Welcome to the Student Legal Clinic!

Free legal advice, information and referrals provided by a licensed attorney.

Convenient and Confidential

No problem too big or too small!

The Student Legal Clinic is a partner program of the Off-Campus Student Services 

Both programs share the following goals: 

  • To provide information that will help students make appropriate decisions
  • To teach students problem solving tools and strategies  
  • To develop community relationships that benefit students   
  • To strengthen the connection between off-campus students and campus and community resources

Security Deposits: What to know if your lease will be ending this summer

Published May 2, 2017

Most off-campus rentals require payment of a security deposit before a tenant moves in.  Under North Carolina law a security deposit is fully refundable if the tenant has paid rent every month and has not damaged the rental property.  Unfortunately, security deposits are not always promptly returned after a tenant moves out.  Here are a few tips to help you get your security deposit back:

  1. Know the security deposit law. 

The North Carolina “Tenant Security Deposit Act” requires landlords to refund a tenant’s security deposit within 30 days of the end of the tenancy (typically the end of the lease period). If the security deposit is not fully refunded, the landlord must provide a written accounting of how the deposit was used. The security deposit can only be used to cover the specific types of costs incurred by the landlord that are listed in the Tenant Security Deposit Act. These include unpaid rent, damage to the rental property caused by the tenant, and the cost of re-renting an apartment after a tenant has breached the lease (in other words, administrative costs incurred by the landlord if a tenant moves out early). The Act expressly states that the security deposit may not be used to cover damages caused by ordinary wear and tear – and that the amount deducted must be based on the actual costs of the landlord.

  1. Document, document, document!
 Read more

To avoid surprises, read and understand your lease before you sign!

Published March 1, 2017

For students who are still making plans for off-campus housing next year, be sure to check out the App State Off-Campus Housing Database.  The database, which provides detailed listings of rental properties in the Boone area that are currently available or available for Fall 2017, is a great starting point for finding off-campus housing.  After identifying rental properties that fit your criteria for cost, location, and size, be sure to visit each property you are considering.  Look around, ask questions, and gather as much information as possible about the things that are most important to you in a living situation.   Finally, be sure to read and understand the lease before you make a commitment!  Just call (828) 262-8284 to schedule an appointment with the Student Legal Clinic for a lease review. 

Off-Campus Housing podcast published in AppState online magazine

Published October 5, 2015

Last fall, the Director of the Student Legal Clinic and Off-Campus Community Relations sat down in the University Communications recording studio for a conversation about off-campus housing issues.  The following "AppX" podcast was published in the online edition of Appalachian Magazine in May 2015.  We're posting a link to the podcast now because it will soon be time to start thinking about housing options for next year (i.e. academic year 2016-17).  Look for more information about how to decide where to live and how to find the right housing for you on this page in the coming months.  Remember, the Student Legal Clinic attorney can review your lease with you and answer any questions you may have before you sign the lease.  In the meantime, check out the podcast!

"Read the Lease" Campaign kicks off now!

Published October 1, 2015

Approximately 2/3 of the Appalachian State University main campus student population -- about 11,000 students -- live off-campus in Boone and the surrounding community.  Each semester, students who have questions or problems related to a landlord-tenant issue seek advice from the Student Legal Clinic. As we move further into fall semester, students are already beginning to think about housing options for the next academic year (2016-17). The Office of Off-Campus Community Relations and the Student Legal Clinic want to make sure that students who are considering moving off-campus next year -- as well as those who are already living off-campus, but may be looking to move to a different apartment or rental house -- have important information about how to choose the right off-campus housing for their needs. One of the easiest and most important things you can do before you make a decision about off-campus housing is to read the lease! To avoid surprises, extra costs and legal problems down the road, make sure you read and understand your lease before you sign it. If you have questions, or just want to go over the lease with someone who is familiar with legal documents, a licensed attorney can review your lease for free through the Student Legal Clinic located in Suite 324 of the Student Union.  Just call (828) 262-8284 for an appointment. 

You'll be seeing this message around campus over the next few months and into the spring semester.  Also, look for more information (coming soon!) about educational programs to help you choose the right housing for you.

 Read more

Contact Us

Physical Location:
3rd Floor Suite 324 (New Addition)
Plemmons Student Union
263 Locust Street
Boone, NC 28608

Phone: (828) 262-8284

M-R: 8:30 - 4:30
F: 8:30 - 1:30

Please note:  Appointments during summer months are available on a more limited schedule!

Call or drop by the office to schedule an appointment.

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Contact Us

Rm. 263, PSU
P.O. Box 28608
263 Locust Street
Boone, NC 28608