The Community Housing Office is all about “Go Green or Go Home.” Our hearts dropped a little when we saw how much waste was left during last year’s two-week “Move Out” period. According to the County of Santa Barbara Public Works Department, MarBorg Industries removed over 970,000 pounds of material from Isla Vista during those two weeks. Let’s make a difference this year! Here are some ways to eliminate that absurd amount of waste:

[media-credit id=20135 align=”alignleft” width=”250″][/media-credit]—Donate to GIVE! They accept clothing, furniture, kitchenware, home furnishings, books, non-perishable food and other reusable things you don’t need or want. Drop-off is at UCSB’s Embarcadero Hall parking lot between noon and 8 p.m. from Wednesday, June 9 to Friday, June 18. GIVE will sell the items on June 19 and 20 and donate the monetary proceeds to local charities. Check out or e-mail for more information.

—Recycle! Don’t be lazy and just put all your stuff in the dumpster. Sort out the recyclable items and put them in the appropriate container.

—As of February 2006 it became illegal to dispose of electronic waste, which is defined as anything with a plug or a battery, in the trash or curbside recycling container. E-waste must be recycled at a local e-waste disposal site. Check out to find one of the many local county sites that will accept your e-waste for free.

—Don’t need that old couch? Don’t even think about lighting it on fire (that is called arson)! In 2009 every person convicted of a couch fire in I.V. received the maximum sentence: $1,000 fine and 100 hours of community service. In addition to those penalties, UCSB students were suspended for 1 quarter and given an additional 50 hours of community service. Anyone who had a previous criminal record was also sentenced for up to 3 months in County Jail. Be smart!

—Put your trash in the dumpster. Make sure your dumpster isn’t overflowing and that there isn’t loose garbage on the street, because your landlord will be charged and pass that charge on to you. If you have bulk items that you have chosen not to donate to GIVE, you must place them at the curb line. Every year numerous students come in concerned about a charge from their security deposit for “hauling trash” because they didn’t appropriately take care of their garbage. Sometimes it is actually their neighbor’s fault, but if the landlord can’t tell, he/she will charge all parties! If your dumpster is full, call MarBorg Industries at (805) 963-1852 for an early pickup.

Steps to Secure your Security Deposit

Security deposit disputes are one of the main reasons that students come to the Community Housing Office over the summer. How can you better your chances of getting back what you deserve? Follow these simple steps:

—Fill out your Inventory and Condition report within the first three days of tenancy, keep a copy for yourself and return one copy to your property provider. Be sure to be very thorough and specific. A great way to visually document the condition of your rental is to hire CHO to do a move-in/move-out video. We only charge $20 to do both videos, keep it at our office until you need it and copy the footage onto a DVD in case of a dispute.

—Be responsible. Don’t let the flakiest of your roommates be in charge of move-in! I’ve heard so many stories of, “Well, my roommate was the only one there when we got our keys, so I don’t know what it looked like and he/she never even filled out anything.” Tell this to the judge.

—Take care of your place. This means you need to clean on a regular basis, only have responsible parties with people you know (who won’t damage the property) and
communicate with your property provider when things are broken or damaged.

—Under the California Civil Code, tenants have the right to ask their property provider to perform an initial inspection of their rental to identify defects or conditions that justify deductions from the tenant’s security deposit. Most often the rental is still fully furnished and lived in, so there may be additional items that the property provider cannot see but is allowed to deduct from the deposit. The inspection, not to be scheduled more than two weeks before the move-out date, allows the tenants to clean, fix or repair any of the items brought up during the inspection. Tenants have the right to be present during the inspection.

—You must leave your rental in the same condition in which you got it, minus normal wear and tear. This means that if your place was professionally cleaned with professionally steam-cleaned carpets, you are required to give it back to the property provider in that condition. If you don’t leave your rental unit in the same way in which you got it, your security deposit may be used for cleaning. If you choose to hire someone yourself, you might ask which company your property provider uses. If you find a cleaning company on your own, make sure they are licensed, bonded and guarantee their work, meaning that they will come back and clean if the property provider isn’t satisfied with the job they did in the first place. Don’t forget to give the property provider a copy of the receipt so that they don’t hire someone to re-clean it. And remember: the more you and your roommates clean, the less you will need to pay for a professional!

Have questions about moving out? Want to schedule your move-in/out video? Need tips on cleaning? Still need a place for next year? We are here to help! Come to CHO (UCen 3rd floor), join us on Facebook, call us at (805) 893-4371 or e-mail us at