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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

The dorm damage fees you’ll want to avoid

Published: September 11, 2011
Section: Editorials

Remember how clean your dorm room looked last week?

Take note. If you don’t want to end up paying Brandeis more than you budgeted, it’s worth keeping your room in its original condition this academic year to avoid paying hefty fees.

Even if that means tossing out furniture.

According to the department’s website, “To avoid billing upon termination of the Residence Halls and Dining Services License, all rooms and corridors must be left clean, neat and in order.”

In one case, students forwarded a damage report e-mail they had received to The Hoot detailing that a “table and 1 small bag” had been left in a common room and resulted in a $9.38 charge per resident. Attached to the e-mail, Community Living furnished a photo of the table and trash that had to be removed.

Unable to find the list of fees associated with residence hall damage on the department’s website, The Hoot contacted Community Living, which provided an updated, comprehensive list of flat rates for student damage in rooms and suites.

The average cost for damages is $183, ranging from the least expensive—replacing a recycling bin for $20—to most expensive—a complete replacement of carpeting totaling $475 for a bedroom or $975 for a living room.

Other costly fees include replacing a bed ($300), replacing safety mirrors in dorms ($435), repairing or repainting major damage to walls ($400), scraping and painting East Quad pan ceilings ($300) and removing graffiti from East Quad ceilings ($360).

And yes, the department charges a $50 removal fee per large item of trash, described as furniture or a refrigerator, and $25 per small item of trash, such as a bag or box.

So do yourself a favor and leave your dorm as you found it. Otherwise, be prepared to pay someone a premium to do it for you.