The following information was sent as part of your Welcome to University Properties email. It contains information that is useful before you move in along with information that you may find handy throughout the term of your lease.
You are responsible for the gas, electric, water, and garbage service supplied to your apartment. You must contact Ameren and the water company no later than May 20th to have the bills put into you names. There are often multiple Ameren accounts so make sure that all of them are transferred. The garbage and sewer bills will remain in University Properties’ name and you will reimburse us twice a year. We will send you a copy of the bills that were sent to us along with a statement showing the portion of the bill you are responsible for. Here are the phone numbers you will need:
Ameren……………….…………672-5252 Illinois-American Water ………..800-422-2782
Call Ameren at the above number if you notice a severe problem such as a strong natural gas odor, a carbon monoxide detector alarm, or an electrical power failure. Usually, a faint gas odor can be traced to a stove’s pilot lights, which can be safely re-lit with a match. However, if you’re unsure or the odor is very strong, be safe and call Ameren from another house to make sure. NEVER leave an oven or burner on in an unoccupied unit. Ameren is open 24 hours a day. Do not call Ameren for a minor problem such as a stove or burner that won’t light, or an electrical outlet or light that won’t work. First, check the fuse or breaker box (you’ll be shown where these are located in your particular house); if that doesn’t work, call University Properties.
If you choose to have cable TV or cable internet service, call Comcast at 1-800-COMCAST to have the account put into your name. You may not have a satellite dish attached to your house.
You are responsible for any internet connections or service to your house or apartment. Locally, you can easily find a provider for cable. All of our houses have cable lines hooked up to them which can be used for internet access. We don’t recommend DSL because most of our houses have not had a connected land line phone for many years. If you have multiple computers in your apartment and want to have the capability to have more than 1 connected to the internet at any given time, it will be your responsibility (and expense) to purchase the software and hardware to accomplish this. We highly recommend a wireless internet hub – which will eliminate the need to run exposed wires all over your apartment.
If a refrigerator or stove isn’t working properly, let us know. We’ll get a repairman there, usually within 24 hours. Usually, refrigerators give the most problems, and usually it’s because they’re overloaded and are opened and closed too often. This can cause excessive frost buildup or food not to cool enough. Leave some air space in there, especially in the freezer section. If a refrigerator quits completely, keep the door closed to keep in the cold or move the food to someone else’s refrigerator if possible. NEVER use any kind of object to chip away frost or ice as this can damage a refrigerator beyond repair, which results in a bill for a refrigerator, and we’re sure that none of you wants to buy one! Also, NEVER unplug or turn off a refrigerator as it may never work properly again.
The plumbing in older homes is not designed to handle everything that modern plumbing does. Do not put grease or food scraps down your kitchen sink. NEVER PUT ANY KIND OF SANITARY PRODUCTS DOWN YOUR TOILET – EVEN THE BRANDS THAT ARE MARKED FLUSHABLE!
Routinely clean out the hair that accumulates in your tub and sink drains – a paper clip or metal coat hanger will do the job. Always be sure to report a toilet that “runs on” – as it wastes a lot of water.
DO NOT REMOVE SMOKE DETECTOR BATTERIES! If you have a smoke detector that seems to be going off too easily, we can move it to a different spot if we know about it. Check your detectors regularly by pressing the test button and holding it down for about 5 seconds. If it doesn’t beep, replace the battery. YOU are responsible for doing this. If you hear your detector making only an occasional beep, this means it is time to replace the battery.
We will maintain the outside of your building as well as do the yard work, such as mowing, trimming, etc. For liability reasons we cannot be responsible for snow removal. It is up to the tenants to keep the porch and walks free of snow and ice. You are responsible for keeping your unit reasonably clean, inside and out. Garbage must not be allowed to accumulate inside your apartment. We believe that we have provided ample refuse containers for each building, although during the first few weeks of school they may not be sufficient, this problem should quickly pass. Remember: YOU are responsible for picking up any bottles or trash in your yard, parking lot or on your porch. The City of Peoria is very tough on litter around here, and if they fine us for litter on our property ($50 is a normal fine amount) we will pass this fine on to YOU. If we notice trash accumulating on the premises, we will notify you to clean it up. If it is not cleaned up in a reasonable amount of time, we will charge you for having our workers clean it up. We take a lot of pride in our business, and in our neighborhood – please help us maintain it.
Your scheduled garbage pickup day is Thursday. Your garbage toters must be wheeled to the alley on Wednesday evening and then returned to the back of your house before the end of the day on Thursday. All garbage must be contained within the toters and the lids must always be in place.
Some streets will require a parking permit for on-street parking. This will be indicated by a street sign. To obtain a parking permit decal, take your lease and vehicle registration to City Hall room #100. They will also provide you with a number of guest passes. You do not need a permit to park in your own lot.
We understand – and appreciate – the nice things you do to your apartment to make it seem more like home. You may hang pictures on the walls as long as you use a small finishing nail – do not use anything sticky because it will damage the wall. You may also hang shelves if you do so properly. If you are not handy we would be happy to have our handyman assist you – just ask. We must insist that you ask our permission before doing any other improvements. This includes painting. We like to use the same brand and color paint in all of our apartments to make maintenance easier.
Sunbathing on roofs around here has been a tradition – so has repairing roofs. To avoid the latter we must insist that you avoid the former. Roofs, even flat porch roofs, were not designed to be walked on, sat on or laid on. No one is allowed on any roof for any reason. ‘Nuff said.
