Good Neighboring Tips

Columbia is a great city that o­ffers a wonderful quality of life for residents. As a member of the USC and Columbia communities, it is your responsibility to practice civility and be a good neighbor.  Here’s how:

Be a Good Neighbor:  Introduce yourself. Put a face to a name and share contact information. Cooperate and show respect to police and your neighbors.

DON’T: Ignore your neighbor. Don’t play loud music that can be heard outside your property. When parking at a house, don’t park on the lawn, block driveways, or block sidewalks. Don’t be rude, belligerent or foul-mouthed.

Maintain Your Property: Educate yourself on the rules and keep your space maintained accordingly. Mow your lawn if you are responsible for yard upkeep. Pick up litter on your property and dispose of trash and recycling properly. Visit the trash and recycling page to learn more.

DON’T: Damage or deface the property. Don’t leave indoor furniture outdoors. Don’t leave trash or recycling bins on the side of the road indefinitely.

Party Smart: Keep the noise down: it’s the #1 reason the police are called. Notify your neighbors in advance and ask them to call you before calling the police. If you are attracting guests because they could “hear” your party, then your party is violating the noise ordinance.

DON’T: Drink if you are under 21 or serve alcohol to minors. Don’t let guests drive after drinking or let your party get out of your control.  You are liable for the actions of your guests and this type of behavior could result in sanctions from the Office of Student Conduct and criminal court.

Live Safe: Know your fire escapes and keep a fire extinguisher handy. Test smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries regularly. Keep the doors and windows of your house and car locked at all times.

DON’T: Overload electrical outlets. Never leave outdoor fires or grills unattended – this includes leaving cooking or candles unattended.  Don’t tempt thieves by leaving valuables in your home or car in plain sight.

Be a Good Roommate: Have a clear and open dialogue with your roommates about household chores and dividing up living costs. Draft a roommate contract to make sure everyone knows what to expect and is on the same page.

DON’T: Ignore roommate conflict. Don’t host loud gatherings in the shared space without speaking with your roommates first.

Be a Responsible Pet Owner:  Discuss getting a pet with your roommates before doing so. Always walk your dog on a leash and clean up after your pet.  Make sure your pet has the proper space to live comfortably.  Make arrangements for someone to watch pets when you are away. Be considerate of your roommates’ allergies.

DON’T: Have a pet if your housing is not pet-friendly. Do not let pets roam unattended. Don’t allow your dog to bark continuously outdoors.

Know the Code: Review the Student Code of Conduct. This code applies to all students, on- or o­ff-campus. Violating the law o­ff-campus can be a violation of this code. Students can receive consequences from both criminal court and USC for the same incident.

Educate yourself about the City of Columbia Rental Property Ordinance:
· All landlords are required to apply for a rental permit by registering their rental property.
· Landlords can lose their rental permit if more than 15 pts per year accrue on a property for violations such as noise, failure to maintain the structure, improper trash disposal, illegal parking, nuisance parties, lack of lawn care, indoor furniture outside, etc.
· The loss of a rental permit will result in the tenant(s) being evicted.
· The full Rental Property Ordinance, Rental Property checklist and FAQ’s can be found at