Attorney says reading, understanding apartment or housing leases is key when moving off campus

Brian Borden

Brian Borden

With May fast approaching, many students are thinking about where they are going to be living next year as much as they are thinking about final tests and what’s going on with the weather.

For many upperclassmen, that place will either be off campus housing or the Berg and Bailey apartments.

Sophomore Paul Sampica, a business economics major, said he and his friends already have an apartment set for next fall.

“We saw an advertisement and called Berg and Bailey and checked them out,” Sampica said.

“We decided we liked it and signed the paperwork right here,” Sampica said.

Sampica said he is looking forward to his living arrangements next year.

“I can’t wait to get out of the dorms,” he said.

“There will be more freedom, more space, less rules. Less regulations, basically,” said Sampica.

Legal Aid Attorney Pat Lyons, who helps students when they have legal questions said checking out the lease agreement is key.

“Read it. That’s the important thing,” Lyons said.

“If it’s important enough for the landlord to put it in there they will enforce it,” Lyons said.

Lyons said that if students don’t fully understand the lease, they should take steps to make sure they do.

“If they don’t understand it, they should probably come and see me,” he said. “It’s important to know what the duties are.”

Talking with other people in the building is also a good research tool, Lyons said.

“Check with current tenants to find out if they have had any problems and how responsive the landlord has been,” Lyons said.

Lyons said one of the biggest problems he sees are roommate ones.

“One of the biggest problems we have is lack of compatibility with roommates,” Lyons said. “They say ‘we got along so well when we were on the same floor’. Then you move and they don’t get along so well anymore.”

Students with any legal questions should set up an appointment with Lyons by calling 688-5181. The Legal Aid Office is room 217 in the University Student Union.