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  • Summer Opportunities- Study Abroad, Internships, and more!

    Here are resources to take advantage of the opportunities to grow professionally and personally in the summer!

  • College Budgeting Tips

    Here are a few tips and tricks on budgeting in college! Share a few of your favorite ways to save money!

  • Safety During Thanksgiving

    Learn about safety during Thanksgiving!

  • 2016 Elections: Presidential Debate

    Learn briefly about the presidential candidates. Also, find the dates and times to the next presidential debate!!

     

    Voter's Registration information + link provided! 

  • Volunteer Opportunities!

    Are you looking for volunteer opportunities on campus? Volunteering is a great way to give back to our community and it can be great experience to put on your resumes!

  • The Ins and Outs of Moving Out

    It is that time of year again for everyone to pack their bags and head home for a great summer. Before the fun can start, the packing and sorting of all of the things you’ve accumulated over the semester must take priority. Another important, and somewhat stressful, step in this process is making sure your residence is in top condition in order to receive your full security deposit back. Here are 3 simple steps to make your moving experience more relaxed.

    1. Declutter

    This can be a great opportunity to give back to the community. While going through your things, decide what you don’t use or simply don’t want anymore and consider donating your items to the various charities throughout campus or to a private facility. Start with one area of your apartment and begin to sort through everything and separate things to keep from things to get rid of. Pack everything that ypu want to keep in a designated box for that room (i.e. kitchen, bedroom, living room, etc.). This will keep your possessions organized when you have to unpack again, also.  Decluttering will make the process of moving out much easier because you will have less to pack and you’ll ultimately have an idea of what have and what you might need to replace.

    2. Organization

    As you pack, categorizing your boxes will make unpacking much more simple. As mentioned earlier, categorize your boxes according to the room those things belong in. You can even go one step further by making categories within each room. For example, you can sort bedroom materials into boxes designated for clothes, bedding materials, and décor. Make sure to keep plenty of permanent markers and packing tape handy when packing your things, in order to avoid confusion and stress in the future.

    3. Clean up

    After you sort through all of your belongings and separate things to keep and things to give away, you will need to do a thorough cleaning of your residence. This will help you receive your security deposit back from the landlord at the end of your lease. Your apartment should look exactly like it did on the day you moved in. This means that all surfaces, walls, appliances, and any other items that came with your residence need to be cleaned. After cleaning thoroughly, look over your lease one last time to make sure there are no other final touches that are required of you.

  • Subleasing & Subletting

    If you are looking to sublease your apartment for the summer, it can be very difficult because many students leave campus and are not looking for a sublet. Semester subleasing can also be a challenge, and there are many risks that go into subleasing in general.

    Check Your Lease.

    Most leases state that you cannot sublet without the landlord’s written consent. Make sure that the landlord either signs the sublease agreement, or signs a statement that says the original tenant has permission to sublet. Both the original tenant and subtenant should have a copy of that statement. Your landlord should not withhold consent unreasonably. For example, your landlord should not reject a subtenant because of that person’s race, nationality, disability, the fact that s/he is a student, has children or receives public aid, or for any reason that is not a lawful reason for rejecting a tenant (see Discrimination). Contact the Tenant Union if your landlord is unfairly preventing you from subletting.

    Risks of Subletting as the ORIGINAL TENANT

    A sublease is NOT a release from the lease. The primary responsibility shifts from the original tenant to the subtenant; however, if the subtenant fails to pay rent or does damage to the property, the original tenant can be held liable to the landlord for the cost of the subtenant’s default or damage. Student Legal Services cannot represent one student against another.

    Risks of Subletting as the SUBTENANT

    Eviction for the original tenant’s non-payment of rent (depending on the language of your sublease contract). As the subtenant, you may have an agreement to pay less than what the actual rent is on the lease. This occurs often in the summer. The Tenant Union hears from many subtenants who face eviction because the original tenants failed to pay their share of the summer rent. Fees for late or partial payments may also be added in. You may be pursued for these in addition to the rent owed.

    Click here to gain even more knowledge on subleasing.

  • Spring Break 2k16 Tips and Tricks

    Spring break is almost here! Whether you are taking a road trip with your friends, laying at the beach, or staying at home, we have some valuable tips that everyone could use!

    Make a plan with your friends and family.

    Make sure that no matter where you go your parents or friends know where you are at all times. If you’re going away for break give your parents the address and phone number of where you are staying. If you’re travelling with friends, come up with a system so that no one travels alone. Watching out for one another will help everyone have a fun and safe trip.

    Drink plenty of water.

    Drinking water is an essential step in staying healthy. When you are out in the sun and sweating you are losing water that your body needs to function properly. Even if you’re working out at home make sure you drink even more water since you are losing it that much faster!

    Bring the right type of sunscreen.

    Most experts recommend nothing less than SPF 30, but it is not enough to bring the right type of sunscreen you need to use it too! Depending on how long you spend in the sun you may also need to reapply throughout the day. Remember how harmful UV rays can be for your skin.

    Put your aloe vera in the refrigerator.

    If you do forget your sunscreen and end up with a burn lather up with aloe vera gel! Putting your aloe in the fridge cools the gel and makes it even more refreshing to put on.

    Consider an alternative spring break.

    If a beach vacation isn’t the ideal spring break for you the University offers many alternative options! Many include networking retreats or even community service trips. There are many clubs on campus that offer several options as well! Choosing an alternative break limits the worries a typical spring break trip may cause.

