Off-Campus Student Life

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Have questions or ideas?
Contact Us!

Loryn Clark, Executive Director, Housing & Community

Sarah Vinas, Planner II, Housing & Community

Town Hall, 3rd Floor
405 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Chapel Hill, NC 27514

Phone: 919-969-5076
Fax: 919-969-2014

Don't know when to take your trash out? Need a residential parking permit? Trying to figure out which bus will get you to class on time? If you need answers to questions like these, you are probably living off-campus!

Welcome to the neighborhood! Whether you are a new or long-term resident of a Chapel Hill neighborhood, this page provides helpful information for all!

Be sure to visit the website for the UNC Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life and Community Involvement which has great information for off-campus students. More information about this office can also be found below, under "Helpful Contacts."

Check out the following information for helpful hints and reminders about living off-campus:

If you have any questions, please contact the Chapel Hill Planning Department at 919-969-5059 or email



Parking Possibilities

Front-yard Parking

For residents in the Northside and Pine Knolls Neighborhoods: As of September 1, 2012, a maximum of four cars is allowed on a lot (including parking on the side and back yard). Parking is only permitted in designated areas on a property (not on front-yards/grass). Violators could receive an immediate $100 fine and could be fined $100 per day if the violation is not addressed.

Unsure if you live in Northside or Pine Knolls? Then click here for a map of the neighborhoods.

For residents in other neighborhoods: Be sure that your parking areas are clearly defined by an all-weather surface or gravel, and that the parking area only takes up 40% of your front yard.

Residential Parking Permits

Residential parking permits are needed in order to park in Chapel Hill's special parking zones. These zones are designated by parking signs.

Residential parking permits cost $25 per year, and guest and temporary permits are available.

For more information, visit:

For a map of downtown parking options, visit  


Trash Talk

Don't forget to roll your garbage bin out to the curb by 6am on trash collection days. (Trash days are on Mondays or Tuesdays; be sure to check with your landlord about your trash day!)

After the trash is picked up, be sure to remove your bin from the curb and take it back to your house by 7pm on trash day. Violators could be fined $25 per day.

Remember: Put all garbage and household refuse in watertight bags before placing it in trash bins. 

Wondering what to do with furniture, appliances, and other bulky items?
Furniture, large appliances, televisions, electronics, bookshelves, carpet, large rugs, lawn mowers, grills, mattresses, box springs, etc., can be collected from the curb for a fee upon request.

The fee is $15 for up to three items and $5 for each additional item. Call 919-969-5100 to schedule a collection prior to items being places at the curb.

For more information, visit:


Recycling Right!

All together now! Recycle in a SINGLE STREAM! Commingle paper, magazines, newspaper, phonebooks, cartons, junk mail with plastic bottles, metal cans, aluminum foil, glass bottles and jars at the curb, in carts, and at drop-off sites!

It is unlawful in Orange County to throw away corrugated cardboard – it must be recycled! Curbside, boxes MUST be empty and flattened, 3’x3’ or less, and 10 pieces or less, unless they all fit inside your bins. Look for separate cardboard dumpsters at apartments and drop off sites.

For more information, visit Orange County Solid Waste Management Department 


Noise Nuisances

The Town of Chapel Hill Code of Ordinance states that any "unreasonably loud noise, particularly during nighttime" which may interfere with neighboring residents may be charged with a violation.

This may include:

  • Yelling and shouting
  • Loud parties
  • Sound amplification equipment, television, or musical instrument
  • Horns and signaling devices
  • Vehicles not operating with original manufacturer-provided muffler, or equivalent, in good working order
  • Exterior and mobile loud speakers
  • And other loud noises

How can I tell if I am being too loud?
To give yourself a sense of how loud is too loud, stand at the property line outside your house. If you can hear the noise from your house as loud as someone speaking to you normally from three feet away, the noise level is likely too high.

Noise Permits

If you are having a party, contact the Chapel Hill Police Department at 919-968-2760 to let them know.


Living Logistics

No more than four unrelated people can reside in a dwelling unit (for example, in a single family house or on one side of a duplex).

Violators could be fined up to $100 per day for the first offense, $200 per day for the second offense within 180 days and $500 per day for a third offense within 365 days.

Having more than six unrelated persons in a dwelling unit is a violation of the NC Fire Code and could result in a civil penalty in the amount of $500 per violation for everyday the violation continues.

Have questions? Contact the Chapel Hill Planning Department at 919-968-2728 or the Fire Department 919-968-2781.  

If you are a University student and have questions about your lease, you can contact Student Legal Services for assistance. For more information, visit:


Tenants' Rights and Responsibilities

Are you a renter? If so, would you like more information about your rights as a renter/tenant and your responsibilities? Then check out the "Declaration of Tenants Rights and Obligations" document!

To download a copy of the "Declaration of Tenants Rights and Obligations" document, click here.  

This document was developed by Orange County Justice United, a community organization, with the purpose of providing a description of tenants' rights and responsibilities when renting residential property in Chapel Hill. These rights are granted through the governing NC Statutes and the local and federal Fair Housing Act. This document is not intended to provide legal advice.

If you are a student, and you have questions about your landlord or lease, you can contact Student Legal Services. More information about Student Legal Services can be found here.


Landlord Partnership Program

Is your house or apartment in the Landlord Partnership Program? Ask your landlord!

The Landlord Partnership Program is a Town-wide, voluntary program for rental housing in Chapel Hill. Landlords/property owners/property managers can participate in the program by self-certifying that the property meets a list of criteria.

This program has many purposes, which include:

  • Developing open lines of communication between landlords/property owners/property managers and the Town of Chapel Hill
  • Providing tenants and their families with a resource for finding properties and property owners that comply with Town regulations and standards
  • Increasing tenants’ awareness about ordinances and regulations
  • Increasing landlords’/property owners’/property managers’ compliance with Town ordinances and regulations

For more information about the Landlord Partnership Program and to see if your property is in the program, please visit: 


Need a ride? Hop on the bus!

The Chapel Hill Transit System is free for all users and has many stops on campus. Check out the real time bus schedules at

Need a ride to the RDU airport? You can take a bus there from UNC's campus! For more information, visit Triangle Transit at


Safety Tips

Check out these personal safety tips and reminders. Also, remember: Any time you notice something or someone suspicious, call 911. You aren't bothering anyone, and you just might save someone's property or life!

  • Avoid walking or running alone. If walking, walk assertively.
  • Lock all doors and windows in your house and car, especially when out of town.
  • While out of town, place a hold on your mail service and stop newspaper service.
  • When shopping, park in well-lit areas, preferably near the door.
  • While shopping or out and about, do not leave anything in plain view inside your car. Place your items in the trunk.
  • Stay alert and aware of your surroundings at ALL times. If you see someone or something suspicious, leave the area and call 911.


Fire Safety

For information (and cool videos!) about fire safety, visit the Chapel Hill Fire Department's webpage by clicking here.


For more information, check out:


Helpful Contacts

Student Legal Services (Available for University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill students)

  • There are many reasons why University students may need sound legal advice from time to time, and the Student Legal Services is available to help. Located in the Student Union and staffed by licensed attorneys, Student Legal Services staff are available by appointment or for free confidential consultations on just about any legal situation, including concerns about your landlord.
  • For more information, visit:  

Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life and Community Involvement

  • The Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life and Community Involvement provides resources and coordinates services to assist students in transitioning to off-campus living.
  • Contact the Office for information including where to find housing, signing a lease, roommates, rights and responsibilities, parking and transportation, being a good neighbor, and safety and security.
  • Contact information: Call 919-962-8298 or email
  • For more information, visit:  


Last revised: 12/2013

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