Annual move-in ritual frustrating

Today is August 1 and the task most likely to top many students’ to-do lists will be to make the first payment on their apartment leases. However, the yearly hassles accompanying the migration back to campus show that there is a big gap between the options many campus landlords provide and what students need.

The complexities of the academic year frequently force students to make tough (and regrettable) decisions simply to make sure that they have a roof over their head and possessions. For those of us who stayed on campus, many of our leases specify that we have to vacate our apartments early this month. The kicker is that, in general, our new leases will not allow us to move in before the middle of the month. That 15- to 20-day gap forces many to pay a premium in stress, temporary storage, moving costs or, most likely, all three.

For those that need to be on campus earlier than most leases start, the choice between imposing on friends for lodging and storage or forgoing the cleaning and repairs that are done to many apartments during that gap is a lose-lose situation.

Unfortunately, the best way we can think of to avoid these headaches in the current campus climate is to simply be lucky with landlords. While some owners will allow early move-ins, the fees and potential loss of services mean a rough start to the semester.

While it is understandable that landlords need some time to maintain their properties between tenants, there has got to be a way to make this process easier.

There is little reason to make a tenant wait to move into an apartment that has been without a sub letter all summer. And the ridiculous traffic chaos and resulting shortages of street space and moving necessities caused by having everyone arrive on one weekend could be avoided if more landlords would transition to phased move-in schedules.

We do not expect moving to be easy, but it should stop being such an odyssey.