Living off campus is the right choice for many students. Keep in mind that you have assumed the responsibility to be a respectful member of your immediate community-that is, UW students are good neighbors.
The following section provides useful information on how to be a good neighbor.
Tips on Being a Good Neighbor
- Meet your neighbors. Introduce yourself to people living in your apt. building, house or even the folks living next door!
- Talk with neighbors BEFORE you have a party. Tell them the time of the party and give them your phone number. A call from the neighbors is much less expensive than a visit from the Seattle Police Department.
- Adhere to garbage and recycle day procedures. If you don’t know them this is a great thing to ask the neighbors!
- Keep your yard clean and pick up litter.
- It’s ok to hang out on your front porch, but that ratty old couch doesn’t belong there. Don’t store furniture or other junk on your porch or in your yard.
- Keep the noise level down. Seattle has a noise ordinance which goes into effect at 10pm on weekdays and 11pm on weekends. If you can hear your music outside the house it’s probably too loud. Check out the NOISE for more important info.
- You are responsible for your guests, if they cause problems while visiting ask them to leave.
- If you are having an issue with your neighbors, do something radical…talk to them! Address issues quickly and don’t ignore them.
Seattle is a great place to live, make sure that your apartment is providing you a great environment that is safe and secure. Know before you rent to make sure you are getting the most out of your rental dollars. Take this checklist along when evaluating your apt.
- Does your apartment have a deadbolt lock or a peephole in the front door?
- Do you know who is on the other side of the door before you open it?
- Can your windows be locked?
- Do you have blinds or curtains on the windows to discourage theives or voyuers?
- Do shrubs or trees around your property need to be trimmed?
- Do you have outdoor lights and do they work?
- Did the management change the locks when you moved in? If not ask them to!
- Do you store your bike outside? Is it registered with either UWPD or SPD?
- Have there every been any problems in the building or neighborhood?
- Does your apt. have a working smoke detector and fire extinquisher?
- Do you know how to get out of the building if there is a fire?
Parking at your new place can be challenging if you don’t have an assigned parking spot. You may have to park on the street and finding a space can be tough. The Residential Parking Zone (RPZ) Program was created to help ease parking congestion in residential neighborhoods while walking a fine line to balance the needs of all people to be able to use the public streets.
Many areas around campus have “residential parking zones” (RPZs) that restrict on-street parking for non-residents. People who live in these zones are able to get permits to park on the street without restriction.
It is important to know the in’s and out’s of parking in your neighborhood. Check out the City of Seattle’s information on Residential Parking Zones.
If you violate the posted time limits or parking prohibitions, you will get a ticket. Multiple tickets may result with your car being towed. Many places around the U District have pay parking meters.
For more information about PARKING ON CAMPUS check out the Parking Service Site for commuter students.
Noise comes in all forms:loud music, horns, sirens, cars and even your voice. Next to discarded trash, noise is the one thing that can cause the most difficulty with neighbors.
Seattle has several noise ordinances which restrict noise between 10:00pm-7:00am on weekdays and 11:00pm-7:00am on Friday and Saturday nights. If the noise associated with your residence can be heard from 75 feet away, you could be looking at a citation.
Citations range from $250-$500. If your residence receives more than one citation, your landlord can be contacted and upon the third citation, the landlord can evict you or face abatement actions by the city. This means the landlord could lose the property or be prevented from renting. Don’t get kicked out of your house because of noise!
In addition, the Student Conduct Code gives the University of Washington to also take disciplinary action when it is made aware of citations received by students living in the North of 45th neighborhood. WAC 478-120-025
Avoiding Noise Citations
- Get to know your neighbors. Do they have children or work early in the morning? Make it ok for them to ask you to quiet down rather than calling the police.
- Tell them if you are going to have a party and give them your phone number.
- Make sure that it is ok to have a party and decide on a time that the party is going to end that is reasonable for everyone.
- If the police show up, be respectful and turn down the music.
Keep it Clean
The City of Seattle has rules for garbage pickup and recycling. In general, your garbage can, yard waste container and recycling must be placed within three feet of the curb by 7:00am on collection day. If 7:00am is NEVER a reality for you, put it out the night before. Cans must be brought in no later than the next morning. Ask your neighbors or landlord about how waste reduction is handled in your neighborhood. Remember less is more, so help sustainability efforts by using less materials in the first place.
Keep it Green
Lots of the stuff you throw out can be recycled, most with little effort from you! Paper, mailings, aluminum cans, bottles, and lots of plastics can be recycled. Wash out those peanut butter jars, and rinse out that milk jug and recycle them. The City of Seattle has adopted rules that if over 10% of your garbage is made up of recyclable materials you can be fined! So make sure you recycle!
Stuff too Big for Your Can?
What do you do with that old TV, fridge or musty couch that you don’t want anymore? Put it out with the garbage? NO!! Call the City for a special pick up. In some cases, you can recycle the materials such as electronics and computers. Check out the City of Seattle site for more information.