While we applaud efforts of tenants to recycle, it has recently posed new problems. Stacks of paper for recycling create a fire hazard, especially when stored near furnaces and water heaters. Aluminum cans cause a problem of a more insidious nature. We have had more calls concerning bugs than ever before, and in most cases it was found that empty aluminum cans were being collected and stockpiled. Even when cans are rinsed out, it is not effective enough to prevent them from attracting all kinds of insects, especially roaches. Normally, bugs that appear during the school year have either been inadvertently brought in by tenants or invited in by allowing garbage and/or cans to accumulate in the house. The solution: all materials intended to be recycled must be taken to a recycling center WEEKLY. No recycling materials may be stored inside the building or accumulated for longer than a week. If we determine that a bug problem has come from this source, the tenant will be responsible for the cost of spraying.
There has been a lot of news lately about so-called “black mold” or “sick houses” where mold causes health problems for residents. These cases are actually quite rare, except in the more tropical parts of the US. In the midwest, mold spores exist in the air, just as pollen does. Mold or mildew will always grow where there is moisture or high humidity and no ventilation. This can include bathrooms and basements. Simply wiping any mold or mildew that appears with a common household cleaner is usually sufficient. In larger areas, such as the old basements that most houses in the area have, running a dehumidifier will keep mold or mildew from growing. In our 30+ years of business, this has never been a problem.
None. Nada. The Null Set. In the past we have made a few exceptions and it has created a problem every time. Even small animals smell, attract insects, and create a bad precedent. Please don’t ask for an exception. NO PETS ARE ALLOWED FOR ANY PERIOD OF TIME – no matter how short, including “babysitting” someone else’s pet. If you are caught with a pet, the penalty will be SEVERE (like your entire security deposit)!
CRITTERS: Bugs, birds, squirrels, raccoons, mice, bats…they all live here, and there’s a good chance you’re going to see some of them in or around your house at some point. Depending on the season, some of these animals may want to get into your house. In the spring, squirrels, raccoons, and birds want to build nests, and they will attempt to chew their way into walls and attics. In August and September, bats will be very active and will find their way into some houses through a chimney or open window. In the fall, mice will try to get into houses when weather drops below freezing. In October the Japanese beetles and box elder bugs will swarm for a few sunny days. These are all normal and unavoidable events that are solved with a simple trap or two, a small repair to some damage on a building, or they resolve themselves. If you find yourself with a bird, bat, squirrel etc. in your house and it is trapped in a room, you can call Peoria Animal Control to remove it free of charge.
Peoria Animal Control…….…………672-2440 After hours …………………………674-3131
As far as our buildings, furnishings, appliances, and anything else that we own is concerned – everything. As far as your belongings are concerned – nothing! As with any dwelling that you’ll ever rent, you are solely responsible for insuring your possessions. The good news is that it is very inexpensive to do so. Check with your parents to see if you can get coverage under their homeowners’ policy. If not, you can get your own policy, probably for less than $100 per year, from any insurance agent in the phone book. It’s a good idea, especially if you have expensive electronics and computer equipment, sporting goods, jewelry, etc.
While we’re talking about insurance, let’s talk about the cheapest kind – common sense. Keep all exterior entrances locked at all times. Never leave your apartment completely dark as it is an open invitation for a burglar. We recommend that you purchase an inexpensive light timer to use when the apartment is empty over breaks. We have provided ample exterior lighting – please use them! Your best defense against a burglar is to make your house look lived in at all times.
Our goal is to have someone drive by your house and not be able to tell whether the house is occupied by Bradley students or a typical family. If they can tell – then you’re doing something that you shouldn’t be. Dead give-aways include a littered yard, indoor furniture on the front porch, posters in the windows, parking on the grass, and loud parties. Please be courteous to your neighbors.
If a tenant decides to move out for any reason, the remaining tenant(s) are responsible for the entire rent payment. It pays everyone to get along! If damage occurs to the unit, (and our tenants would never do that), everyone is responsible for the repair bills. Keep in mind that the actions of one tenant or guest could cost everyone their damage deposit or more. It pays everyone to be careful!
As outlined in your lease, you may sublet your unit for the summer months as long as at least one tenant on the lease is living in the unit and you have our written permission. Keep in mind that you and you alone are responsible for the payment of rent and for any damages that may be incurred by those who sublet from you. DO NOT instruct sublettors to make a rent payment to us – only YOU may do so.
All payments should be by check, money order or cashier’s check (no cash) made out to UNIVERSITY PROPERTIES and mailed to:
P.O. BOX 10136
PEORIA, IL 61612
We do have PayPal account that will also allow us to accept payment by credit card. If you are interested in making a payment this way, please contact our office for instructions. FYI – PayPal charges a 4% fee for this service which will have to be added to your amount due.
As stressed in your lease, payments must be ON TIME! Our mail is picked up at our Post Office box on the 1st business day of each month that your rent is due. Any payment not received for any reason will be deemed late and the $5.00 per day late charge will apply. HINT: In the REAL WORLD the mail may take 3 to 5 days – allow for that.
All applicable deposits will be returned within 45 days of the end of your lease. No deposit or any portion thereof will be returned until your unit’s account is settled in full, including damages and late fees, if any. You are each collectively responsible for each other’s rent, deposits, damages, and fees. We are always extremely happy to return a full deposit, as it means that everyone did what they were supposed to do when they were supposed to do it – which makes for a very pleasant year!
QUESTIONS, PROBLEMS, ETC: If you have any questions or problems over the summer, or experience a problem with your rental unit at any time during your lease contact us through our website www.rentUPbu.com. Be certain to include your address, name, telephone number, and the nature of the problem so we can take the appropriate action. If it is an EMERGENCY, please call 309-681-8787 and press 0 and you will be connected to our answering service that is available 24 hours a day. They know where to reach us and our handyman all of the time. Please be sure to include your street address in the subject line of any email.