Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

SGA hosts off-campus housing event

Students were informed of their rights and responsibilities pertaining to off-campus housing at the Landlords, Leases and Legalities event Tuesday evening at the Ferguson Center Theater.

Three speakers addressed issues concerning off-campus housing for students.

Steven Rumsey with Rumsey Properties said students should be proactive in determining the location of their housing and their roommates.

Rumsey said properties in an area called The Box, which has Jack Warner Parkway, 15th Street, Hackberry Lane and Queen City Avenue as its borders, rent quickly.

“We’ve rented 50 houses in that area in the last 10 minutes,” he said.

He said students should begin pursuing leases for property this October if they want to obtain their desired housing for next year.

He said students should be aware of issues that will arise with off-campus housing.

Issues that deal with plumbing, roof leaks and light fixtures are common concerns, he said.

Anne Hornsby, director of the Civil Law Clinic, said students can acquire free legal advice from law student at the clinic, where they are required to assist students in legal issues.

She said students should be aware of the various legal issues that can arise with signing a contract for off-campus housing.

For instance, students can be held responsible for paying the rent if a roommate ceases to pay his or her half.

“There are few contractors who will allow you to contract separately,” she said.

She said students should make a point of reading over the lease prior to signing the document.

“There will be some legalese in it but that’s okay,” she said. “Make sure to ask about it.”

She said students should keep in mind that they are signing a binding legal document when signing a lease.

“This is a contract,” she said. “You should make sure that you’re able to pay that rent for the whole year…and you should keep a copy of the lease in a safe place.”

Julie Elmore, assistant director of off-campus and greek housing, said students can find information related to their property on company websites.

“Most of the properties in Tuscaloosa have a website that you can go to,” she said.

She said the selection of a trustworthy roommate is essential.

“Make sure that your roommate is as concerned about your safety as you are and as financially responsible,” she said.

She said the actions of off-campus students bear an impact on the reputation of the University.

“The way that you act is a reflection back onto this campus,” she said.

Andrew McPhail, a sophomore majoring in nursing, said he attended the event because he wanted to know about the legal issues related to off-campus housing.

“I had a lease signed a few weeks ago, but the property was taken away from me and my roommates,” he said. “We wanted a mold inspection to be done, and Mr. Rumsey [with Rumsey Properties] leased out the house from under us to people who agreed to move in without a mold inspection.”

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