To know a landlord: ‘resimuters’ need to trust their property-owner

By: Jake Schamel

News Contributor

Editor’s note: this article is an introduction to a routine dispatch series, “To know a landlord” in which in-depth reporter Jake Schamel will explore the Hamlin Park area to expose and exemplify student housing renters. The Griffin is currently holding an open call for all leads, quotes, and facts concerning student-leased properties in the vicinity of  Canisius college.

Even though the 2015-2016 school year has just started, before too long many of us will begin to make living arrangements for next year. While many students at Canisius live in the area and commute from home, there are many still that will choose to live on campus as a “resimuter” in the neighborhood around campus.  

For many, myself included, the decision was easy to choose to live off-campus.   The main factor for this decision is that it is much cheaper to rent then it is to live in Canisius facilities and abide by the stringent rules.   

Limited access to the facility for the exorbitant price that is paid also influenced my decision. Paying on average $8,500 per year for an apartment you can only access from the end of August until the middle of December and then again from the middle of January to the middle of May is downright ridiculous.  

As someone who is not from the area but has lived and worked here since I came to school, this deal just did not make sense.  So two years ago about this time, my roommates and I began to look for an apartment without any idea of what we were getting ourselves into.  In the end we found ourselves in a great house, but ended up paying a premium price and dealing with a shady landlord.     

Having now been living off-campus for a full year, I have seen a fair share of student rental properties in the neighborhood and can say that the quality of them ranges greatly. The same goes for the landlords who own and rent these properties.     

When I first started looking for an apartment, the only way for my roommates and I to get information on properties was to meet with landlords and talk to the few people who we knew at the time that lived off-campus. We were never able to compare the prices of the different landlords in the neighborhood and figured out what expenses they did and did not cover.  My goal over the next two months is to change that for any student who is a prospective renter or may already rent and is wondering if they got a fair deal.  

‘To know a landlord’ will collect in one place the answers to the questions that we all have when we are looking to rent.  How much is it per month?  Does the landlord cover costs for water, gas or electric?  How is the landlord to deal with?  Does the landlord address problems in a timely manner?  How are the amenities?  

While I will be able to answer these questions about my own landlord, I will not be able to do so about the other ones who rent property in this neighborhood.  This is where you come in Griffin readers.  I need your help gathering information about the landlords.  If you are interested in talking with me about your experience with your landlord please contact me.  Below you will find my email or you can even reach out to me on Facebook.  

Over this series of articles I hope to put in one place all the information students need to know when they sign a lease.  If “To know a landlord” can make even the slightest change in the current norm of the renting culture in the neighborhood then it will be a success.  Look for the first landlord profile to appear in the 2 October issue of The Griffin.     

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