168 -he Michigan Daily Weekend Magazine - ThursdayTovember 20, 1997
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Continued from Page 3B
Jones cautioned to watch for and
contest unnecessary fees. A common
one, she said, is a nonrefundable clean-
"These are in all instances unethical
and in many instances not legal," said
Jones, who said landlords are responsi-
ble for supplying tenants with clean
units. She suggested bargaining,
money in hand, with the landlord to
take a cleaning fee off the lease. "This
is a major scam."
But Rubin said such fees aren't
unfair. It can. cost hundreds to thou-
sands of dollars to clean an apartment
or house, he said, and landlords are
losing money. Paying a set fee is better
than dealing with hidden charges, he
said. "At least you know what it's
going to cost."
Jones also said any application fee of
more than $25 is probably excessive.
Overwhelmed? Don't be. If stu-
dents have doubts before signing a
lease, they should ask a volunteer at
the AATU about a potential land-
lord's history. They can also stop by
the Off-Campus Housing Office,
which has written materials, advis-
ing and Ann Arbor maps available.
Advisers can review a lease before
students sign it, and the program
also has a roommate matching ser-
Some students, such as Kinesiology
junior Cara Lyons, call last year's
house hunt a success. Lyons is renew-
ing her lease because her landlord, she
said, "goes over and above."
"We complained about the curtains
and he put new blinds in the whole
house," she said.
Others, however, are less lucky.
"We were actually in an ideal situa-
tion," said one student, presently bat-
tling her landlord in a lawsuit. "It's
impossible to say what we'd do differ-
ently." Her advice: "Know your rights,
and be wary."
LSA sophomore Yaron Prywes eats breakfast at the Owen Co-op.
Continued from Page 4B
While timing is a sore point, it is not
the only hang-up students have with the
Ann Arbor housing market. French said
many students feel off-campus housing
is substantially overpriced. He said his
apartment costs far more than he origi-
nally was willing to pay.
"I wasn't really sure what to expect
when I was looking for an apartment
last year," French said. "But I figured I
could get a place for $300 (per month).
I soon realized that $350 is far more
Landlords shoulder the majority of
the blame for high housing costs, said
LSA senior Todd Clebes. "To be close
to campus you need to pay outrageous
prices," Clebes said. "Landlords are
taking advantage of owning a home
close to campus because they know stu-
dents are limited in where they live."
Allmand denied that housing is over-
priced, saying she prices properties
according to their fair market value.
"We do surveys of other landlords
and price our 'homes comparable to
those in the rest of Ann Arbor,"
Allmand said. "We typically do a 4.9
percent or five-percent price raise per
year to keep up with inflation."
Not all college campuses have a
housing market as tight as Ann Arbor's.
Students at Michigan State University
in East Lansing can get housing at a
later date and at lower cost than Ann
Arborites, said Michigan State junior
"Students here starttlooking in
Januarys sFingeroot said. "Most people
end up paying $250 to $300 per month
to live in a single."
Living in a double is one way stu-
dents facing a budgetary crunch can
cut down on costs. LSA junior Aimee
Wagnitz said her house next year is a
bargain compared to residence halls.
"Next year, I'll be sharing a roomand
paying $280 per month," Wagnitz said.
"This is a bargain compared to a single
room in the dorm, where l pay $3,000
While pricing is important, students
are also placing a greater emphasis on
housing quality, said Allmand. "Price
isn't all (students) are after; the kids are
expecting better-quality homes than
they did a few years ago," Allmand said.
But Clebes said affordability and
quality is a rare combination in Ann
Arbor's housing market.
"Some of the apartments in Ann
Arbor are more suited for rats and cock-
roaches than students," Clebes" said.
.Still, quality, price and location are
all for naught if students foresee con-
flict at home.
"It's important to trust your intu-
ition," Etzkorn said. "You need to
decide if you feel comfortable living
with a particular person or feel pres-
sured into making a decision."
- Daily Arts Writer Emily Lambert
contributed to this report.
Suggestions for the hunt:
D Make as wide a search as possible. A good customer doesn't just go to one store, so shop
around. Look at ads in local newspapers and on bulletin boards. Beginning Dec. 1, a list of available
units will be available on the Web, in the Student Activities Building or at Kinko's.
O Slow down. Don't make rash judgments. "My top piece of advice to students would be to take
their time in looking," said Jeffrey Micale, a University 0ff-Campus Housing Program adviser.
D Treat landlords with respect, but as equals.
O Prioritize what you're looking for, and be willing to compromise, especially on distance from cam-
pus. If. you look farther away, Jones said, "you can get much better deals, and better exercise."
O Get into the habit of communicating in writing. Set up a file folder for correspondence.
O1 Don't sign the lease the first day. Read it carefully.
0 Listen to Jones on WCBN's Tenant Talk, Tuesdays from 6 to 6:30 p.m.
The Psychology Peer Advisors Present
on Thursday, ovember 20, 1997, from 7:00-9:00 p.m.
"Research, Internships, Volunteer Opportunities,
and Organizations in Psychology"
Dr. Jerry Miller - Director of University Center for the Child & Family
Natalie Blevins - Psi Chi
Sarceka Dayl - UPS
Mary K. Clark - SROP
Representative - UROP
Karen Lareu - Community Service Learning
ALL ARE WELCOME!
All Focus Groups will be held on the 4th floor Terrace in E.H, Enter through the Church St. Entrance.
The elevator is to the left. Go to the 4th floor and follow the signs to the Terrace.
Individual Peer Advising Ilours are Monday through Friday I1I 00 am to 400 pm
in Rm. 1346 Last Hall. Wl-is are welcome,.
if you prefer to make an appointment, please call 647-3711.
D W ~,A-E- OlI
-EY- I .= H WE E=. IE- -
KNE jCAR5T u.
. A USA MAJOR EVENIS/DIVISION Of STUDENT AFFAIRS PRESENTATION
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Tickets available at the Michigan Union Ticket Office,
Herb David Guitar Studio, Schoolkids Records, and
all Ticketmaster outlets. Charge by 'Phoe ;1 341TS
TICKETSINMMSALE:MONP SU DEC.A. ' 1997