Greek Housing Summer Preparation Checklist

With fewer or no residents during summer break, the risk of chapter house claims rises significantly. Taking the time to prepare your chapter house for the summer break period will help to avoid the common risks that affect chapter facilities over the summer including fire, vandalism, theft, water damage, wind, and hail.

 What can you do to avoid these types of losses? 

  • Prior to the end of the semester, inspect each suite, document tenant damage and collect payment from security deposit. Excellent documentation during inspection and room checkout can clarify any issues in the event of a loss
  • Thoroughly clean the property, remove potential fire hazards and safely store combustibles
  • Reserve a dumpster if you do not have one or plan multiple dumpster pick-ups during move out to remove all garbage from the premises
  • Clean and inspect all roof drains and gutters (contact a local professional for this service)
  • Repair all broken windows and doors to prevent damage from inclement weather
  • Have a roofing contractor inspect the roof, provide a written recommendation and repair any immediate concerns
  • Service your HVAC to ensure it is working property and does not present a fire/health hazard
  • Inspect and repair all exterior lighting, outside lighting is a deterrent of trespassers
  • Contact emergency service company to conduct an inspection and service emergency lighting, alarm equipment, fire suppression and sprinkler systems
  • Remove and dispose lumber, mattresses or other debris outside, especially near the dumpster. These items are an open invitation to arsonists & vandals
  • Unplug and properly store unused appliances, do your research regarding small appliances
  • Service and clean stoves, ovens, hood ranges and other kitchen equipment
  • Have a local alumnus/house corporation member check the property frequently
  • Inform the host institution (university/college) as to whether the residence will be occupied or not and provide proper contact information for the facility


If members will be attending school and living in the facility over the summer period: 

  • Have each person sign a housing agreement, specific to the summer period
  • If the appropriate officers will not be living in the facility, appoint someone to oversee daily maintenance, collect rent and pay bills. Consider hiring a professional property manager to work in conjunction with a resident manager


If the chapter facility is unoccupied over the summer, make sure the following is completed: 

  • Securely lock the property and limit access to only designated alumni or undergraduates
    • If chapter members live in the facility over the summer, remember to have them secure windows and doors to avoid break-ins
  • Have a responsible alumnus, undergraduate or professional property management company check the property daily to ensure a loss has not occurred. A consistent daily presence will deter thieves and vandals
  • Inform local police and/or campus security the property will not be occupied. Ask them to patrol frequently and provide a key/code for access to the facility
  • Provide the caretaker or other resident with the following:
    • Alumni & House Corporation Contact
    • University/College Contact
    • Information for a local company that can respond to emergency repairs and can secure the property
    • Insurance claim reporting information
  • When not in use, remove all hoses and store in an appropriate place, preferably inside facility
  • Remove spigot knobs or install locks at each spigot location.


What are the benefits of being prepared for Summer Break? 

  • Avoid the expense and the time associated with a claim and restoring the area damaged
  • A large loss can risk losing your tenants for the fall due to an uninhabitable house
  • Water damage, when left unaddressed, combined with heat and humidity can lead to mold growth. 
  • Protect your legacy and history from thieves and vandals. A price can be put on everything except sentimental value 


Assembled By:

Caitlin Donlan, Assistant Director of Student Activities, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Christine Kobza, Associate Director of Student Activities, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Emily Perlow, Assistant Dean of Students, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Adapted from: Holmes Murphy & Associates. “Summer Break Checklist.” Resources for Sororities and Fraternities. 2018.

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