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To Licensed Establishments in Campus Communities

OACP 2010 Campus Communities Booklet_Part1.jpgAs a licensed establishment serving a community that contains a college or university, there is a greater likelihood that you will encounter underage patrons. Now with the elimination of grade 13, students as young as 17 are finding themselves living on their own, and exploring the "adult" world. The following are some recommended "Do's" and "Don'ts" to help you and your staff remain vigilant.

DO

• Check the identification of anyone you suspect is under 19 years of age
• Train staff in responsible serving practices and ensure that all your staff are Smart Serve certified
• Create, communicate and enforce house rules and policies
• Make sure the number of persons in the establishment is within the lawful capacity of the establishment
• Monitor consumption of liquor by patrons on the premises
• Serve alcohol only within allowed hours
• Make sure you obtain and understand the Liquor Licence Act and Regulations
• Ensure that the establishment complies with all zoning by-laws, the Building Code, the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, and the Health Protection and Promotions Act

DO NOT

• Let anyone under 19 years-of-age drink alcohol in your establishment
• Encourage or permit excessive drinking or serve alcohol to anyone you suspect may already be intoxicated
• Permit drunken, quarrelsome, violent or otherwise disorderly conduct in your establishment
• Allow overcrowding in the establishment
• Hold contests that involve buying, drinking or winning liquor
• Give away free alcohol
• Allow customers behind the bar
• Allow noise from the outside areas of the establishment to disturb the neighbourhood


To Residents in Campus Communities
With special thanks to Brock University

Living in an area that is home to a university or college, you will no doubt come in contact with a number of students throughout the year. This might happen on campus, in your community, or right next door. Regardless of circumstance, post-secondary institutions work hard to encourage students and community members to develop a positive and co-operative relationship. As a resident, your actions play a large part in the establishment of such a relationship and there are measures you can take to maintain the successful partnership between your local post-secondary institution and the community.

FORMING RELATIONSHIPS WITH STUDENTS IN YOUR COMMUNITY

Introduce Yourself
Your new neighbours are likely to be more considerate and have a better understanding of your needs if they know you. We recommend you make a point of meeting the new student tenants moving into your neighbourhood, and introducing yourself and your family. A simple hello will go a long way to start. Give them your name and phone number and offer them any assistance they might need. Remember that tenants change from year to year — expect the best every year and you will probably get it.

Communicate
If you have a problem with the behaviour of neighbouring tenants, let them know how you feel. They may not realize that what they are doing is disruptive or offensive to you. Don't call the police or their landlord until you've tried to resolve the issue with the students themselves, unless necessary for yours or someone else's safety.

Be Reasonable
Student tenants are people like any other neighbours you might have. They are paying to live in their accommodation, and have the right to enjoy it as they would like. Of course, you should expect them to be considerate and follow the law, but make sure you have reasonable expectations and realize that this is possibly these students first time in a place of their own.

Talk to the Landlord
While you might own your home, students probably do not. This means that they are not necessarily responsible for lawn care, snow removal, or other issues that might become problematic in your neighbourhood. Talk to the students first, but contact the landlord if he or she is not fulfilling the expected responsibilities.

Handle Problems Politely
If you've made a point of meeting your student neighbours and being friendly, and you have reasonable expectations, it's likely that you'll get a friendly reaction as well. If you do have problems, avoid letting them develop into major disputes. Losing your temper or harassing your neighbours is unlikely to generate a positive change. If the problem can't be resolved calmly between you and your neighbours, call the police.

IF YOU RUN INTO PROBLEMS

Talk to the Experts
The Off-Campus Accommodations Office at your local post-secondary institution is a good place to start if you're having difficulties with student neighbours. The Off- Campus Accommodations staff will listen to your situation, suggest ways for you to handle it, and direct you to any additional resources that can offer help.

Ask for Assistance
If you have been unable to come to an understanding with the landlords or tenants at a specific property, please discuss any problems or concerns relating to noise, parking, property standards, fire code, etc. with the appropriate authorities. Each city will have different bylaws or processes regarding these issues.

