, The Bike Library is a wonderful and free service provided to students, residents, and visitors. The Library has a fleet of bikes that members can rent out for free for up to seven days! There is a simple sign-up process, an online registration (fcbikelibrary.org), which allows anyone to rent a bike as a member. On top of the new and maintained red bikes, The Library offers bike trailers for children or cargo storage, and tag-a-longs for older children. The Bike Library also offers a range of self-guided tours leading through the best of Fort Collins. Tour brochures are available at all Bike Library locations, where volunteers can answer any questions. There are two checkout locations for the Fort Collins Bike Library. The first location is in the heart of Old Town Fort Collins at the Café Bicyclette, 19 Old Town Square; and the other is at the Fort Collins Bike CO-OP, 222 LaPorte Ave. Call for hours of operation – (970) 484-3804. The Bike Library is made possible by FC Bikes, Bike Fort Collins, and the Fort Collins Bike Co-Op. Volunteer opportunities are available at all sponsor locations. Volunteers are what make the wheels turn on this operation, so consider giving some time for a good cause.

The Bike Library


14

Housing Guide Spring 2013

SAFETY

T S R FI

WAYS TO PROTECT YOURSELF AND PROPERTY You’ve just moved into a neighborhood and it reminds you so much of the one you had growing up, that you soon find yourself leaving your bike unlocked on the front porch or your doors unlocked after dark. It seems like it wouldn’t be a big deal, but all it takes is a few seconds and your precious belongings can vanish without a trace. As a new resident in the neighborhood, it’s important to remember some tips that can help keep you and your belongings safe.

At your house or apartment:

•Lock that door! Even if you intend to return shortly, or even if you are going down the block. It takes a thief 10 seconds or less to enter an open home and steal your property. •Lock or secure doors and windows when you are alone or asleep. Do we need to remind you about all those horror movies? •Put emergency numbers in your cell phone’s address book for quick access. •Do not leave messages on your door or answering machine indicating that you are away and when you will return. That is basically an open invitation for thieves to come in and grab what they please. •If someone asks to use your phone for an emergency call, offer to dial for them instead of allowing them to enter your home. •Do not put your address on your key ring. If it gets lost or stolen, you’ve basically given them the key to enter. •Get to know your neighbors! When you move in, introduce yourself and exchange information. •Do not leave keys in hiding places because thieves will find them. Those fake rocks in the garden aren’t fooling anyone. •Check if smoke detectors are working and change the batteries twice a year.

When you are leaving for breaks:

•Thieves know the college schedule, so make your place look busy and ask your neighbors to keep an eye out for any suspicious strangers lurking around. •Keep your windows and doors secured. You don’t want to grant them free access! •Store all electronic equipment and small valuables in a safe place, like at a friend’s house or even take them with you! •Have a timer for lights so your house looks busy even when you are not home. They’re a cheap way to keep your home safe even when you’re not there.

When you are walking:

•Avoid walking alone at night unless absolutely necessary. •Keep to well-lit and commonly used routes. •Avoid using shortcuts and isolated areas. •Walk purposefully, know where you are going, and project a no-nonsense image. •Avoid dangerous situations. •If you feel threatened, cross the street, locate an emergency phone, or enter a store or a place of business (even if you had just left it). •Have your door keys ready; carry them in your pocket or hand, not buried in a purse or backpack. •When walking to your car, don’t hit the unlock button until you are in close proximity to the vehicle and lock the doors behind you once you are inside.


Housing Guide Spring 2013

15

Party Registration Program HOW TO AVOID A COSTLY NOISE TICKET

You may not know that the cost of a noise ticket in Fort Collins can be pretty pricey – as much as $1,000 per tenant and a criminal misdemeanor for a first time offense. Unfortunately, there are CSU students that have had to pay the price for letting parties get out of hand. Not only do they have to go through the City legal process, they also have to go through CSU’s judicial process due to being in violation of the University of Code of Conduct. Many of the residents who experienced a noise citation wished they could have avoided the whole thing all together. If only they could have been warned, they would have happily shut down their parties. Luckily, both residents of Fort Collins and CSU students living in the community have the ability to do just that through the Party Registration program.

