Tips for tenants

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

To the Editor:
I’m writing at a time when The Gazette is filled with ads from London landlords hoping to sell their housing to Western students. I write out of concern for the student body that is continuously mislead into believing it must start searching for housing immediately or it will be “too late.” As my experience shows by rushing into renting two run-down houses on Huron Street with shoddy landlords, I’ve become disenchanted with the entire process.

I’ve also learned that landlords prey on vulnerable and inexperienced students. First, I want to point out that London has the highest amount of rental housing available in Ontario. It’s not going to “run out.” I urge students to do their research and realize it’s in the landlords’ interest to make you purchase their housing soon because they can make the most profit. Also, finding an eight-month lease is possible in London. I encourage first-year students to ask questions, especially to the houses’ present tenants, because they will usually tell you the truth. Ask your parents and the off-campus advisors for help as well. Read the terms of your lease, and most importantly, know your rights under the Tenant Protection Act. These things may indeed save you from a housing disaster.

In closing, I think there should be much more protection for students against landlords " and what ever happened to the University Students’ Council promising students a forum for rating landlords? Is this not considered to be in students’ interest? The Gazette should also do more to safeguard its students from manipulative landlords looking only for profit, print stories with tips to help them make the right choices, and stop looking only for profit themselves.
"Meghan Sullivan
Honours Political Science III

[Ed. Note: Campus Life will feature student housing in the coming weeks.]

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