Financial Operations of a Fraternity House 

Fraternity housing operates much like traditional real estate; it relies on revenues from its residents (our brothers) to support the financial operation of the property. Below we address commonly asked questions by members regarding the fees associated with their experience as a member of a Pi Kappa Phi Properties chapter.  

Iota Nu Chapter – Mississippi State

Q – How are rent rates determined? 

A – Rent can vary from chapter to chapter depending on your geographic location and the economics of the local real estate market and college/university. When setting rents, we aim to set our rates as close to or below a comparable dorm room rate (i.e. if a majority rooms are double occupancy in the house, we aim to be competitive with double dorm rates).   

Q – What is included in rent?  

A – Your rent generally includes all utilities, and in many locations, basic furniture for your bedroom. For information specific on the amenities at your chapter house, please visit your chapter house page on the Pi Kappa Phi Properties website.  

Zeta Phi Chapter – Colorado State

Q – Why is our rent more expensive than other options on/off campus?  

A – While our goal is to keep rent as competitive to the dorms and local market as possible, in some instances, high operating costs with acquiring or leasing properties in certain markets may cause rent to be slightly more expensive than the dorms or other off-campus options.  

Q – What are the operating costs associated with our chapter house?  

A – The operating expenses depend on many factors and can vary by location. However, the typical operating expenses at each location include -paying for a House Director if the university requires it or third-party property management fees, permits and fees, outside services (such as CINTAS sanitation products), utilities, maintenance (cleaning of common areas, lawn care, HVAC, life-safety systems maintenance contracts, etc.), repairs, property taxes, property management travel (staff visits to locations), and mortgage payments.  

Q – Does our chapter house have a meal plan?  

A – Meal plans are a part of the lease agreement at several properties with commercial kitchen facilities. Additionally, out-of-house members may be required or offered the opportunity to participate in the meal plan at some locations. We have found that meal plans have improved the membership experience at many locations and are working to expand our meal plan services to more chapters and out-of-house members in the future.  

Alpha Kappa Chapter – University of Michigan

Q – What are parlor fees and why are they charged?  

A – “Parlor Fees” is a traditional term for saying “out-of-house fees” that support the chapter house operation.  They are another source of revenue to help support the operation of the house. These fees are charged each to all out-of-house (and at select locations, associate members) to support their use of the house. Out-of-house members have access to the property and its amenities during their undergraduate education to study and socialize with their chapter brothers. They allow rent rates to be stabilized and support the increased maintenance costs associated with more than just residents utilizing the facility on a regular basis.  

Having a chapter house is a great asset for many chapters but it is also a great responsibility. It takes every member of the chapter, both that live in the house and out-of-house, pitching in and “doing their share to make it so”.