Off Campus Rights, Responsibilities, and Expectations

Off Campus Rights, Responsibilities, and Expectations


The Towns of Chapel Hill and Carrboro have adopted various codes (laws/ordinances) specifically designed to address blight, nuisances, and to maintain a clean environment for all citizens in our community. The town agencies help maintain and improve the quality of our community by administering a fair an unbiased enforcement program to correct violations of municipal codes and land use requirements. Wherever you reside, you need to be familiar with your community's ordinances and regulations. These ordinances cover topics such as noise, occupancy, parking, and trash. Please familiarize yourself with your local ordinances and when the situation calls for it, take action to resolve code enforcement violations on private property in your neighborhood.

Learn more about town codes here:

Chapel Hill Code of Ordinances

Carrboro Town Ordinances and Codes (please note the noise ordinance under Chapter 5)

If you have a problem related to town code enforcement, you can contact your town's code enforcement agencies or police department and file a complaint. Some helpful contact information is below:


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.


  • Loud parties may be cited for violating the local noise or nuisance ordinance...Sometimes a warning will be given at a first visit by the police, but this is not always the case and a second visit will almost always result in a citation
  • Apply with the Police Department for a permit for events that may exceed permitted sound levels
  • Don't operate sound systems (including within vehicles) so that it can be heard more than 30 feet away

Garbage & Recycling

  • Make sure all garbage at a gathering is placed in plastic bags and disposed of promptly in a trash container
  • Place all recycling in appropriate containers and remember- it's single stream, no need to separate materials
  • Arrange to take all large trash items to the landfill
  • Do not leave trash in the yard or street and bring roll carts back behind the property on the day trash is collected
  • See the Zero Waste Move-out Guide linked in the upper right-hand corner of this page for ways to reduce waste when moving-out


University Expectations

Moving away from campus also comes with new rights, responsibilities, and expectations. As a student, tenant, and community member you will have many opportunities to grow and develop as a citizen. Students must remember that they are no longer living in housing provided exclusively for students, but rather a diverse community that consists of a wide variety of residents. Off-campus communities are often home to families, young professionals, retired couples and other types of neighbors. UNC students need to keep these neighbors and their rights in mind while they are living off-campus.

Whether you live on campus or off, students at UNC represent the University and are expected to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the Honor Code. As such, students are held accountable to those expectations, even when their actions occur off campus.

The Philosophy of the Honor Code at UNC holds that:

The University has a special interest in assuring that students refrain from academic misconduct, respect the safety and welfare of members of the University community, and protect its institutional integrity and resources. The standards for student conduct and the means of enforcement set forth in the Instrument are adopted in furtherance of University interests and serve to supplement, rather than substitute, for the enforcement of the civil and criminal law applicable at large. Therefore it is not double jeopardy for the University to sanction conduct that is also sanctioned under local, state, or federal law.

As such, it is important that all students know the Code and are familiar with The Instrument, which contains all expectations of conduct, on and off campus, for UNC community members.

Code of Student Conduct: The Instrument of Student Governance