Your Concerns about Student Housing
Ontario colleges and universities will have and/or participate in a number of committees that meet regularly to discuss and address issues relating to student housing and neighbourhood relations. These committees typically have representation from the local municipalities, the colleges and/ or universities themselves, the local/regional police service, fire prevention, long-term residents, landlords and students. Issues or concerns can be brought to these committees by contacting your local municipal councillor or City Hall.


To Landlords of Off-Campus Students
"TOP 10 COUNTDOWN" FOR RENTING TO STUDENTS


10 Keep It Professional
Get everything in writing. Your student tenant is your "customer," not your "buddy". Avoid the "parent trap" - you set the rules for your property (within the law) and you enforce them. You are not a parent, so don't treat them like your kids - keep the relationship at arms-length and professional.

9 Have Written & Signed Agreements & Leases
Monthly renters fall under different rules than do weekly renters. Know your rights and obligations. Inform the tenants of their rights and obligations too.

8 Be Clear & Concise About Every Detail
Don't leave anything to the "it's just common-sense" ideal. Students as tenants are often out of the house for the first time while in university/ college... Some still need to be taught responsibility. Have a written agreement or contract that stipulates who does what - garbage removal, cleaning of common areas, guest policy, etc. Don't skimp on the details - you may regret it in the future. Always add a clause something like: "The landlord reserves the right to alter this agreement in the case of unforeseen circumstances that may impede or enhance the comfort and safety of the landlord, the neighbours, and/or all other tenants."

7 Be Fair & Set Your Rent At Market Rate
To attract the best tenants make it affordable and profitable to you. Build in enough profit to allow for annual repairs and maintenance. Want good tenants? Give them a clean place to live. If someone sees garbage all over the place they are more apt to add to it rather than clean it up. Don't make your properties a junk magnet - make sure your property is and stays clean and junk-free.

6 What You Focus On Tends To Expand - So Be Positive
Avoid stereotyping people. We know this can be hard to do - especially after you're burned once or twice by bad tenants. There is no point in being a student landlord if you are cynical or callous - you'll only find more problems come your way. Most people are good - just don't give them the opportunity to be bad. Know your job better than they do (they don't!) and create systems that work for you and your rental business. And always follow your system.

5 Help Your Tenants Be Good Neighbours & Good Room-Mates
Have house rules that must be adhered to "or else!" Post the house rules in the unit for all to see - most of the time people will self-govern their actions… And for those who don't, you have every right to evict them as provincial and local laws allow. Students are smart and know when they are being mistreated.

4 Stay Informed About The Laws In Your Area
Make sure you have a copy of the rules and procedures - and understand them - for dealing with problem tenants in your community, before you actually have problems with any tenants. Being prepared and able to deliver a professional image in a crisis is essential to mitigating your financial and emotional damages. Be prepared with a system and forearmed with knowledge and you'll save yourself a lot of potential grief.

3 Be A Visible Landlord
Tenants tend to appreciate their surroundings more if they know the landlord also cares for the property and for their well-being. Introduce the tenants to the neighbours and the other tenants. Tour the premises at least once or twice during the term to show you are up on the condition of the unit and that you care how it looks and is maintained. Note any problem areas and inform the tenant in writing of problems that need to be addressed before the term end.

2 Have A Good Lease & Use A Guarantor's Form
If you find you are having too much trouble with students always insist on a guarantor for the lease. Parents who are responsible for their child's actions are more likely to monitor their kids as tenants in your building. Make sure you have the right to contact the parent in case you are having problems with a student tenant. Keep your contact information up-to-date and handy.

1 Know What You Really Want Out Of The Rental Business
The niche market of student housing can be very profitable but also a lot more work than renting to a married couple or a family. Do not expect all students to be mature and/or responsible. For many students this is their first time away from home and university/college off-campus life may seem like one big party for them at first. We suggest that you start your landlord career by renting to third- or fourth-year students, married students, or graduate students only, and then work your way up to the younger, less mature students (like first- and second-year students).

Resources

Campus Communities