Leasers rush students, cause unnecessary panic
“Now leasing for 2014!”
We’ve all seen the banners, signs, and online advertisements. Many, if not all, of the local leasing companies have opened the gates for students to begin signing their lives away for another year of housing.
But why does it need to happen almost a year in advance?
The answer: It doesn’t.
There still are many housing options available well into spring semester for the next school year, but landlords and leasing companies like to pressure students to get their apartments and houses leased.
For many leasing companies, panicked students plus early leasing means money in their pockets.
When students feel the pressure to secure decent housing for the next school year, they don’t have time to shop around and end up paying more for an apartment or house they can find cheaper elsewhere. Or perhaps worse, they might sign a lease speedily without reading the fine print.
In the same way “as seen on TV” commercials try to sell products for the low price of $19.95 by putting on the timer or saying supplies will run out, leasing companies rush students into signing leases without them ever having a chance to make an informed decision.
“We have a fair process,” Community Resource Management Co., President David Olson said after about 50 people camped out Wednesday night on the leasing company’s lawn for a shot to sign a lease for next year.
But the fact that students have to camp out in front of leasing offices to get the housing they want is unfair to customers.
It’s not just CRMC. It’s a citywide problem.
The only reason lottery systems and campouts are necessary is because housing companies create a panic among students that leads to a fear of inferior housing if they don’t act fast.
Students also feel rushed to make fast decisions regarding roommates.
Freshmen looking for off-campus housing for the 2014-15 school year have had roughly two months to meet people and find who they would like to have as a roommate. It’s nearly impossible to make an educated decision about a roommate if they only have been around for two months.
Overly competitive housing could cause students to choose roommates they ultimately won’t get along with.
Finding housing off campus should be a well-thought-out, informed process. Not a scramble, and not a stressful nightmare. As busy students, we sometimes don’t even know what we plan on having dinner for the night.
How can we make an decision about housing a year in advance?
Students should not buy into the season of housing panic — take the time to carefully select a place to live.
A year is a long time to spend in an apartment or house, and students should take the proper precautions to ensure they are paying a fair price and getting a good deal for their living quarters.
Plenty of options are available well into the spring and summer.
While we don’t advocate delaying housing plans until the last minute, there is no need to feel rushed or pressured.