Students weigh in on rising rent prices

Off-campus housing in Tallahassee. Photo courtesy: American Campus Communities

Rent prices in Tallahassee are slowly rising. According to Bloomberg, national data suggests that in some cities, prices are reaching pre-quarantine rates at a quicker speed as cities open back up and accept more residents, prompting the increase in rent prices.

Students all over Tallahassee are noticing some of the increasing trends and are weighing in on whether these price increases are warranted.

For most students, the biggest issue with rising rents is a lack of amenities and separate utility bills.

Kyarra Jackson, a senior biology pre-medicine major at Florida A&M University, describes the price changes she has experienced as a resident at Twelve-Twenty at Brooklyn Yard.

“The price of rent went up $30, but it wasn’t really worth it because there are no amenities,” Jackson said. “Plus utilities are not included in the price of rent. We’re not even guaranteed a parking space due to the fact there’s not enough parking spaces for residents or guests.”

The popular Twelve-Twenty complex is located in front of Polkinghorne Villages on FAMU’s campus and highlights its convenient location to campus as an attractive selling point for students, especially those who have no transportation to school.

Even so, residents — like Jackson — think the price increases at this property aren’t justified, especially since the complex lacks amenities offered by other apartments at similar price points, such as a clubhouse, pool, gym, assigned parking, trash services and 24 hour maintenance.

“I feel like they shouldn’t be going up in prices if they’re not adding value to the complex … Makes you think what are you paying for?” Jackson said.

Another student, Naya Campbell, said, “Everything is increasing with no explanations.”

Campbell, a resident at The Preserve, says the higher prices are “unnecessary and definitely not worth it” after her complex did not come through on its promise for certain amenities.

“No more services were included,” Campbell said. “They also took away our cable and they said they were ‘planning on replacing it with high speed internet,’ but my WiFi still works slow as usual.”

Campbell, like several other students, has also experienced higher utility costs to more than $100 a month while staying at The Preserve. For the FAMU student, the higher prices are disappointing since the lower costs at The Preserve were a selling point over more upgraded units at other complexes.

“If I was going to end up spending this much, I could have went with my first option,” Campbell said.

Jordan Rogers, who is a senior political science major at FAMU, comments on the rising rent trends for students overall.

“It’s kind of ridiculous,” Rogers said. “You would think prices would drop because of COVID, but I went apartment hunting earlier this year and it was almost impossible to find an upgraded off-campus housing for under $600.”

“It’s almost like you have to choose between a newer, or larger, unit that is expensive, or an outdated, or confined, space for cheap; and most places don’t even include utilities,” Rogers added.

Luckily, not all students are struggling with increasing prices.

Jaleigha Williams, a junior at FAMU who lives at Rattler Pointe, says she did not experience any change in her rent prices.

“I feel like the price makes sense, but there are definitely still improvements that should be made to really make it worth [what I’m paying],” Williams said. “For example, our parking lot has not been repaved or repainted in years.”