How the program works:

Residents and students can register their Friday or Saturday night parties year round by 5pm on the Thursday before their party. Residents register at the Neighborhood Services office with the City of Fort Collins (281 N. College Ave); students register at

Off-Campus Life, room 142, in the Lory Student Center. Should a noise complaint be received by Fort Collins Police, the registered host may be contacted by Dispatch via phone or in person by a Fort Collins Police Officer and given a “verbal” warning to break up their party within 20 minutes. If a second noise complaint is received after the 20 minute period, Fort Collins Police Officers will be sent to address the situation. Once an address receives a warning, party hosts will not be able to register another party at that address for 6 months. If the residence receives a noise citation, they may not register again for 12 months. The key to the warning process is that it is noise related complaints only. If a complaint comes in because a fight has broken out or someone is breaking bottles in the street, it is no longer noise related and is considered a nuisance gathering.

As a host you are responsible for the behaviors of your guests coming to and from the party. If you decided to throw a party, it is vital to know what is happening both inside and outside. Additionally, if your party grows out of control, it can be considered a nuisance gathering. If you are no longer comfortable with the size of your party and/or the guests, be the first person to call Fort Collins police to get assistance in breaking things up before it becomes a nuisance (970.221.6540).

New this year:

FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO REGISTER YOUR UPCOMING PARTY: Students: Call (970) 491-2248 or stop by Off-Campus Life, LSC Rm 142 Residents: Call (970) 224-6046 or stop by Neighborhood Services, 281 N. College Ave.

You have put in your requests and we have listened! This year will feature 4 holidays on a trial basis. You can now register your New Year’s Eve, St. Patrick’s Day, 4th of July, and Halloween parties! Since these holidays may not fall on a Friday or

Saturday evening, we are opening the program to these selected holidays for registrations. Registrants need to remember to register the Thursday prior to the holiday…even if the holiday falls on a Thursday you will still need to register the Thursday prior.

Don’t forget your Party Pack! CSU students living off campus may pick up a free Party Pack with helpful information on throwing successful parties. The packs include a party tips guide, neighbor notices, a t-shirt, trash bags, coasters, a water bottle, and much more! All you need to do is visit OffCampus Life.


16

Housing Guide Spring 2013

Alternative Transportation Colorado is known for being an environmentally-conscious state, and Fort Collins is no exception. Every Fort Collins resident can make a difference by choosing alternative transportation at least once a week. Take advantage of ways Fort Collins helps improve air quality, reduce brown cloud, and cuts down on traffic!

Here are some options available to you to be more eco-friendly:

WALK

Use your feet to get you where you need to go! And gain health benefits while you’re at it. Need motivation? Join Walk for Wellness pedometer program available for all CSU students!

http://walk4wellness.colostate.edu/

TRANSFORT

There are many routes around town that can get you to and from campus. Your student ID gets you, as a full-time student, on the bus for FREE.

http://fcgov.com/transfort/bicycling/

Ķ

BIKE

Fort Collins is a bikefriendly town with bike lanes and paths spanning the city. For information on the city’s bicycle map, bike trails & lanes, Bike-n-Ride, bike parking, rules of the road and local cycling conditions, visit the following website:

http://www.fcgov.com/bicycling/


Housing Guide Spring 2013

17


18

Housing Guide Spring 2013

BEWARE

of Rental Scams

It’s that time of year when rental scams start happening to landlords, property managers and unsuspecting tenants. This is especially prominent on independent sites such as craigslist. The communication usually begins via email from someone out of the country (UK, Australia, Kenya, etc.) who wants a room or place to rent. The potential renter usually has some kind of money transaction problem and

has a “friend” or intermediary in the states that can send a money order. Typically, the amount being sent is over the required deposit amount. Before the landlord finds out that the money order or traveler’s check is fraudulent, the potential renter has backed out of renting the unit for some reason and has asked for the deposit or overage back.

