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New LL.M. student moving in.
Credit: Austin Lewis

What you need to do to successfully check out of HLS Housing

Below is information you will need to know as you make plans to move-out of your HLS residence. To avoid any fees associated with improperly moving out, please read over the information carefully.

Move-Out Dates

Fall Semester Move Out – Students moving out upon completion of fall semester will need to vacate their HLS residence by noontime (12PM), Sunday December 17th.

Winter Term Move Out – Students moving out upon completion of winter term will need to vacate their HLS residence by noontime (12PM), Sunday, January 21st.

Spring Semester Move Out – Students moving out for spring semester will need to vacate their HLS residence by noontime (12PM), Monday, May 13th .

ALL GRADUATING STUDENTS – Students receiving degrees in the 2024 commencement event will need to vacate their HLS residence by noontime (12PM), Sunday, May 26th. There will be no exceptions on this date.

Checking out

You are NOT officially checked out of HLS Housing until:

  • Your HLS residence is empty of all personal belongings
  • Your HLS residence is empty of trash and recycled material
  • Furniture provided by HLS is returned to its original placement in the room/suite
  • Your room and mailbox keys have been properly turned in

Donation Stations

Please consider donating items that no longer serve you but are in “good” condition. Do not donate items that are broken, missing parts, defective, worn-out or unsanitary.

You will find donation boxes one week before official spring move out dates. Donation stations will be made available at various locations as noted below.

  • Ames main entry door under the overhang
  • Ames first floor inside corridor by the stairs leading to the basement
  • Ames/Dane first floor link
  • North Hall lobby
  • Story main entry outside
  • Story/Shaw first floor link

During all other move out times please consider donating any unwanted items to local charities in the area. Do not leave unwanted items in the room.

Hand Trucks

A small number of hand trucks are available in the Facilities Management Office all year long to assist in your move out. The Facilities Management Office is located at Holmes Hall, room four. You will need to show a photo ID to check out a hand truck.  Hand trucks not returned to the Facilities Management Office may be accessed a replacement fee of $100 .

HLS Provided Furniture

All HLS provided furniture must be returned to its original location in the room/suite prior to checking out. Moving fees of $100 may be assessed if furniture is not placed as originally located.

Mail & Forwarding Address

When departing HLS Housing we encourage you to contact mail senders (magazine subscriptions, law firms, financial institutions) to notify them of your change of address.

Before you return keys and leave campus, please stop by the HLS mailboxes in the lower level of WCC and empty your HLS mailbox. Any mail left behind will be returned to sender if a forwarding address is not provided.

If you would like your first-class mail and USPS packages forwarded you will need to enter a forwarding address in the FORMS tab of the HLS Student Life portal. This will need to be done before you are officially checked out of your HLS residence. You will not be able to access the mail forward option after you have been officially checked out.

Select “Summer Leave” regardless if you are returning to HLS Housing or not in the upcoming academic year.  Mail forward for summer leave ends on August 1st.  After August 1st, all mail/packages will be returned to the original sender.

Select “Off-Cycle” if you move out anytime other than the official spring semester. Mail forward for off-cycle is for 45-days only. After 45-days all mail/packages will be returned to the original sender.

Mini Fridges

If you have a mini fridge in your HLS residence you will not be taking with you, it will need to be emptied of food/ice and placed at one of the donation bin areas for spring move-out. You may not leave your mini fridge in your HLS residence unplugged. Removal fees will apply.

For all other move out times place your mini fridge must be brought to the Facilities Managment Office, room four in Holmes Hall. You may not leave your mini fridge in your HLS residence unplugged. Removal fees will apply.

Move-Out Dates

If you are unsure of your official move out date please refer to the Housing Calendar. As noted in previous communications all dates are firm. You are welcome to move out any time or date before your official move out deadline.

Plan your departure accordingly as exceptions cannot be made. There is a $500/per night fee for late move outs. If you need additional time in Cambridge beyond your official move out date, please consult:

Personal Belongings

Residents must remove ALL personal belongings from their HLS residence. Presences of any personal belongings in an HLS residence indicates a move out is not complete.

Room & Mailbox Keys

One week before the official spring move out date key return envelopes will be placed in your HLS mailbox. Labels on the key return envelopes must be clearly filled in with your name and room number.

If you are moving out during any other time of the year you can obtain a key return envelope at the HLS Mail Center, the Facilities Management Office or at any of the key drop off boxes.

You may turn in your key envelopes properly filled out at the following locations:

  • Gropius – West entrance of Holmes Hall. Envelopes can be found on the inside of the key drop off box.
  • Hastings Hall – Basement kitchen.
  • North Area (serving both North and the HLS apartments) – North Hall lobby.

If you do not return your room and mailbox keys properly you may be fined a lost key fee of $450.

Improper key return includes:

  • not returning your keys at all
  • leaving your room and mailbox keys behind in your HLS residence
  • giving your keys to someone else, including your RA, to return them for you
  • dropping loose keys in the key drop box without any identification
  • placing unlabeled key return envelopes in the key drop box

Summer Storage

There are several local storage companies in the area for residents to utilize for storing their belongings during the summer.

These companies are in no way affiliated with or contracted by Harvard University or Harvard Law School. This page is not an official endorsement or recommendation of these non-affiliated companies, but should be considered a resource. Harvard Law School and Harvard University are not responsible for contracts between a student and an outside company, and are not responsible for items stored in storage facilities. There are many other companies that advertise storage for students, which can be found through internet searches and on-campus advertisements.

Students are responsible for arranging storage and moving their belongings before they check out of their HLS residence. Any item left in a room after check out will be discarded and the student may be subject to fees.​

Delivery of items in storage to the student’s HLS residence is not permitted until the student has returned to campus and checked in to their HLS residence.

Trash & Recycling

Residents must remove all trash/recycling material from their HLS residence. Trash/recycling material should be brought to the appropriate location of your resident hall/apartment. Due to egress regulations you may NOT leave trash/recycling bags/material in the hallway outside of your HLS residence. Fees may apply if trash/recycling material is left behind in the HLS residence room or hallway.

Writing Competition

HLS Housing will support participants of the Harvard Law Review writing competition this May 2024.

A separate housing survey will be issued by the HLR. Those who self-identify before the deadline as an HLS Housing resident who is participating in the competition will be granted an extension to be determined. All participants of the competition will be confirmed with the HLR before approval is granted.