THE MICHIGAN DAILY NEW STUDENT EDITION ANN ARBOR THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 1994
*Live cheap, live off- campus the Ann Arbor way
Keep your options open, you don't have to live in the dorms
By FRANK C. LEE
Daily Staff Reporter
- Off-campus housing offers an often inex-
Wpensive, convenient alternative to living in
the residence halls.
The University guarantees housing for
only first-year students. The University also
requires students under 19 to live in residence
halls, unless given permission by a guardian
not to. After the first year, students can reap-
ply to live in the residence hail, but many
prefer to live off-campus.
"There is room for a third of the students
* in U-M Housing, and that's including family
housing," said Mark Erichson, housing advi-
sor mediation coordinator for the University's
According to the Housing Information
Office nearly 22,000 students live off cam-
pus. Apartments, houses, student co-ops, fra-
ternities and sororities
make up off-campus
housing. w0Off ca'mj
"From the student' s
perspective, off-campus housing is)
housing is perceived bybytesu
the student to includebytesu
greater independence," include gre,
said Mary Perrydore, a t w.C, "
senior housing advisor in e en e
in the Housing Division. often mean
"in actuality, however,
it often means added re- responsib!i
sponsibilities as well." Mc
When searching for Sno o
housing Perrydore sug-
gests that students
should consider factors such as cost, room-
mates, lease dates, and location and size of the
Most ,off-campus housing leases start in
September and-run for 12 months. For those
who do not stay for the entire lease period,
many opt to rent out or sublet the room.
* The Housing Information Office, located
in the Student Activities Building, posts list-
ings of available housing from landlords.
Kinko's Copying in Ann Arbor sends out
copies of the list for a small fee. The housing
office also carries advertisements from large
rental companies. Both the Daily and the Ann
Arbor News contain listings of available hous-
Casing the Place
After selecting a location, students should
contact the landlord to look the place over.
"You should never commit yourself to a
place without first visiting the property,"
Erichson warned that any verbal promises
made by the landlord should be included in
the lease. "There are two big problems with
verbal contracts. One is proving that they ever
existed. Two, frequently the two parties mis-
understood what they had agreed upon."
nce ... it
lists profiles of
a 1993-94 survey of land-
lords conducted by the
Housing Information Of-
fice, average rates for fur-
nished housing within walk-
ing distance of Central Cam-
pus for year-long leases per
month range from $455 for
efficiency rooms to $1,084
Looking for a
The Housing Office of-
fers its own version of "The
Dating Game." The office
keeps an informal room-
mate-matching book that
students looking for room-
and liabilities such as the "joint and several"
liability clause. The clause states that if a
roommate fails to pay the rent, the remaining
tenants are liable for it.
Looking for camaraderie, check out Greek
houses and student co-ops. For Greek houses,
room and board averages $46 per month for
a double in fraternities, which includes house
dues, and $528 per month for room and board
Fraternities and sororities provide great so-
cial benefits but require membership fees that
differ from chapter to chapter.
The 38 undergraduate fraternities and 20
undergraduate sororities select its members
through a process known as "rush." Not all
Greek houses have accommodations avail-
able. Greek houses provide rooms for 15 to 80
students including singles, doubles and triples.
For more information contact the Office of
Greek Life located in the Union.
For inexpensive housing with a catch.
consider one of 19 non-profit student co-ops.
They differ from other off-campus housing in
that they are run by students. Residents, how-
ever, are required to work four to six hours per
week in maintaining the house.
On average, residents with an 8-month
lease pay $360 per month for room and board.
Monthly charges include utilities, laundry,
local phone and sometimes extras such as
magazines and parties.
Students must pay a $75 membership fee
to the Inter-Cooperative Council (ICC) and
an additional $200 called a redeemable share,
which is returned at the end of the lease
period. The ICC office, located in the Union,'
provides administrative, educational services
to registered co-ops.
Houses each have their own personality as
well, differing in their design, types of meals
served and smoking policy - some houses
serve vegetarian meals, others ban TVs. Resi-
dents elect in-house officers to supervise the
Spaces are awarded on a first-come, first-
serve basis at the ICC office.
