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Thursday, June 20
The Indiana Daily Student

Lording over us

A few nights ago, my roommate came home from shopping, and the locks had been changed. She had no idea if I’d be able to get a key, and there was no notification, either by phone or email, that she was going to be locked out.

Luckily my apartment complex’s office stayed open late to give the residents their new keys, and a day later we received an email apologizing for the lack of notice.

My roommate and I are lucky. We live in a clean complex with easy access to the Bloomington area, and we have office staff and a landlord that seem to care about their residents.

But more often than not, there are more landlord horror stories than landlord fairy tales.

I understand business owners need to protect themselves, make profit and provide a service as quickly and cost effectively as possible. But when it comes at the expense of the consumer, I have to question the system.

It seems that every other week, someone has a new complaint to lodge with their housing.

A friend of mine had to pay an energy bill worth hundreds of dollars every time she turned on the heat.

Another lived in an attic where the carpet was lifting away from the floor. Another in which the owner hadn’t cleaned out the cat pee, and it was making her clothes stink.

And Bloomington houses in general are care-worn. Their floors creak and their walls look like people have gone after them with hammers. Mold lines bathtubs and water goes out.

To be perfectly honest, a lot of homes get trashed from the amount of parties that happen in and around them.

As residents, we need to make it the students’ responsibility to clean up after themselves and pay for any damage that is their fault.

It helps the next resident as well, and it prevents a lot of the issues students have with smell and damage. This is an understandable concern.

But just last year during the polar vortex, the houses remained insecure, and homeless people got inside of student homes, damaging property that students then had to pay off.

College apartments and houses are stereotypically dirty or run down.

But more often than not it feels like students are being taken advantage of.

This is not to say that Bloomington houses and landlords as a whole are awful — in fact, many students feel happy with their rent and their living conditions.

But when they’re bad, they’re really bad, and students, with the pressure of debt and classes and tests and money, shouldn’t have to put up with indecent living, as well.

College is difficult for all. It’s wild and fun.

Our apartments and houses shouldn’t make it harder.

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