  • Safety Tips of the Month

    February 22nd marks the beginning of Safety Week on all three UIUC campuses. One of the themes is “Community” and we make sure students within the community feel safe. These safety tips are based off of some of the topics that will be discussed during Safety Week Events.

    Alcohol Safety – Everyone seems pretty familiar with an upcoming drinking celebration known as Unofficial. No one is stop you from drinking, but it does not hurt to think about consequences. To decrease the chances of hurting yourself and others, keep these tips in mind. Drink one alcoholic drink per hour. In between the alcohol, eat and drink water. This helps counterbalance the effects alcohol has on your body. Make sure to have a designated driver in case you want to go somewhere.

    Bike Safety – The weather is getting warmer and many students will be taking their bikes for a spin. Depending on how you store the bike, make sure it is in good working condition before using. Test the breaks, fill the tires, and clean any rust off. Local bike shops offer tune ups for free or low cost. When biking on the roadway, you are considered a “vehicle.” Follow the same laws as if you were driving a car. Riding your bike on sidewalks makes you a “pedestrian” and will be expected to follow their rules. No matter what part of the street you are on, use hand signals for turning and stopping. It keeps not only you, but other safe.

    Social Media Safety – Social media can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Be wary of oversharing information, especially around Spring Break. Burglars can track social media to know when you are not home based on what you post. It is an increasing trend but can easily be avoided. What you post on social media can put your future career in danger too. When it comes time to applying jobs, employers will look at your pages. Depending on what they find can determine whether you landed the job or not. To avoid this, set your pages to private or take down anything that deems cringe worthy. 

    Street Safety – The temperature is rising and so are the chances of crime. While crime cannot be erased completely, small actions can prevent them from happening. Stay in areas of high traffic. The more people around means more eyes watching, which is not what a criminal wants. Always be aware of your surroundings because distractions make you vulnerable. It also becomes beneficial when reporting suspicious activity. Anytime that you are alone at night, call SafeWalks (217-333-1216) or SafeRides (217 265-7433).

    These represent only a taste of the topics for Safety Week. Click here to check out more events.

  • Lease Review Tips & Strategies

    Whether you are a freshman looking for your first apartment or a junior going through another apartment hunt, leasing an apartment or house can be stressful and there are a lot of common misconceptions students have when it comes to signing a lease.

    The first myth of leasing is that you have to sign a lease before October for the following school year because all the ideal apartments will be taken otherwise. However, this could not be further from the truth; most apartments that are taken earlier are apartments for three, four, or five people usually close to the quad or Green Street. There are still a wide array of apartments throughout campus, with some four or more bedroom places and a vast amount of one to two bedroom places. It is also beneficial to wait a little bit longer to sign a lease for the following year so you can get to know the people you may want to live with a little better; you may come to find that your original ideal roommate may not be the most compatible living partner after all.

    Most leases will be 12 months long. You MUST pay for all 12 months stated in the contract, even if you do no plan on living there for the summer or part of the lease term. Look at the total rent due, not just the monthly rent in the contract. If you sign a lease and decide you actually do not wish to live there, you are still responsible for paying all 12 monthly payments. You cannot sign a lease and back out of it; many people believe that all that will happen if you back out of a lease is that you lose a security deposit, but this is false. A lease is a binding contract that cannot be backed out of after signing. There is also no grace period for signing a lease. Once you sign it, you are bound to the amendments within it.

    If you are signing a lease with roommates, then you all are “jointly and severally” liable for paying the amount of rent due each month. If one roommate fails to pay rent, it will no just fall on them to pay the amount due, but the landlord will pursue everyone on the contract for the money. This is another reason why waiting to sign a lease is extremely beneficial because you will be able to get to know all of the roommates you plan on living with better and it will ensure more trust that they will commit to their responsibility of paying the rent.

    Follow these steps when you are planning to sign a lease:

    1. Always get 2 copies of the lease so you can take one with you as soon as you sign.

    2. Make sure you have the landlord’s original signature on your copy of the lease. DON’T SIGN WITHOUT IT.

    3. Names of all parties—every adult who will live in the apartment AND the landlord’s full name and street address.

    4. Complete description of location of rental unit—street address and apartment number.

    5. For a house, include the number of bedrooms and if the garage, basement, etc. is included.

    6. Start and end dates of the lease (try to get a lease ending date that will coincide with a lease start date at a new place).

    7. Rent—amount and when due, including advance payments of rent. (When is the first/last payment due?)

    8. How much are late fees? Are any other fees charged such as sublet fees, sewer tax, or recycling fees?

    9. When is the deposit due and when will it be refunded?

    10. Who pays for utilities and garbage hauling? Lawn care if it’s a house?

    11. Parking space number and monthly rent for parking space?

    12. Repairs, pest control, snow removal, lawn care or other services to be provided?

    13. Privacy rights of tenant.

    14. Furniture and appliances to be provided (list each item).

    15. Promises made by the landlord (painting, carpet cleaning, certain repairs to be done before you move in, etc.).

    Get your lease(s) reviewed by the Tenant Union. You are signing a real estate contract. Once you sign, you CANNOT back out of the lease. Bring the lease(s) to the Tenant Union BEFORE YOU SIGN so they can review it with you. The differing terms of the lease may help you choose an apartment. Lease reviews must be scheduled in advance via the “Information Request Form” at their website www.tenantunion.illinois.edu.