Seton Hall University

Damage Billing Policy

Purpose 

This policy establishes the procedure for identifying, billing, and appealing damages for individual rooms and common area spaces in Seton Hall University residence halls. 

Scope 

All students residing in a University residence hall, on or off-campus, managed by the Department of Housing and Residence Life.

Definitions

A. Common Area Damages: "Common Area Damages" are defined as any damage that has occurred in any part of building lobbies, common bathrooms, lounges, stairwells, or any other area shared by all residents of the residence hall, outside of the individual room assigned as housing to a particular Resident(s), caused by the misuse or neglect of the space by a Resident or guest of the Resident.

B. Damage: "Damage" is defined as the result of the misuse or negligent use of the space by a Resident.

C. Normal Wear and Tear: "Normal Wear and Tear" is defined as a deterioration that occurs naturally as a result of a Resident using the space as it is designed to be used.

D. Resident: "Resident" is defined as a student residing in a University residence hall, located on or off-campus, managed by the Department of Housing and Residence Life, and subject to the Housing License Agreement.

Policy 

It is essential that all persons within the community recognize the responsibility for the common good that exists at Seton Hall University. The significance of a community, in part, is that individuals take an active role in the care of others.  Accordingly, knowingly and/or recklessly damaging, destroying, defacing, and/or tampering with University property or the private property of another person, is prohibited.

The terms of this policy are not intended to replace or amend the Housing License Agreement entered into by a Resident.  To the extent of the terms of this policy conflict with the terms of the applicable Housing License Agreement, the terms of the Housing License Agreement shall govern.

A. Damage Identification

  1. Each Resident shall cooperate in caring for University housing. All Residents shall immediately notify the University of any Damage or need for repair of University housing or any other University property including, without limitation, all furniture and equipment.  Reports of Damage within residence halls or anywhere on campus, including campus grounds, must be made to the Resident’s Resident Assistant ("RA"), Residence Coordinator ("RC"), Area Coordinator ("AC"), the Department of Public Safety, or the Department of Housing and Residence Life.  Students are encouraged to report any information regarding specific acts of vandalism.
  2. As the Department of Housing and Residence Life begins preparations to close the residence halls for summer break, Residence Coordinators will conduct walk throughs of their assigned buildings and work with Facilities Engineering to identify and determine the cost to repair any Damage that may have occurred.
  3. When a report of Common Area Damage is received by the Department of Housing and Residence Life, the Departments of Housing and Residence Life, Public Safety, and Facilities Engineering will commence an investigation to assess the Damage and the cause of the Damage.
  4. As to individual rooms assigned to Residents, the Room Condition Report (“RCR”), executed by Residents upon checking into their room assignment, are reviewed before charges for subsequent Damage to the assigned room are assessed. The RCR, a room inventory form, is completed by an RA. Residents have 48 hours to add any information to the RCR that was not listed upon check-in. Residents who wish to review their RCR may log into their eRezLife portal.  Each Resident is responsible for identifying and certifying to the condition of the assigned room by reviewing and signing the RCR no later than by 11 p.m. on the last day of the add/drop period of the semester in which the Resident moves into the University residence hall.
  5. Residents may report any wear and tear they have found in their assigned room through the year by filing a work order.
  6. Before moving out, rooms assigned to Residents should be left in clean condition (broom swept) with furniture properly assembled. When the residence halls have closed or a Resident checks out of their room assignment prior to completion of the annual housing license agreement, the Residence Coordinator will walk-through all rooms with a representative from Facilities Engineering to assess repairs that need to be made and their associated costs.  

B.    Damage Billing 

  1. The University reserves the right to hold Residents accountable for the full cost of Damage.
  2. Residents will be notified of charges to be billed in an email from the Residence Coordinator of the building where the Damage occurred, which will be sent to the Resident’s Seton Hall University student email account.
  3. The University will charge the cost of repairing Common Area Damage, vandalism, or theft of University property equally to individual(s) found responsible for the Damage.  However, if specific individual(s) cannot be found responsible, then all residents who reside in the residence hall/applicable area at the time of the Damage will be charged equally for any fine or charge to repair the Damage. Therefore, each Resident should consider themselves equally responsible for building common areas and intervene directly in behavior that poses a threat to physical facilities and property.  Residents also are responsible for any Damage, vandalism, or theft caused by their guest(s). Examples of vandalism that may result in shared costs distributed within a community include, but are not limited to, ceiling tile damage, damage to "Exit" signs, damage to furniture in any part of building lobbies, lounges, or any other area shared by all residents of the residence hall.
  4. For individual rooms, the Resident will be held responsible for the cost of any Damage to the assigned housing, including any Damage to University furnishings. Costs of the repair are split evenly amongst all roommates unless one roommate accepts responsibility for the Damage via email from a Resident's Seton Hall University student email address or Damage is clearly limited to one roommate's side of the room.
  5. The costs of labor and repair materials are determined by the Department of Facilities Engineering and are sent to Residents via their Seton Hall University student email accounts in April each year. 
  6. Charges for Damages will be generated either monthly with notice or by necessity depending on the severity of the Damage.  Charges for Damages will be billed to the Resident's Bursar account.
  7. Residents will be charged for costs for Damage including, but not limited to:
    • Replacing or repairing furnishings or fixtures that have been altered or removed without express written approval of the University. This includes items removed from assigned rooms, suite common areas, floor and building lounges, and other residence hall spaces;
    • Returning furnishings or fixtures to their proper locations;
    • Additional cleaning of individual and/or common area rugs, floors, or furnishings after check-out;
    • Repairing and restoring beyond normal wear and tear;
    • Replacing or restoring fire equipment or other safety devices; and
    • Removing abandoned bulk items such as furniture and other non-University issued furnishings.

C.    Appeal Process

  1. For both room and Common Area Damage charges, appeals must be submitted in writing from a Resident’s Seton Hall University student email to the Residence Coordinator's email address within ten (10) calendar days of receipt of the email outlining the charges. Any appeals received after this deadline will not be reviewed or considered.  Residents must submit this appeal as a reply to the email outlining the charges and include the word "Appeal" at the end of the subject line.  All appeals must identify the charges being contested by the Resident and the reason for the appeal.
  2. All appeals will be reviewed by the appropriate Area Coordinator and Residence Coordinator of the building where the Damage occurred. Timely appeals will only be considered if the appeal presents new evidence that was not available at the time the charge was assessed.
  3. A charge for Common Area Damage can only be appealed if the Resident is charged an amount exceeding $150.
  4. The amount of the charge cannot be considered for appeal - only the assessment of the charge. 
  5. Not being present when the Damage occurred will not be considered on appeal as a reason to remove an assessed charge.
  6.  The determination by the Area Coordinator and Residence Coordinator is final.

Responsible Office

Housing and Residence Life

Related Policies

Student Code of Conduct

Approved

Approved by Dr. Monica Burnette, Vice President of Student Services, on April 27, 2022.

Effective Date

April 27, 2022