More housing tips

I would like to add some insights to Melissa Silverberg’s column in the Daily Illini Housing Guide that came out in Tuesday’s paper. Ms. Silverberg makes the statement that students should expect that “something in your apartment will break, and if you’re lucky, your landlord will fix it in a month or two.” There are many landlords who, when something breaks, will be out the same day to fix it. The complaint record at the Tenant Union can be a good indicator of who those landlords are. Repair problems are not something you have to live with because you are a student, and if you pick a good landlord, hopefully you won’t have to. So check the complaint records at the Tenant Union before you sign a lease.

Also, the best way to find out if your apartment actually will have a “designer kitchen, spacious bedrooms,” or will be a “security building” is to 1) see the exact apartment you would be renting (not a model or a “similar” apartment), 2) make sure everything you think they are providing is written into the lease, and 3) don’t sign a lease for a place that is not yet built.

Nancy Dietrich-Rybicki

Tenant Union Housing counselor