Pie-in-the-sky leases fall on students’ faces

The problem with saying “told you so” is that it assumes one party is more enlightened about a situation and its solution than the other party. We don’t possess any particular insight into the campus real estate market that other students don’t have.

Still, it doesn’t surprise us that at least one of the brand new high-rise apartment buildings will not be fully ready for students when they come back next month. Why?

It’s common knowledge that the insanely hurried market for student housing begins almost immediately after move-in. Landlords who are constructing new or improving old buildings are eager to remain competitive. Students are enticed into signing a new lease as soon as possible by pools, gyms, HDTVs and other amenities.

Unfortunately, many of these decisions are made based on speculation and the necessarily optimistic promises of landlords that your apartment will be ready in August. This week, as many times before, students found out that sometimes these promises just don’t hold up.

This time, it was due to an incredibly rainy year thus far and a seemingly overly ambitious project. Next time it could be something else, and chances are there will be some delaying factor.

    Sign up for our newsletter!

    But students can’t fault the landlords, who don’t have any interest in seeing potential customers disappointed and relocated. A number of people could have warned them about the dangers of choosing to live in a building that doesn’t exist. Anyone from the Tenant Union to the many older residents of Campustown to whom this has happened before could have seen this one coming months ago.

    Instead of being greeted on campus by a complimentary TV and personal gym, some students will be greeted with not only a harsh reality but also a good life lesson: Don’t let temptation sway your common sense.

    Everyone else who has the home they signed up for can also do more to change this outrageous system.

    Every fall, we should be allowed to breathe a little bit and enjoy our homes (maybe even focus more on our schoolwork) instead of being forced by the market to stress out about where to live 12 months from now.

    Maybe then students wouldn’t be so tempted to jump at a building the landlord is more immediately concerned with leasing, rather than completing.