Landlords take advantage of students

Joshua Mounts, Opinion Columnist

Josh Mounts

Almost every student deals with landlords during their college experience. Some students deal with different landlords over their years in college, and others choose to stick with the same company throughout their years. But the fact still stands: you will probably deal with a less-than-ideal landlord sooner or later.

Imagine yourself as student about to live off campus.

Students living off campus are probably tasting sweet independence for the first time in their lives. Going away to a place far from their parents’ house, finally escaping the overwatching eyes of their guardians.

Landlords aren’t oblivious to the fact that students are off on their own for the first time, and unfortunately, this can lead to some exploitation. There are certain things that young adults don’t know when renting their first places, and landlords take advantage of that.

Riding the high of pure independence, students often sign their first leases without reading them thoroughly, when in reality scouring the fine print in those documents is important for everyone to do.

There are often details hidden in the agreements that students should be aware of; small specifics about rules and things you could be charged for at the end of the lease.

My roommates and I had a poor experience with a landlord at our first house.

We were so excited about living in a house together that we didn’t really evaluate what we were getting ourselves into. The house would fit our needs as well as our budget and that was pretty much that.

We didn’t really know how bad it would get until midway through our lease when the landlords ignored our requests for repairs around the house. The gravity of the whole situation really came to light when our lease ended.

Everyone has to pay a security deposit at the beginning of the year to cover for damages that the place may endure during the tenants’ residency. We, as most people probably do, were expecting our full deposit back because we thought we were fairly clean and careful.

Our landlords came to us and not only kept our entire deposit, but also tried to charge us for more than $1,000 in extra expenses.

We came to the sudden realization that things weren’t as they had once seemed. Of course we fought the landlords about these expenses and even threatened to take them to court to fight it out, and all of a sudden they decided we didn’t owe them anything.

As unfortunate as it is, students need to be careful when dealing with things as big as legal rental agreements and be mindful about trusting landlords.

It’s a sad truth but a truth nonetheless. People may try to take advantage of you, but that’s part of growing up. Being forward, stern and firm as well as questioning certain things with people like landlords could save yourself some money as well as some trouble in the future.