Responsibility, repairs and rodents, oh my!

Elisa Agosto

“It’s an old house – looks like the oldest on the street, so it constantly has a number of minor issues that must be dealt with, from mowing the messy lawn to fixing sink. However it’s a constant struggle to get our landlord to get around to fixing anything,” Senior economics major Sai Ahmed said.

When it comes to living off campus, there is the expectation of living above QU standards of housing. However, as current seniors are beginning to see, a whole new set of problems begin to arise.

It isn’t just about living in close quarters with friends, it’s about being on your own, and dealing with your landlord when you need anything fixed.

“I think it is better than living on campus,” Senior finance major Kevin Toth said. “It is really nice that we have our own rooms. We just didn’t think that dealing with a landlord would be such a hassle.”

At QU, when you have a problem, you go on the Web site and fill out a work request form which is usually promptly taken care off. Off campus, it is another matter.

“There were many major repairs including missing windows, wires hanging from the ceiling and holes in walls that were not taken care of for a few months,” Senior broadcast journalism major Jonathan Berk said. “We are still waiting for some repairs to be made.”

But others including senior english major Lisa Gomez have had other experiences.

“I have my own room for the first time in college so it’s great to be able to spread out and have friends over without being so crammed like we are in the dorms,” Gomez said.

Gomez has a different outlook when it comes to her off campus living experience,

“The house is actually in really good condition, we’re lucky. When we first moved in it really needed to be cleaned, but we called the landlord and he had that done for us immediately.”

Housing off campus needs to be according to Hamden’s health code. If your home isn’t up to par, then you risk the chance of being evicted. This possibility instilled concern in Toth because the last time his home was inspected it “failed miserably according to the health department.”

A number of students would be hesitant to call their living situation perfect. If Senior biomedical science major Christina Valvano could change anything in her home it would be for there to be “less spiders” and “better insulation” since it gets cold easily. Berk also said he would want his home to be insulated so that he doesn’t lose heat in the winter.

Ahmed would add another bathroom since there are multiple people living in his house and they all share one common bathroom.

Note to juniors looking for houses: look at how the house you are considering living in is rated according to health code standards at your local town health code office. For Hamden, it is called Quinnipiack Valley Health District which is located in North Haven. Looking at the exact address of your home will aid in showing you what needs to be taken care of and what you yourself expect in your houses next year.

Moreover, ask around for recommendations on where to look.

Gomez said, “Our landlord at the time only wanted to rent to people that he had been recommended too, so one of my roommate’s friends who lived here last year told us about her house, and we looked at it and loved it.”

Off-campus living compared to dorm life at QU has its “good and bad,” Valvano said. “But overall I would say that I like it better.”