Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Saturday, June 22, 2024

Late lease deadline benefits students

The predominant belief of many students on campus, particularly freshmen, seems to be that if you don't sign a lease on an apartment by December, you will end up living in an old refrigerator box. But this belief could not be further from the truth.

In reality, students have a wealth of choices in the rental market. Unfortunately, freshmen who have only been on campus for less than three months aren't aware of this—putting them in prime position to be taken advantage of by rental companies.

Fortunately, there is legislation in place to address this problem. In March, The Daily Cardinal Editorial Board endorsed a proposal by Ald. Bridget Maniaci, Dist. 2, that would push the start of the leasing season back from Nov. 15 to late January. As the proposal comes up for a now twice delayed vote in December before the Common Council, we urge the city's alders to vote in favor of this common-sense idea.

Enjoy what you're reading? Get content from The Daily Cardinal delivered to your inbox

The problem the proposal addresses is education. In reality, there is no actual problem with supply in campus area housing—only an imagined one. This is due to students rushing into rental agreements only a few months into the year, resulting in living arrangements with roommates one hardly knows and housing searches that are rarely thorough and often hurried.

The delayed leasing date would allow first-time renters to get to know their future housemates more closely and would provide them with more time to get information about renting. In addition, current tenants are forced to make a decision on renewing their leases long before they have experienced how their unit holds up to Madison's brutal winters. The new ordinance would solve this problem.

Of course, some rental companies have cried murder over the proposal. They say students studying abroad in the spring will be unable to find housing. But students will still be able to find available apartments in the summer, not to mention those who choose to study abroad should be able to rely on the judgment of their roommates when choosing an abode. Naysayers have also said students will camp outside rental offices the night before the new leasing date for choice apartments. However, this already happens with some of downtown Madison's most desired student properties. And while there is a risk these incidents will increase, we hardly see this ballooning as a problem with a January signing date.

Other claims, such as those saying this will unfairly benefit University Housing, are flat-out baseless claims.

The system as it is now does not work. The new leasing date proposal has a strong upside with only moderate risks. For the good of first-time renters, some of the most vulnerable consumers in Madison, the Common Council should approve this plan.

Support your local paper
Donate Today
The Daily Cardinal has been covering the University and Madison community since 1892. Please consider giving today.

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2024 The Daily Cardinal