Problems between students and their landlords need help being solved.
Temple’s increasing presence in the surrounding communities has created opportunities, in programs like the Philadelphia Experience Passport, for example. Along with the benefits, though, come challenges for students and by extension, for Temple.
Integrating students into the neighborhoods and mitigating conflicts between roommates must be dealt with – to some degree – by the university. But perhaps the most crucial way the university needs to be involved in students’ off-campus lives is when it comes to landlords.
As reported by The Temple News in this and previous issues, some students have reported issues with landlords – including what they say is deception and unfair treatment.
The university’s position in student-landlord issues is delicate, but it must have at least some role in them. If it leaves students completely on their own, they could easily become victims of unscrupulous landlords, which not only looks bad but isn’t fair to students. We don’t know the ins and outs of rental regulations, and a landlord who wants to can try to get students to pay more than they should – for less than it’s worth.
Temple officials face challenges in being involved in student-landlord issues, though. If they get too involved, they may discourage landlords from renting to students for fear of having to deal with a third party. Also, part of branching out on your own as a college student is learning how to deal with landlords, fair and otherwise. It would be doing a disservice to students for Temple to be completely involved, as students would be handicapped in dealing with landlords when they graduate.
The best method of being involved is listening to students. Temple Student Government is taking a lead on this issue, and Temple’s officials should as well. The more students feel they have a strong support system in the university, the more they will turn to it when they have problems with landlords. This will benefit the university because it will know exactly which problems are occurring, not to mention which landlords are consistently fair and which ones are not.
Students are ultimately responsible for their rented homes and their relationships with landlords, but Temple should make an effort to listen and be aware of any issues occurring in the process. Living on your own is part of college life, especially at Temple as the student population grows. Temple should be aware of any problems its students are facing, without taking an aggressive role in solving those problems.