Students must protect belongings

The sight and smell of my home disgust me. Wet books, sour smelling carpet, mildewed shoes and clothes and unreadable papers lay everywhere. This is my home and the way it has been for almost two weeks.

Recently, my apartment was flooded while I was away from home for the weekend.

Apparently, a pipe in my bedroom closet broke. It wasn’t until hours later when someone realized what had happened. By that time, my bedroom, living room and bathroom was flooded with water.

My roommate and I received accommodations for two nights at a hotel. This was paid for by the apartment complex. After those two nights, reality hit me again.

I was faced with finding logical answers to questions such as what about the damages and who was responsible?

According to a clause in the leasing agreement, the apartment complex cannot be held liable.

“We shall not be liable for any damage, loss or injury to persons or property occurring within your apartment or upon the property whether caused by us or someone else.”

According to this statement, there was not much that I could do.

“Whether caused by us,” was the part that made me sit down in frustration. It was obvious that I should have taken a second look at the leasing agreement.

The agreement further said, “you are responsible for obtaining your own casualty and liability insurance.” That just had me stumped.

This meant that the radio that now rattles with water, the school books that are no longer legible, the DVD player that no longer works and the clothes that have to be washed and dry-cleaned, will fall into the responsibilities of the renter, me.

The landlord quickly reminded us (me and my roommate) that they could not have done anything to prevent a pipe from bursting.

Still two weeks later, a hole remains in the closet where the pipe broke and there’s no specified date as to when the complex will have it fixed.

Whose responsibility then is it to maintain the apartments occupied by college students?

My landlord reminded me that I should have gotten renter’s insurance.

However, because my apartment does not supply this I would have to go out and get my own.

Students now looking to get renter’s insurance, be informed that a lot of companies don’t supply coverage for students.

One company informed me that students usually share property, which makes it more difficult for the company to provide proper coverage.

The few that do provide insurance for students say annual insurance usually starts at $175 and can cost alot more depending on the coverage.

Whatever the price, the consequences of not having it could have major drawbacks, just ask the person who lives inside the stuffy walls of apartment D3, she’s still busy drying off.

Should students invest in renter’s insurance?

It should no longer be a question to think on. You should protect yourself and your belongings.

If not you may end up wishing you did, I do.

Tiffany Pitts, 22, is a senior public relations student from Jacksonville. She is the Lifestyles Editor. She can be reached at