I am a graduate student living off campus, and my wife works on campus.
We have had mold issues with our rental unit since November, and we’ve contacted our local city councilman.
We have experienced bullying from our landlord. And we’ve had enough.
I know this is the case for many students living off campus.
We have very little power, as the landlords know we are too busy with school to stand up for ourselves.
And if we do, we are likely to move on soon after we graduate.
The question here is what about those who stay or those who are here long term and are willing to stand up for themselves?
Last Friday we received a “notice to quit” from our landlords, which basically means they don’t want to deal with us.
So they want to kick us out, but they also want to keep collecting our rent.
For obvious reasons, being a graduate student and having to make payments on my and my wife’s student loans while signing a lease elsewhere would mean we would have two monthly rental payments.
This, for us, is basically impossible.
We contacted our landlord and tried to ask for a release of liability letting us move on with our lives and presumably our health.
But the landlord said no and hung up on me. I thought maybe we were disconnected, so I called her back.
Yet she said it was intentional, and if we were not moved out on Friday for the joint inspection, she would have us forcibly removed from the premise by the police for trespassing.
This is not within her rights because we have a valid lease, and she would need a court-ordered eviction.
With the summer coming soon and students signing leases for next semester, it’s important to know what they could potentially be getting into.
Through this process I’ve learned a lot about our rights as renters and student. And they are few.
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I have always had a special affinity for art in places where art “isn’t supposed to be.” Certainly, most of us enjoy an afternoon browsing a gallery or museum, but there is something really nice about finding art in unexpected places.
I was pleased to see Matthew Cinkoske's recent column about domestic violence at IU — "Is IU mishandling student domestic violence?" June 14, 2015.