College Landlords Still Suck

OK.  I’m willing to bet there are at least two or three landlords renting to college students that are not the devil’s minions.  And I’m sure that young partying tenants can be a pain in the butt.  Chances are, though, that if you’re a college student and you need off-campus housing, your landlord sucks, even if you’re a well-behaved student.

This is a timeless situation.  Thirty years ago, I decided to stay at school one summer to take a couple extra classes.  Well, actually, it was because neither I nor Big Daddy wanted to leave each other and go to our respective homes.  We loved our college town and I was quite excited to find a cute little house near campus to share with three other girls.  It had a big porch on a shady street next door to the landlord’s house.  The landlord was a long-haired middle-aged Philosophy professor at the university who seemed laid back and didn’t bother us.  That is, until it was time to give me back my security deposit.  He had sneaked in the evening before and saw some dirty dishes in the living room.  HELLO!  I hadn’t moved out yet!  But that was his excuse for not giving me my money back.  Shy delicate flower that I am, I guess the jerk thought I was just going to say okay and walk away from my hard-earned money without a fight.  After a screaming match on his porch and threats to report him to the school and wherever else I had to, he gave up the dough.  And I thought Philosophy  majors learned about things like, say, ethics?

Fast forward to the present day.  College apartments are still cramped overpriced fire-traps just like they used to be.  When your college student is a person that likes to hear the phrase “I told you so…” and therefore does nothing at all to secure decent university housing until two weeks before school is ready to start, you’re at the mercy of the worst devils around.  We knew it was scary snapping up a lease on an apartment still under construction, but we were sort of desperate.  The landlord, the manager, and the dumb-as-ass third guy (J calls him “their bitch”) were kind of shady but no more so than some other landlords I’d met.  We were a little skeptical they’d have the place done within two weeks (like they promised) and of course our instincts were correct.  J commuted the first week and kept stopping by to check on the progress.  After we insisted that we could not push back the date yet another week,  they told J that he could move in Labor Day weekend.  So Friday, J stopped by to pick up his key to move in and check out the place, and there was no electricity.  Oh, and the morons nonchalantly stated that there was some mix-up and it probably would be at least 10 more days because they needed some kind of meter that didn’t come in.

J takes this kind of news just like his mother would.  He vented at the guys.  He called Big Daddy, who was as irate as the rest of us.  Big Daddy, who knows a thing or two about electricity, talked to the power company about the problem and was told that work orders usually do take about 10 days.  And then, some wonderful woman from the power company called Big Daddy back to tell him that they got an emergency work order.  Some huge miracle occurred and J had light that afternoon.  We were all set to load up our truck and our still unsold van, and set up the apartment Saturday.

After a forty-five minutes drive, our two packed vehicles arrived to a pretty deserted college town.  We pulled up to the door only to discover that…the building was  LOCKED!  And the jack-asses had forgotten to give J the building key, even though they knew he was moving in this weekend.  The few people J knew that lived in the building were obviously gone for the long weekend, and we stood out in the alley shaking our heads in disbelief and of course ranting about how much we hate these guys.  I wanted to cry.  By some fluke, Big Daddy found a door on the other side of the building that had been left ajar, and we managed to get in.  Then the fun started.

There was a distinctly unfinished feel about the place.  Everything said cheap-o rush job.  Big pale patches of yellow showed through the white paint on the walls.  Gobs of sticky goo dotted the laminate floors and sinks.  Dust and construction dirt was everywhere.  There is no mirror in the bathroom, no toilet paper holder or towel racks, and almost no storage.  There is a small gap between two walls that we think is supposed to be used as a closet, but there is no closet rod and the back wall is sloppily patched.  Supposedly, this apartment is complete.  The stupid kitchen cabinets are so narrow, the dishes I set in there could not lay flat.

Obviously designed by some clueless men

Obviously designed by some clueless men

After a whole day of unloading, unpacking, and cleaning, the place seemed pretty homey.  I even fell fast asleep on the most comfortable sleeper sofa in the world that J bought while I was waiting for my guys to finish putting the rest of J’s furniture together.  Tomorrow, he’ll be staying at his home away from home.

I want this couch!

I want this couch!

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21 Responses to “College Landlords Still Suck”


  1. 1 Cyndi September 8, 2009 at 7:11 am

    This made me laugh out loud: “Shy delicate flower that I am..”! 🙂

    WTF is he supposed to put into those 2 scrawny little cabinets in the kitchen?!

    What a pain in the arse.