For students who don't mind living with
senior citizens, the Ann Arbor Housing Bu-
reau for Seniors sponsors a program called
Homeshare. The program lures University
students with low cost and sometimes free
lodging. Students are paired with senior citi-
zens.,In return, tenants usually perform ight
maintenance or housekeeping, personal care,
or simply provide companionship to the eld-
erly.. Contact the Homeshare staff at 763-
0970 for more information.
"Its basic mission is to match up people
who have housing and who need some sort of
assistance," Erichson said.
Watch Your Wallet
Other costs to watch out for include the
security deposit equal to one and onehalf
month's rent that is collected by the landlord
but is returned following the end of the lease
period. The landlord, however, is permitted to
deduct from the deposit to pay for unpaid rent
and utility bills, and any damage to the room.
House or highrise? Two-thirds of all students live off campus. But remember, for many, living
off-campus is an intimidating and overwhelming experience.
"We host a reception twice a week during
August for people to meet each other,"
Erichson said. "There have been quite a num-
ber of successful matches made from the
books, and some were with the roommate
Before moving in with a roommate, ten-
ants should remember certain responsibilities
Who Turned Off the Lights?
Need to turn on the electricity and
cable TV? Give these utilities a call:
2 For phone service - Michigan Bell
0 For electricity -
19 For gas - Michigan
* For water - Ann
*' For cable TV- Columbia Cable
Landlords also collect the first month's rent
when you sign the lease. Some landlords
charge a non-refundable cleaning fee ranging
from $50 to $150.
Cooking saves students hundreds of dol-
lars each year. According to the University' s
Entree Plus Office, students spend an aver-
age $150 to $200 per month on groceries.
For those students who don't feel like
cooking, the University offers the Entree and
Entree Plus meal .plan. An Entree plan pro-
vides 13 meals each week, to be eaten at any
residence hall. Entree Plus is a debit account.
much like a cross between a checking account
and credit card. First, money must be depos-
ited into the account and then services or
items bought at participating retailers are de-
ducted from the balance when students present
their student IDs. The Entree Office is lo-
cated in the Student Activities Building.
"The mass appeal is that people aren't
always carrying around cash," said Ben
Verrall, an employee in the Entree Office.
According to the ICC, co-ops offer food-
only contracts averaging $110 per month.
Participants must contribute with work usually
in the form of meal planning and preparation.
Don't Forget about Heat and Water
Tenants at most places must pay for elec-
tricity, phone and cable television. Landlords
usually pay for heat and water. Before mov-
ing in, tenants should arrange to have utility
services turned on or transferred to their name.
After moving in, tenants should receive an
inventory/damage checklist along with the
key. Tenants should check the condition of
the room and complete the checklist. This
protects tenants from being charged for dam-
ages incurred prior to moving in. The list must
be returned to the landlord within seven days
of moving in.
.Evict ion may be an unpleasant reality
for some people. Student Legal Services
(SLS), located in the Union, provides free
legal consultation and representation to reg-
"We are a law office," said SLS Director
Doug Lewis. "When clients have problems
with landlords ... we represent them. SLS is
currently staffed by four full-time attor-
neys. not law students. We do whatever it
takes to help a person."
The Housing Office offers the Media-
tion Services booklet that can act as a guide
should a student run into other landlord-
tenant problems. Mediation Services Of-
fice, which can be found in the Student
Activities Building, also provides free me-
diation services to help settle landlord-ten-
Finally, the Ann Arbor Tenants' Union,
located in the Union, has trained volunteers
who counsel tenants on their rights, leases.
A would encourage students to utilize
the resources here (at the Housing Office)
before they set out looking for housing and
educate themselves first," Perrydore said.
"It can save them time and money."
The Greek System
® Cost of a double in a fraternity
ranges from $41 5-615/month and
averages $496/month. This fee
KK'in cludes room, board, and house dues.