Although we want to stress that there are genuine requests for rental housing coming from abroad, we offer the following suggestions to determine the legitimacy of the requests: Things to watch for:

•The emails usually have notable grammatical errors. •The interested renter wants to use an intermediary or friend to make payment.

Suggestions on how to avoid a rental scam:

•Never accept more payment that the amount you request. •Always ask for references. •Google the potential renter’s name to see if anything comes up that is of concern. •Inspect the money orders by holding a note up to the light, and look for a watermark picture of

Ben Franklin on the left side. There should also be a dark security thread running to the right of the watermark, with the tiny letters “USPS” facing backward and forward. You can also take the money orders to the nearest post office for examination. •Take the money order or check to your bank and don’t give any money away until the check is fully processed and approved.

Counterfeiting is a felony, punishable with a fine of up to $500,000 and up to five years in prison.

REPORT SCAMS

To report a postal money order scam: Call the local post office or Postal Inspectors at (303)313-5320.

To report a fraud complaint: Call the Fraud Complaint Hotline at 1-800-372-8347 or visit the U.S. Postal Inspection Service web site at https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/.


Housing Guide Spring 2013

19


20

Housing Guide Spring 2013


Housing Guide Spring 2013

21

Know Your Rights As a Tenant!

DON’T BE ANOTHER SECURITY DEPOSIT NIGHTMARE STORY

We’re sure there are those nightmare stories going around about tenants struggling to get their security deposit back, landlords evicting them right in the middle of finals week, or even landlords that never seem able to fix the heat. As a tenant, it’s important to do a little homework and know about your rights!

Security Deposit Return

Under Colorado’s security deposit law, the landlord has 30 days (or up to 60 days if stated in the lease) to return the full amount of the security deposit. The landlord can charge the tenant for any damages to the premises, as long as they provide the tenant with an itemized statement within the time period specified in the lease. The itemized statement is to state: •Unpaid rent or utility bills owed by the tenant. •Payment for damages to the premises beyond “normal wear and tear”.

LANDLORD TENANT HANDBOOK

Go to:

•Any cleaning fees to which the tenant agreed to in the lease. •Any other breach of the lease that causes financial damage to the landlord.

If the landlord’s damages are more than the security deposit, the landlord may sue the tenant to recover those damages, or turn the matter over to collections.

If the tenant has fulfilled all the terms of the lease (including proper termination), has paid the rent in full and on time, and has caused no damage beyond normal wear and tear, then the tenant is entitled to the return of the full security deposit. Normal wear and tear means deterioration that is not due to tenant’s negligence (i.e. peeling/ cracked paint). For a list of examples of normal wear and tear, go to the Landlord Tenant Handbook at http://www. fcgov.com/neighborhoodservices/ landlord-tenant.php or visit our website at: ocl.colostate.edu

http://www.fcgov.com/ neighborhoodservices/ landlord-tenant.php Or visit our website at: ocl.colostate.edu

If the landlord fails to return the deposit in his or her allotted time,

with no written proof of charges, you may send a “7-Day Demand” letter to the landlord. The letter should state that you will sue the landlord

for three times the amount TIP: Make sure to leave of the deposit a forwarding address withheld. with your landlord and It should be sent by the post office before you certified mail, move out. return receipt requested, and you should always keep a copy. If the landlord returns the deposit within seven days, your problem is solved. For a copy of the letter, refer to the Landlord Tenant Handbook or our Helpful Resources page.

