Hidden student housing fees

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Illustration by Ashley Fairbourne


Most college students have messy rooms at some point, but some avoid the clutter at all cost- because it may end up costing them. It’s no secret that those living in student housing may find unorthodox charges on their monthly bill, but some charges may seem more outrageous than others.

After speaking with students, it became apparent that these fees are everywhere- some simply can’t avoid them. Here are six common fees or charges UVU students have found ridiculous living at the apartment complexes or student housing.

1. Utilities Charges
Each apartment complex has their own polices on utilities charges, which they usually make known in the initial contract. Some students feel they must be overcharged for utilities, especially when they are home less than others.

“At one apartment complex they made us pay $40 for the utilities even though when we never used that much, they put the rest in their pocket.” Student Laura Richardson said.

2. Application Fee
UVU grad Tyler Sorensen mentioned his experience with an application fee: “Paying a $20 online application fee that is unavoidable even when applying in person did bother me a lot.” Students who apply for housing may have to pay an application fee, even if they are not approved.

3. Selling Contract Fee
“To move out of where I live now I will have to pay $200, just for being allowed to sell my contract,” student Mario Sanchez said. “This is frustrating because it seems like they just look for reasons to charge more money.”

4. Parking Fee
“My friends have to park at small and inconvenient parking places that they have to pay $40 for.” Student John Lewis said. His friend Mat Robinson also adds, “I want to complain about parking. I feel like apartment complexes are contracted with tow companies. They don’t state clearly which spaces are visitor parking and which are not. That’s a hidden sneaky thing.”

5. Cleaning Check Fee
According to UVU housing coordinator Matthew Chambers, there is no law concerning cleaning check charges. For this reason, apartment complexes can charge as much as they want for regular cleaning checks.

“Sometimes cleaning checks are also unreasonably difficult,” student Mat Robinson said. “And why are they done on the first place?”

6. Deposit Return Problems
“I find that almost every apartment complex I’ve ever lived in seems to have some sort of hidden fees. I have almost never received my fool deposit,” said student Logan Hendricks. This was Hendricks’ sixth time moving.

On the UVU Housing webpage you can find such useful categories as the Housing Incident and Complaint Form and Deposit Refunds (Utah State Code).

The housing incident complaint form exists to get support from UVU representatives when things with the housing go wrong. Chambers mentioned that the housing managers for some reason solve problems faster when UVU calls on behalf of the students.

The deposit refunds category allows you to copy and fill out the form saying that you did not receive the full deposit return amount. You can just copy and paste this form from the website to your document.

Do not feel like you are left alone if you believe that your charge is out of line. Look for help from UVU and save your worries for other things.