As college landlords, we are used to having a tenant base relatively new to the rental world. While this can be a fun and exciting time in life, it is also important that tenants (and likely parents) understand exactly what lease agreements say and mean and some basic components of living in your new college home. We are used to fielding questions from prospective and current tenants, so feel free to contact us if you feel like you can't find an answer from the list here as it is certainly not exhaustive.
My lease ends May 2017. How do I prepare?
All standard semester leases end May 12th, 2017 and keys must be returned that day. If you are a graduating student who will be participating in commencement on May 13th, you will need to bring your commencement tickets to the office no later than May 4th by 6:00pm to receive an extension through May 14th at 12:00pm. We have provided a PDF copy of our move-out notice here for your convenience with all the information to prepare for your move-out process. Please contact the office for any further clarification.
Is DLK part of UW-Whitewater?
The simple answer is no. We are in no way a part of the University of Wisconsin System. We have, though, been renting to UW-Whitewater students in this community for nearly 60 years and partner with the university on a number of projects. Our staff is comprised primarily of UW-Whitewater students and alumni, so we are able to work closely with them should any issues arise.
When can I start looking for an apartment?
Our rental season in Whitewater starts relatively early. We begin showings in early October and begin signing leases the following week. For the 2017-2018 school year, we will start showings on October 3, 2015. Prospective tenants may call our office to schedule a showing at 262.473.5321. Prospective tenants should note that all roommates must be present for a showing of any unit for more than one person. We extend our evening and weekend hours during showing season to accommodate the hectic schedule of most college students.
Can I use financial aid to pay my rent?
Yes. Students who receive financial aid may pay their rent using financial aid refunds. Tenants should note, however, that because we are not part of the university, our system is somewhat different. Tenants should anticipate paying a portion of their rent balance by the due date and furnishing proof that financial aid will be received. Tenants receive a two-week extension for payment of rent once that information is received. Tenants should note, however, that parking permits may not be purchased until rent is paid in full.
Does DLK perform repairs in apartments and houses? Will I have to pay for them?
Yes, we do employ a full-time, licensed maintenance staff to address major and minor maintenance issues in our properties. If you should ever have an issue, you need only contact our office to put in a work order. Work orders may be submitted by phone at 262-473-5321 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If it is an emergency, our office line does ring to an after-hours line once the office closes, so you should use the same number. Please note that turn-around time on work orders does vary a bit depending on the urgency of the request and the current workload of our maintenance staff.
Do I need to have renter's insurance?
While our lease does not require that tenants have renter's insurance, it is a very good idea to make the purchase for additional peace of mind and protection of tenant belongings. While we insure the building against damages, that would not cover tenant belongings in case of any issues (fire, flood, tornado, etc.) Renter's insurance costs very little to obtain and can save you a great deal of money and stress later.
Why do I have to pay for parking permits?
First, Whitewater does not have a great deal of extra parking in and around campus. Given the location of our apartment buildings, the likelihood of illegal parking by non-tenants increases significantly. Requiring parking permits makes certain that only tenants who live in the building are utilizing the parking spaces. Parking fees are additionally the dollars behind parking lot maintenance. From snow removal in the winter to seal coating and repainting in the summer, there is a great deal of upkeep required in a parking lot. Tenants who do not have vehicles in the parking lot do not require these services, so requiring payments of only users makes certain all things are fair.
What happens if I park in the lot without a sticker?
Any vehicle parked in a DLK Parking Lot without a valid parking sticker may be ticketed and towed at owner's expense. The ticketing portion is a requirement under Whitewater City Ordinance and all ticketing fees are paid to the Whitewater Police Department.
How does DLK Internet work?
In locations where internet is provided, DLK utilizes Ethernet ports for tenants to connect to the internet. If tenants would like to have wireless internet, they must obtain a wireless router and install in the apartment/house. You will find instructions on router hookup here.
Can you guys just talk to my mom/dad/aunt/uncle/cousin about this?
We are happy to speak to parents/guardians about your apartment, but only if a signed release form is on file in our office. All tenants on our leases are adults and must consent to financial or lease information being disclosed to any other parties. Even if parents pay 100% of the rent, we are unable to discuss any rental terms or leasing issues if tenants elect not to sign a release form. These forms can be obtained at our office and can be signed for as many or as few individuals as a tenant deems necessary.
Am I responsible for my roommate's problems?
All tenants on leases with DLK that have more than one resident sign a joint lease. This means that these tenants are responsible as a whole for all rent payments and maintaining the unit in rentable condition. Should one tenant violate the lease terms, all tenants may be held liable. Choose your roommates wisely and only sign leases with people you know!
I'm not going to UW-Whitewater anymore, so I don't have to worry about my lease, right?
Unfortunately, no. All tenants are responsible for all lease terms even if they choose not to attend UW-Whitewater. If you elect to transfer schools or withdraw from the university for any reason and do not wish to live in your unit any longer, you are responsible for finding an assignment.
What's an assignment/sublease and how can I get one?
Tenants are responsible for finding individuals to take over a lease agreement. This means that DLK cannot provide you with tenants to fill the lease agreement (and doesn't have that information anyway.) We find that most tenants utilize online resources for finding subleases. Once you have found someone, you will be responsible for all fees associated with the assignment. Please note that all roommates must be present at the time of assignment.
How do I get a 2016 Wisconsin Rent Certificate?
The actual form must be obtained through the Wisconsin Department of Revenue. They have made the PDF form available online at: https://www.revenue.wi.gov/DORForms/2016-RentCertificate.pdf. You will need to print out a copy from the website if you plan on filing for the Wisconsin Homestead Credit. The state of Wisconsin does not require landlords to complete these forms and you are still eligible for the tax credit without the landlord's signature, so you will simply need to follow the steps on the form. We have created an example with instructions here.