As a student living in a dorm, you're going to be responsible for the condition
the room is left in at the end of the school year. You'll be charged for
repairing or replacing anything that's damaged, unless, of course, it already
was damaged before. Most schools keep tabs on room damage with some sort of
room-damages form, which you should receive when you check in. When you move in,
you'll need to walk around you room, form in hand, and write down all of the
damage you find. You can be charged for damage that occurs throughout the year
or damage that you missed during your inspection.
As stated above, a
room-damages (or similarly named) form helps your school keep track of the
damage in a particular dorm room. There should be a place to write down the
things that are damaged as well as some details about the damage. When you
receive this form, it may have some things marked on it already. You can add any
additional damages yourself. Having all of these damages documented will protect
you from having to pay for them after the school year ends.
What to Look For
You should use a keen eye to look for damage in
your new dorm room. You don't want to be charged for something you didn't break.
It isn't that your school is looking to put one over on you, but they don't want
to spend money on repairs any more than you do. So, make sure they don't have
anything they can charge you for. Here are some things to look at:
- Carpets/flooring – Look for stains, rips, and frayed edges in
carpeting. If you have linoleum floors or something similar, check for scratches
or other damage.
- Walls/ceiling – Check the walls and ceiling for holes, nicks, cracks,
and peeling paint.
- Windows/screens – Look closely for cracks in windowpanes and rips in
- Furniture – See if there's any damage to desks, beds (including
mattresses), dressers, chairs, and any other furniture that's in your room.
- Miscellaneous – Other things to look out for could include: broken
light fixtures, outlet covers, light switch covers, molding, heat/AC control
This list is by no means exhaustive, since every college dorm
room is different. However, it should give you an idea of the types of things to
look for. Once you're sure you have everything accounted for, you'll need to
hand the form back in (probably to your dorm office). When it comes time for you
to move out again, your room will be inspected, and you'll have to pay for any
damage that isn't accounted for on the damages form.
TIP: If anything does get damaged during the
year, see if maintenance will fix it. This can be a good way to avoid paying for
Filling out the room-damages form might not be that
much fun, but it doesn't take too much time and IS well worth it. College is
expensive enough without paying to fix or replace a bunch of stuff you didn't