  2. 2 Consuella Banana Hammock September 8, 2009 at 8:48 am

    i think i lived in that same apartment as a college student! funny how freedom and having my “own” place though made me completely oblivious to what a shit hole it was!

  3. 3 John September 8, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    This experience is not exclusive to college students or towns. After signing a lease for 3 years with an option to buy, Perla and I had friends help us move on moving day. We arrived with our truck at 11 am to find a house full of people sleeping – not packed – not cleaned – nothing. We woke them up (the mother and her 3 teenagers) and helped them move everything into the basement apartment where she would be living – yes even the piano. Thank God for good friends. Needless to say I never asked any of them to help me move again. The reverend owner ended up selling the house out from under us, breaking the lease, because she never paid her mortgage. I am not sure how people like that qualify for ministry, let alone, life. We ended up buying our own home, never to have landlords again!

  4. 5 lifewithoutinstructions September 8, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    Holy Crap what a sucky job lol!!!!! I would be so miffed if I had to deal with those little cubby holes they call cupboards. Poor kid! I think Mr. Cheap’O landlord needs a call from one distraught “mother” of the college student. Rip em one les! Your son may be college aged and able to stand on his own two feet but there is something about an irate woman that lights a fire under idiots like that!!!!! LMAO at the image! Maria

  5. 7 lynette September 8, 2009 at 6:19 pm

    omg, i never lived off-campus as a college student (all those years in a dorm…), but when i was a grad student and living on $12K a year, i had a couple of real doozy apartments. one was an illegal apartment upstairs from a supermarket (right after my ex and i split up — i needed a place and fast), which i moved out of after there was a fire in the supermarket in the middle of the night and i discovered i had no fire exit…

    the second was a garden apt complex, and me and my roommate lived upstairs from the super. management company and everything… we had hoards of cockroaches that would come swarming out from the gas line whenever we turned on the oven, and the super’s dog gave us a flea infestation…

    things can only get better?

    • 8 les@mamaneeds2rant September 8, 2009 at 11:29 pm

      Wow, lynette. J’s place looks pretty good after hearing about your apartments. We lived in a filthy off-campus dorm that often had flooded bathrooms and the occasional rat, but it was party central and we had fun there. We also lived in a fire trap with only one way out attached to a pizza shop. Fun times.

  6. 9 Kathy September 8, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    J sure has the best of luck sometimes.

  7. 11 robinaltman September 8, 2009 at 8:48 pm

    You made it look really nice! Good for you! What the hell is up with those two kitchen cabinets? What’s the space in the middle for? Not even a guy could be that dumb. I think it was designed by a retarded monkey.

    • 12 les@mamaneeds2rant September 8, 2009 at 11:32 pm

      Those cabinets are totally useless. They must have gotten them for free because the only thing they would be good for is maybe holding a few spice jars. Not only are the dishes half standing upright, but then there’s hardly any room to put food. And the poor boy eats like a horse!

  8. 13 enchantedflutterby September 9, 2009 at 9:14 am

    Moms do have power when it comes to their kids. I’ve never had apartment issues, but once my mom got my car fixed for free because I took it in saying I was having problems with my brakes. They tightened my brake pedal. The real problem was that my axle was cracked or something of the sort and I lost my brakes going around a curve because my tire was about to fall off. Luckily I was able to make it into a parking lot at the bottom of the hill. The dealer got it up one side and down the other for missing the real problem the first time they looked at my car and just going for the quick fix, still leaving me in danger. I say go get em Mama 🙂

  9. 14 Dawn September 9, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    As a student and a mom living in off-campus urban apartment for the last sixteen months, I found that the landlord is incapable of responding to anything intelligently. I may be the only tenant he’s had that holds his feet to the fire. I LOVE these moments anymore.

  10. 15 shane September 9, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    ummm is that the dresser from my room in there? haha

  11. 17 Chris September 10, 2009 at 1:37 am

    I wouldn’t exactly say “untouched” …muwahahaha. >=D

  12. 18 enchantedflutterby September 10, 2009 at 9:11 am

    Chris we weren’t going to tell Shane about the problems we had building a nuclear reactor in his room. It was going to be a surprise for when he came home. Now we have to find a new surprise. *pouts*

  13. 19 Barbra Scurley September 25, 2009 at 10:51 am

    I don’t know If I said it already but …Excellent site, keep up the good work. I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks, 🙂

    A definite great read….Barbra Scurley

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  1. 1 How To Be a College Parent - College Rentals Blog Trackback on September 7, 2009 at 11:51 pm

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