By Jesse Dolojan, Student Podcast Manager
As college students, we never have enough money.
Many of us have to spend the little we have in the first few weeks of school on basic living necessities for our rooms such as refrigerators, lamps, microwaves and soap. For those of us looking to live off campus in the coming years, we will have to dedicate much of what we save for rent.
This is much harder to navigate when apartments such as the University Station complex increase their rent prices. There has been a $90 increase in rent to what was originally $650 per month for a four bedroom apartment for an 11.5 month period. As a result, renters will have to pay a total of $740 per month during their lease period.
This increase was sudden and done in less than a day in advance of the opening of the application for housing in University Station. Applications opened Monday, Sept. 12, and the price was listed at $650 the day before. My roomates and I discovered the rent increases later in the afternoon on Monday. We entered the applications under the full impression that we would be paying $650 a month during our lease period.
University Station is one of the most popular locations for off-campus housing among Xavier students. Everyone knows this, so anyone interested in University Station was quick to hop onto the application. If they were like us, they were so focused on the application that they did not even think to check for a price increase.
Seeing this a few hours after we submitted the application was something that caught me and my friends completely off-guard. The realization that we would have to pay an additional $90 per month infuriated and surprised us. A friend and I went over to ask the next day if these price changes were true, and sure enough, they were.
The difficulty of finding off-campus housing in the area is being used to property owner’s advantage.
Even with how difficult it is to get an apartment at University Station, one could say that houses are even more difficult to get. Houses are somewhat cheaper than University Station, but they lack furnishing, are not always in the safest areas and do not have all utilities covered. That being said, some students are so desperate for a house that they are willing to look past some of these negatives. Landlords are able to take advantage of desperate college students.
Students should not have to pour so much of their money into housing. With how much money on-campus jobs pay their student workers, it is extremely difficult for anyone to afford rent. Combine that with the fact that many of us are full-time students, and it is clear that many are simply unable to afford rent at such a high cost.
In addition, the way University Station handled the increase in rent was completely unprofessional. We were informed that there would be an increase but that it was not expected to be anything too drastic. To have our prices raised by $90 per month is indeed a drastic increase in my book.
Something that I discovered only after asking them was how my security deposit would be affected by the inclusion of a guarantor. With a guarantor, the security deposit would be $200; without one, a security deposit would be two month’s rent. Because we would be getting a four- person apartment, we would be paying $740 a month. This means that they would have charged me $1,480 for my security deposit without me knowing had I not asked.
This is an insane amount of money for anyone to pay for a security deposit, and I did not like the fact that I had to ask about this before I was aware of it. Property owners should not be allowed to simply charge students whatever they want and not inform them of it. This is many student’s first time renting property, so that makes us perfect targets for property owners to take advantage of our lack of knowledge.
I hate the fact that many people are willing to do this to students, as I hate being taken advantage of in areas where I am not proficient. The worst part is that this is something that is not only happening to me, but many other Xavier students who had the idea of registering for an apartment at University Station to be met with a sharp increase in rent. This has to stop.