Move-out meetings to trim appeals

After charging about 900 students for untidy rooms last spring, GW Housing Programs is adding another check to the move-out process to help students avoid fines.

House staff will make appointments with students to evaluate the conditions of each room before move-out this year to assess inventory and damages, Director of GW Housing Programs Seth Weinshel said.

Fees for untidy rooms last year tallied $225,000, and 500 students were charged for missing or damaged furniture. Four-fifths of those 500 students appealed the fees, which ranged from $175 to $890, Weinshel said last year.

“It’s another level of reminder to students to make sure they’re leaving the room in the condition we hope they will leave them, which ultimately makes it more efficient and easier for everybody,” Weinshel said.

He added that students can choose not to meet with their house staff members to go over a room conditions report, but will be charged a cleaning fee if they leave the room untidy. Previously, students moved out without checking in with a house staff member.

He said he hopes the office won’t have to dock anyone the $250 cleaning fee when trash or personal items are left in rooms. During last year’s move-out, 200 more students were charged the cleaning fees than the year before, when it was implemented. Weinshel said he thought the jump in fines was the result of students’ disregard for a clean move-out.

Weinshel added that students who didn’t fill out the report when they moved in can still fill it out this month with the housing office. Students who fail to complete forms or make appointments with house staff for evaluations are barred from appealing fines.

“When we’re billing you, we’re going off of those inspections. Most likely you’ll be denied because there’s nothing to back up your claim,” Weinshel said.

After move out, Weinshel said cleaning crews come through each room and “scrub down everything” – vacuuming, cleaning the floors and emptying the entire building’s trash.

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