Tenants must know their rights

Although many SSU students enjoy the beautifully built dormitories on campus, it’s no shock that many students including myself live off campus.

 According to csumentor.edu, 64 percent of SSU students live off campus. Unfortunately I didn’t have a firsthand experience of living on campus, but I’ve spoken with various friends about their living situation on SSU Campus.

“My roommates and I maybe had one incident involving an appliance, and as soon as we called the service line, they came right out the next day,” said recent graduate, David Sanchez, of his experience living on campus. 

Now I on the other hand have lived at one apartment and two houses since transferring here, and it’s been nothing but problematic.

 I lived in a house in B section last year where the roof leaked into our bathroom, and one of our master bedrooms for the entirety of the winter and early spring.

During this time span our landlord hired roofers who failed to seal the leaks on two occasions. Finally after we informed her that if the leak continued any longer, that we would file a suit for the house being uninhabitable by the laws of the California Department of Consumer Affairs. Of course she told us that she had planned on putting a new roof on after we moved out. 

Recently I drove by the house to see if the roof was ever fixed. Of course I was not surprised that the roof was the exact same roof that leaked when my friends and I lived there. 

The message that we felt we were receiving from her was that she didn’t really care about the wellbeing of her tenants or even the house that she owned. She always struck us like someone who was just interested in making huge gains off a house she put minimal care and effort into.

 I may have had to endure this miserable habitation, but those of you who want to better your living situation have an opportunity to change that. Believe it or not there are people in Rohnert Park and abroad that believe in our rights as renters and tenants.

 Before you decide to live in a house or apartment, look up the laws that protect us. The California Department of Consumer Affairs supplies an entire guideline of the laws and how to utilize them in situations that were like mine. 

Not knowing the laws that protect our rights as tenants is one more way that greedy landlords can take advantage of our inexperience as renters. 

Otherwise we are just going to continue to pay rent for houses and apartments that are unlivable. None of us deserve to be living under landlords who take little effort in maintaining their properties while gaining maximum profits they do not deserve. 

Please take heed to this, and if you want to know the terrible places I’ve inhabited, feel free to email me at owensch@seawolf.sonoma.edu and I will be glad to tell you. Good luck to all of you and your future housing prospects.