Protect Your Security Deposit

To protect your security deposit upon moving into your new house or apartment, be sure to: •Take photographs and/ or video of any damages upon move in. •Fill out a rental check-in sheet. Be sure to inspect the housing unit thoroughly and mark ANY damages that can be found. Do a walk-through with the landlord (if possible) and complete a check-in sheet together. Remember to keep a copy of the check-in sheet with your lease. You can find a check-in sheet in the Off-Campus Life Student Handbook: Survival Guide, on the OCL website, or in the Landlord/Tenant Handbook.


22

Housing Guide Spring 2013

Understanding the Public Nuisance Ordinance THINK ABOUT PNO WHEN HOUSE SHOPPING

By: Beth Sowder, City of Fort Collins

When you’re deciding where you want to live, one consideration is the city’s Public Nuisance Ordinance, PNO. More than a decade ago, the city passed PNO in response to a growing number of complains about chronic nuisance properties – most stemming from loud and disruptive parties. Since then, hundreds of violation notices have been sent to property owners and tenants about tickets issued at their properties. In response, many landlord and property managers have worked in partnership with the city to resolve nuisance issues. The goal of the PNO is to resolve problems and encourage property owners, tenants and/ or property managers to work together with the city to find long-term solutions. The PNO can be thought of as an “umbrella ordinance”, applied in addition to the existing ordinances related to particular violations. When enforcement of individual violations fails to correct a problem, the PNO becomes another tool to help resolve the issue. Statistics show that this is working. In a typical year, hundreds of PNO violation notices are sent, but the city hasn’t ever had to file a civil suit against a prop-

erty in violation. There have been five hearings which led to agreements that resulted in no further violations at these properties. The PNO has many checks and balances to avoid frivolous complaints. For a violation to “count” toward a nuisance action, an enforcement officer must verify a complaint and issue a ticket to the person responsible (usually the tenant for noise violations). An officer must be able to prove in court that a violation is legitimate, so they can’t just take the complainant’s word for fact. In the end, if the tenant does not correct the problem or the problem recurs, the property owner, manager, and/or tenant(s) could all be held responsible. PNO violations stay with the property, not the person. If a property has two of the same ticket (i.e. two noise violations) within six months, three of any citation within one year or five of any citation within two years, it’s in violation. When PNO violation notices are sent, they go to the property owner, property manager (if known) and the tenants. The city urges everyone involved to work together on a resolution. Typically this means a written agreement assuring no further violations will happen. Many landlords will evict tenants

that receive PNO violations. It’s a good idea to read your lease closely to see if your landlord addresses PNO violations. Beth Sowder is the Neighborhood Services Manager. You may reach her at 970-221-6676 or bsowder@fcgov.com.

CHECK YOUR PROPERTY HISTORY: Don’t Rent a Lemon! City of Fort Collins, Neighborhood Services Office

970-221-6676


Housing Guide Spring 2013

23


24

Housing Guide Spring 2013

RAM’S CROSSING COMMUNITIES APARTMENTS RENTING QUICKLY, SECURE YOUR SPOT TODAY!

• Studio, One and Two Bedrooms • One Block West of Campus • Pet Friendly • Pool & BBQ Area • Semi-Furnished or Un-Furnished • All Utilities & Cable Included

• Two Bedrooms With Two Full Baths • Fireplaces & Washer/Dryers in Each Unit • Pet Friendly • Central A/C • All Utilities Included • Private Patio/Balcony

BRAND NEW!

• 36 Exclusive Flats, Two Bedrooms & Penthouse Lofts • On Campus Location • Expansive Balconies, Vaulted Ceilings & Walk-In Closets • Washer/Dryer In Every Unit • Secured Entry Building • All Utilities, Cable and Internet Included

• One & Two Bedrooms • Steps To Campus • Spacious Floor Plans • Outdoor Heated Pool w/ BBQ Area • All Utilities, Cable and Internet Included

• 30 Luxury Flats, Lofts & Penthouse Lofts • 1 Block West of Campus • Washer/Dryer In Unit • Private Hot Tubs and Double Decks In Select Units • All Utilities, Cable and Internet Included

RamsCrossing.com

Rockymountaincollegian