Reader Reactions | Demand cleanliness, safety from your landlord, property manager

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Readers react to a column calling for student renters to demand more from their landlords. The columnist explains how most students deal with black mold and broken locks while their landlords do little to ensure proper living conditions. The columnist argues that students should be seen as people, not paychecks.

Hailey Roemer: “[Washington] has some of the best laws on the books for renter protection, but it’s a lack of knowledge that prevents them from being effective. I would love to see some partnership between students, landlords and property management companies to provide training on how to be good tenants as well as the rights you have when renting. That might help solve the problem on both ends, as neglect comes from landlords who don’t care as well as renters who don’t report or know how. It’s a bigger, more complex problem than this [column] acknowledges.”

Daniel Stuart Hoffman: “I think students do, as best as able, but without government doing their part there is not much that can be done other than to spread knowledge by word of mouth and avoid the bad ones, but that doesn’t help the students who don’t hear the word of mouth.”

Liv Molinari: “Students need to put their foot down or get taken advantage of. My last apartment, I specifically got an apartment with an [air conditioning] unit. It was a stickler. About two months into the lease the AC quit working. My landlord tried to say it wasn’t critical and wasn’t going to replace it. I simply said the lease says you have to keep my equipment in good working order and if you can’t adhere to that then I’ll get my lawyer involved. I had a new AC in two weeks.”

Tiva Wolfe: “Even if you have heard that certain landlords or rental companies are horrible, it’s not like there are other options. Moscow is even worse. The rental companies know that people have to live here for school, so they charge exorbitant prices for rent and neglect maintenance requests as much as possible. There has to be some sort of legal recourse, but I doubt most students have the time, money or energy to pursue legal action.”