We know that many students living on or near campus are experiencing their first independent living situation, or introduction to residence halls.
If you're in this situation use this guide to learn and understand the expectations of living in an adult community. While much of this information might seem like common sense, we think you'll find it useful—or at the very least—a helpful refresher for being a good citizen.
This guide was created by the University of Denver, the West University Community Association and the City of Denver's District 3 Police Department.
The near campus/off-campus neighborhood is a residential neighborhood where families and students share a common goal: a quiet, enjoyable residential living area.
How to Be a Good, Responsible Neighbor
Respect Your Neighbors' Peace & Quiet
Please recognize that most of those living next door to you, in front of and behind you, work at different times of the day and night. Many have children and some have infants, so please keep the noise to a level that cannot be heard outside your home. Most importantly, get to know your neighbors; they'll look out for your well-being if you look out for theirs.
Pick Up Your Trash
Whether it's newspapers in your yard, cups left over from parties, empty bottles or paper trash, please pick up the trash in your yard and throw it away. The city has placed trash receptacles behind every home in the neighborhood. If yours is full, please throw your trash in another receptacle; do not leave it on the ground.
Park in Front of Your House
Many neighbors are elderly or have visitors throughout the day and evening. Just as it would inconvenience your visitors if they could not park in front of your house, please respect your neighbors' visitors.
Understand the Meaning of "Nuisance"
Under the city of Denver's Nuisance Abatement law, a public nuisance is any property or vehicle where criminal activity occurs, including noise offenses, and disturbing the peace.
- What's "too loud"?
If you think your music or people at your party are disturbing a neighbor, then you probably are.
- In general, there are two city ordinances with which students are cited in the near off-campus neighborhood. They are known as:
- DISTURBANCE OF THE PEACE
- i. It shall be unlawful for any person to disturb or tend to disturb the peace of others by violent, tumultuous, offensive or obstreperous conduct or by loud or unusual noises or by unseemly, profane, obscene or offensive language calculated to provoke a breach of the peace or for any person to permit any such conduct in any house or upon any premises owned or possessed by such person or under their management or control, when within such person's power to prevent, so that others in the vicinity are or may be disturbed thereby. (Ch. 38, Article IV, Sec. 38-89 of the Revised Municipal Code of the City and County of Denver.), and
- ii. No person shall use or operate or allow to be used or operated any loudspeaker, public address system, radio, tape player, disc player or other sound-amplifying equipment in or on a motor vehicle in such a manner as to be plainly audible at twenty-five (25) feet from the motor vehicle unless a permit has been issued by the manager of excise and licenses pursuant to subsection (e) herein which allows such amplification. (Ch. 38, Article IV, Sec. 38-89 of the Revised Municipal Code of the City and County of Denver).
- What's "too loud"?
Know the Legal Consequences of Making Too Much Noise
- If the police respond to your house on a noise-related complaint, they'll contact the people in the house suspected of making the noise, and ask the residents to quiet down.
- If they see an illegal act occurring, such as underage drinking, they'll issue you a citation, which often includes a steep fine.
- If the police give a warning, and are required to return to the house, they'll break up the party, or shut down the music, and write the residents living at the house tickets. Fines range from $125 to $500.
- Once a ticket is written for a nuisance violation, the police will contact the University of Denver and give the students' names to DU's Campus Safety and Campus Life departments.
Understand Your Landlord's Rights
Depending upon terms of the lease, landlords may choose to fine or evict students who violate the law. The University encourages landlords to require students to sign a crime-free lease. Essentially, this lease requires students to obey the law. If student residents are caught disobeying the law, the lease stipulates various consequences.
DU Considers Any Violation City Ordinance or State Law as a Violation of the Student Code of Conduct.
Students who violate the code face a variety of possible punishments, ranging from probation to community service to suspension to possible expulsion. Oftentimes, the University will contact the student's landlord and notify the landlord of the alleged offense.
Additional Student Resources
Living Off Campus
If you're a student who lives—or wants to live—off campus, visit the Office of Housing and Residential Education's website for off campus housing resources.
Additionally, if you have questions about the Denver housing market, need more resources, or would like to schedule a time to talk with the Off-Campus Housing Fellow, please send an email to OffCampus.Housing@du.edu.
You may also find the Residential Tenant Landlord Guide helpful in navigating the general rights and obligations of tenants and landlords in Denver.
- In case of a fire or immediate threat to your person or property: Dial 911 to contact the police or fire department.
- For problems involving DU students: Contact Campus Safety at 303-871-2334, or in case of an emergency, please call 303-871-3000.
Parking in Front of a Driveway
It is illegal to park in front of a residential driveway or park in a driveway and block a sidewalk. To request enforcement of illegal parking, please call:
- 8:00am - 5:00pm: Call 311
- 5:00pm - 10:00pm, Monday through Saturday: Call Police non-emergency at 720-913-2000.
In Denver, the current zoning code prohibits more than two unrelated people from living in a single home together. However, with the economic hardship and housing insecurity resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, Denver’s Community Planning and Development Department is proposing new legislation that would allow up to five unrelated people to live together. Off-campus Greek properties are classified as dorms and/or boarding houses by code.
To report suspected violations of this ordinance, or such code violations as couches on a front porch, a concentration of trash in yards or unshoveled sidewalks, please dial 311 (or 720-913-1311 if you are located outside of Denver).
One-Hour Parking Violations
Many streets in the DU neighborhood are restricted to one-hour parking, except for residents and resident guests. For more detailed information on all parking permit programs, please refer to Park Smart Denver or Department of Transportation and Infrastructure websites.
To report complaints of Violations of the Public Right-of-Way:
- Contact 311
- DPD non-emergency phone
- Monday - Saturday
- 5:00pm - 10:00pm
- Report an abandoned vehicle
- Denver Sheriff's Department
- Phone: 720-865-0471
Large-Item Trash Pickup
At the end of the school year, or even when moving, students often leave large furniture items to be picked up in the alleys. It is their responsibility to call and have items picked up. There is a regular large-item pickup schedule available at the city of Denver's Recycle, Compost, and Trash website. You can also call the office by dialing 311.
It is unlawful for any owner, possessor or keeper of any dog to permit such dog to disturb any person or neighborhood by loud and persistent or habitual barking, howling or yelping. No summons and complaint shall be issued for any violation of this section unless there are at least two or more complaining witnesses from separate households who have signed such complaint. Neighbors disturbed by a barking dog may call Animal Control at 311.