Cost to live in sororities range from
$440-575/month and average $528/
month. This includes room and board
Co-ops are student run houses that
require residents to work four to six
hours per week in the house. The
Inter-Cooperative Council is the
umbrella organization for the 19
campus co-ops. ICC provides
administrative services for the
houses. Estimated fall 1994 room and
board rates for eight month ICC co-op
* Central Campus cocop $369-370/
®*North Campus co-op $435-490/
.Banking 1'Bakg nAbo
Unable to pay rent,
students go homeless
By CATHY BOGUSLASKI
Daily Staff Reporter
Going off to college means more
than just new and challenging classes.
It means new-found independence
away from the confines of home and
;an unfortunate introduction to dorm
food. More importantly, it mean a
*chance to =take personal finances into
*your own hands.
9Whether you're from big city New
York or small town Essexville, for the
sake of convenience, you will have to
open a bank account if you want to
cash that $50,000 graduation present
from the grandparents. For many,
deciding on a bank to open an account
is a tortuous and mind-wrenching ex-
perience. But keeping a few simple
factors in mind can make the process
9easier and possibly save you a few
cents in the long run.
One of the first decisions you will
have to make is which bank to open an
account with. In this decision, there
are a number of factors to consider.
First, what kind of account are you
By HOPE CALATI
Daily Staff Reporter
The adventure of searching for a
place to live tin Ann Arbor is an
adventure some students can't af-
ford to take. These students become
members of the city's homeless
Michael, a 19-year-old student
at Washtenaw Community College.
is one of these students who hasn't
always been able to make the rent
One winter he lived in a con-
demned house. Now he still has to
struggle to pay rent each month.
He sat on the grass outside his
workplace in a T-shirt and sweats
talking about being a homeless stu-
When he was 16 he moved out of
his mother's house near Ann Arbor
with his girlfriend. He paid off his
debts, started going to Alano meet-
ings and moved in with his girlfriend
to her sister's apartment.
The one-bedroom apartment in
Mt. Clemens was too cramped for
everyone. Michael and his girlfriend
had to move out but they had no
place left to go.
Even though Michael and his girl-
friend were working, they couldn't
afford an apartment. Michael said he
Now he' lives in an apartment in
Ypsilanti with two friends. He works
during the day and attends classes in
He considers himself lucky to have
found people to help him find a roof to
live under. "People who don't have
family or friends are fucked because
they don't have resources."~
Michael is only one of many people
in this area that get squeezed out of
homes because of Washtenaw
County's high rents.
Amy Stephenson, director of de-
velopment at the Shelter Association
of Ann Arbor, said the cheapest apart-
ment in Ann Arbor runs, about $425 a
month. This is almost $200 more than
what a person with a minimum wage
job can afford if he or she budgeted
the government-recommended 30
percent for housing.
Those who can't make the pay-
ments can sleep on the streets or go to
one of the local service agencies.
One of these is the Shelter Asso-
ciation, a 90-bed facility on the city's
west side that provides overnight
housing for adults over 18.
Stephenson said the people who
stay at the shelter are homeless for
many reasons including substance
abuse, mental illness, illnesses not
covered by health insurance or eco-
One of the factors to remember is the department at Comerica, said, "Most
minimum balance an account requires. of the students we get come into the
Most banks offer accounts that have branch on North University, which is
no minimum balances attached, but designed for students."
many of these accounts have -service She explained that the North Uni-
amount of money
you will be keep-
ing in the account
as well as the num-
ber of checks you
expect to write
when selecting an
All banks have
A TMs on or near
campus. Try to find
the one closest to
versity Branch has
many tellers on
duty during the
first day of classes
so the lines move
nience in opening
All banks have ATMs on or near
campus. The numbers range from
Society's and Michigan National's two
ATMs a piece, to the 25 ATMs oper-
ated by Comerica.
You should use the first couple days
before classes start to find the ATMs
closest to where you will be living.
Then decide which bank to use based
on its location and the accessibility of
This may sound trivial when you
first arrive in Ann Arbor and travel
the extra two blocks to withdraw some