Off-Campus Community Living University of Illinois Off-Campus Community Living Student Affairs

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About Us


Monday through Friday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Appointments are required for lease reviews, please go to Lease Review to schedule appointment.

Mission Statement

To stimulate fairness in landlord-tenant relationships and to serve as a resource for students residing in privately owned housing. To guide this work, the staff strive to: Prevent rental problems, empower students, teach transferrable life skills, and advocate


The University of Illinois Tenant Union opened its doors in Room 296 of the Illini Union on September 20, 1971. The office was originally staffed by volunteers and two part-time student workers, funded by the U of I Student Government Association via the Student Organization Resource Fee (SORF). From the beginning, the Tenant Union encouraged students to visit the office for lease reviews and advice regarding maintenance, damage deposit, and general disputes with their landlords.

In 1972, the Tenant Union advertised that students could check landlord complaint records. This is now the most popular and most used resource at the Tenant Union. Also in 1972, the Tenant Union started publishing a “Not recommended landlord list.” It was used for eight years and then discontinued because the landlord complaint records provided a more fair and accurate assessment of landlords.

In April 1973, the Tenant Union held its first “Landlord of the Year” contest on the Quad. Students were invited to cast votes for their choice of the “worst” landlord. The “winner” of the landlord of the year contest was publicly presented with a gold trash can lid that read, “Not ready for Occupancy.” However, after five years, the contest was discontinued because the “winner” was often not one of the worst landlords, according to the Tenant Union’s complaint records.

During the early years, the Tenant Union’s staff noticed several low-income, non-student clients seeking assistance with housing disputes. Looking to reverse that trend, in 1973, the Tenant Union opened a “community office” in north Urbana to serve non-students. Students and community members later incorporated that office and renamed it the Champaign-Urbana Tenant Union which remains active today in downtown Champaign. In 1994, twenty-two years after Tenant Union staff first began discussion with local officials about adopting a model landlord-tenant law, the Urbana City Council adopted a comprehensive landlord tenant ordinance written with the assistance of the Tenant Union and Student Legal Services. In Illinois, only three other cities have similar laws – Chicago, Evanston and Mt. Prospect.

In 2011 the Board of Trustees approved a proposal to fund the Tenant Union using the mandatory Service Fee. That decision expanded the number of students eligible for services and removed the office’s reliance on the refundable SORF. In 2015 nearly 8000 students utilize our services annually; which is an increase from 7000 in 2005 and 5000 in 1985. Today the Tenant Union is staffed by a full-time Director and Program Manager and six part-time Peer Educators/Housing Counselors.

The University of Illinois Tenant Union in the Office of the Dean of Students is among the oldest, continuously operating, collegiate tenant service providers in the nation and its staff remains committed to educating, empowering, and advocating for student tenants at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.


Tanisha King-Taylor - Director

Tanisha is a native of Chicago, IL and is a two-time Illinois alumna having graduated in 2006 with a Bachelor’s in Sociology and in 2008 with a Masters in Social Work. She has been actively engaged in student life at Illinois for the better part of the last decade having served the Illinois Tenant Union, Office of Minority Student Affairs, and the Department of Speech and Hearing Science. Tanisha also worked with students and community members as a Counselor and Group Facilitator at Cognition Works, Inc., in the greater Champaign-Urbana community. Tanisha enjoys educating students on their rights as tenants and helping them obtain transferrable life skills. In her spare time (which is a rarity), Tanisha enjoys reading.
Amari - Housing Counselor

Amari is a native of Chicago, IL and is currently a junior studying advertising in the College of Media. She is apart of the American Advertising Federation and participates in volunteering throughout the community. She worked closely with the Krannert Center to kickoff the 2nd annual Sonified Sustainability Festival in the Champaign-Urbana area during the spring. Amari also mentors high school students during the summer. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, bowling, and graphic design.

Off-Campus Community Living provides FREE services to U of I students including:



Off-Campus Community Living does not provide legal services of any kind. All information provided in this publication is intended to help the average person prevent problems and deal with common concerns of renting. When legal help is needed, always consult with an attorney at law.