As you sat in the office and signed your life away with a $200 deposit, you had no clue that your new apartment would sway like a baby tree in a soft breeze.
You could not have known that poorly insulated walls would rob you and your neighbors of something as simple as privacy.
New apartment complexes are being whipped up by the batches around the university’s campus. As a student in search of off-campus housing, these new additions came as a relief. However, I quickly became aware of something else: bad construction.
While visiting a friend at Kingston Square, I was greeted by a door that was already ajar. My friend had no idea when I would come, but when she felt her apartment rock to and fro she knew that her I had arrived. A casual walk up or down the flight of stairs sent the complex swaying.
Slapdash assembly has also resulted in collapsing interiors.
Nevertheless, tenants seeking close, off-campus shelter are signing up for these apartments in staggering amounts. Those numbers also include me.
For those of us who do not own cars or trust TalTran to get us to classes on time, these new locations are a godsend. A 15-minute walk home from campus beats unpredictable bus schedules anytime. Throw in a dishwasher and a laundry room and you can call it paradise.
Apartment owners are aware of this and capitalize on these conveniences by charging rates that do not merit the quality they offer. When we mail in checks on the first of each month, we should receive the privacy, peace and safety that attracted us to the complex in the first place.
If owners and management cannot deliver on that, they should reconsider how much they charge.
Instead of simply tacking on packages that include utilities, furniture and cable for an additional $50 a tenant, make them inclusive in the base rent.
If I can’t have privacy, peace and quiet, at least give me the small luxuries.
Monica Harden, 20, is senior magazine production student from Hockley, Texas. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.