Damages and Vandalism


Residents are expected to leave their contractually assigned spaces in the same condition as they were at Check-In. Damages to individual rooms and suites will be assessed based on the Room Condition Report (RCR) completed at Check-In  and residents will be held financially responsible for the costs associated with furniture or facility repairs or replacements.


Damage and Vandalism Policy

Individuals are financially responsible for any damages, vandalism, missing items, or unsatisfactory conditions in their room, suite, or common areas. Sports and recreational activities that may cause damage to property as well as disruption or injury to others are not permitted in any area within the residence halls or brownstones.

Knowingly and/or recklessly damaging, destroying, defacing, and/or tampering with University, public, or private property of another person, is prohibited.

Whenever possible, repair or replacement costs will be assessed to the individual(s) responsible; when this is not possible, costs may be shared by the smallest identifiable group of the residents within a building, floor, room, or suite. (Examples of vandalism that may result in shared costs distributed within a community include, but are not limited to, bulletin boards ripped off walls, ceiling tile damage, paint in stairwell landings or in a floor lounge, etc.)

Students are encouraged to report any information regarding specific acts of vandalism to their RA or a member of the Residential Life staff.

Residents will be charged for costs including, but not limited to:

  • Replacing or repairing furnishings, appliances, or fixtures that have been altered or removed without express written approval of Columbia Housing. This includes items removed from personal rooms, suite common areas, floor and building lounges, and other residence hall spaces or brownstones.
  • Returning furnishings, appliances, or fixtures to their proper locations.
  • Additional cleaning of individual and/or common area appliances, rugs, floors, or furnishings after check-out.
  • Taking corrective action when residents do not maintain satisfactory housekeeping, sanitation, and safety standards, including improper or unsanitary usage of restroom facilities and spaces.
  • Deep cleaning for improperly maintained suite or private bathrooms. 
  • Repairing and restoring beyond normal wear and tear.
  • Replacing or restoring fire equipment or other safety devices.
  • Removing abandoned bulk items such as furniture and other non-Columbia issued furnishings.
  • Cleaning and/or removal of personal items following improper Check-Out. 

The charge for repair, restoration, or corrective action will equal the costs of material and labor. The charge for items lost, stolen, or destroyed will equal the cost of replacement. The minimum common area damage charge is $10 per resident.

When cost of damage significantly exceeds the rates listed here, Housing reserves the right to hold residents accountable for the full cost of damage.

A table showing the costs associated with repairs or replacements of certain items.

*If a wireless access point (AP) is damaged or missing, it will be the financial responsibility of the smallest identifiable group.

Painting Policy

Painting or drawing on any walls, ceilings, doors, floors, and furnishings in any building is prohibited. The minimum fee for repainting is $300 per wall/door/cabinet. This will be charged regardless of any attempts to repaint or cover-up. Any damage to flooring or carpet from painting will result in additional charges.