Landlord report card

By Kara Ohngren REPORTER

The Office of Student Life will soon post an online survey where students will have the opportunity to view a report outlining how past residents rated their off-campus rental companies.

Planned to go live Feb. 1, with a direct link from the University home page, the survey will ask questions that pertain to residents’ expectations versus what was reality. For instance:

” What was the condition of the interior of the property at time of move-in?

” Was the rental company timely when returning the security deposit?

” How was the maintenance and repair service?

” Was there sufficient privacy granted by the landlord?

The survey, presented in conjunction with Executive Vice President Linda Dobb, USG and GSS, also gives students the chance to report whether or not they would refer this rental company to a friend.

“The survey basically gives students a voice,” said Valerie Bullard, interim program coordinator for the office of student life. “We eventually hope to take all of the results and create one report that would reside on USG’s Web site; this way, students can access the report and make better-informed decisions before they sign a lease for the next academic year.”

The survey results are confidential, and individual responses will never be released.

“I know I would have looked at a survey like that before I moved into my apartment,” said Carlynn Barnard, senior, resident at College Park Enclave. “I had never lived on my own before, my parents had always done those things, so I felt kind of lost when I was looking for a place to live.”

Similar surveys are common practice and are becoming increasingly more frequent at larger universities, such as Ohio State and the University of Michigan, according to Bullard.

“I think at day end, those who keep their properties maintained will show through the survey results,” she said. “Any tool that gives students the best information that is available – before they have to make a decision that could be costly and impact them for a long time – is relevant and important.”

Lisa Hipp, a sophomore, currently living in Kreisher-Compton, said she would appreciate a survey such as this one.

“I have already signed a lease for next year at Copper Beech and I think that it was a pretty informed decision, but I did ask a lot of questions and I talked to some of my friends who have lived there in the past,” she said. “But a survey report would have made it a lot easier.”