North Texas Daily

Student concerns with off-campus student apartments

Student concerns with off-campus student apartments

Student concerns with off-campus student apartments
November 02
21:46 2016

Julia Falcon | Senior staff
Kyle Martin | Senior staff

Student housing, typically designed to make living on your own as a college student easier and more efficient, is a significant asset at a UNT student’s disposal. Thousands of students cycle in and out of these housing sites every year, and while many value their time spent there, others have had bad experiences.

Many students live in off-campus student housing to stay connected in a student-friendly community while still enjoying the freedom of their own apartment.

Rates per month for living in a four-bedroom apartment off-campus per person can run anywhere from $529 at the University Courtyard and $569 at CastleRock, to $704 at UCentre. Prices vary with or without utility caps, overage charges and internet bills.

Some of the amenities at these apartments include an on-site gym, 24/7 on-site maintenance and all bills included with rent, all while living in close proximity to campus.

At University Courtyard off South Bonnie Brae Street, interdisciplinary studies for social studies senior Meghann Stephenson said that in the two years she lived there, maintenance only came to her apartment once despite her multiple requests.

“We had a really bad roach problem throughout the complex,” Stephenson said. “They had someone come out and spray once, but it actually made the situation worse. Like, we got more roaches after the guy came out.”

After living in Maple Hall on campus for her freshman year, merchandising sophomore Delaney Childress said she chose to live at University Courtyard because she doesn’t need to park her car far away from her place like the dorm residents do now.

Rates for living on-campus during a nine-month academic year range from $4,293 to $5,440 in the “economy” halls; $5,440 in the “standard” halls, and range from $5,520 to $6,410 in the “newer” halls, according to UNT’s 2016-2017 housing rates. Economy halls include College Inn and West halls; standard halls include Bruce, Clark, Kerr, Crumley, Maple and McConnell halls; and newer halls include Honors, Legends, Santa Fe, Mozart, Traditions, Rawlins and Victory. But these rates do not include meal plans.

Childress has also experienced water damage with her floors and had one encounter with a cockroach after she moved in.

“Our flooring is coming up, and I have put in work requests to fix it,” she said. “They have come in, but they replaced our water heater when there was nothing wrong with it and didn’t fix our floors. Our floors are laminate, if you walk over there barefoot, you’ll cut your foot because it is coming up in multiple spots.”

Additionally, at University Courtyard, bills are supposed to be included in the cost of rent. But ecology junior Courtney Frederick said they surprised her recently. The Courtyard’s bills are all separate now, though she said she received no notice of the change. Now, all of her bills are higher.

“Maintenance sometimes takes their time, I didn’t have hot water for like a month and I put in requests, and they would say they fixed it but they didn’t and I didn’t get a water heater,” Frederick said. “Courtyards were the cheapest option close to campus, I can walk if I want. My freshman and sophomore year I lived on campus. It is a little cheaper off campus, but on campus, you’re closer to class.”

CastleRock is another student apartment complex, located on Meadow Street, off of I-35.

Maintenance gives their residents a heads-up when they are going to conduct an inspection, but never give an exact time. Recreation, event and sports management senior Will Shumate said that they have walked in on him after he got out of the shower for the quarterly checks.

“A couple of semesters ago, my roommates and I moved out of an apartment here and a few months later got a bill from them for $120 each because of a hole in the wall that wasn’t actually there,” Shumate said. “I can’t remember if we got an email or if they sent us each a letter, but it was basically like, you owe $120 for repair of a hole in the wall that was found when they did their checks after we moved out. But we cleaned the place completely and know for a fact there was not a hole in the wall.”

On Fry Street, there is the UCentre complex, which is close to all of the bars and restaurants just a few feet from campus.

Photography junior Avery Foshee said that even though the amenities at UCentre are well worth it, there are some issues which negatively impacted her stay.

“They don’t keep track of your rent. I’ve gotten fees for not paying rent twice when I’ve paid, if not early, on time,” Foshee said. “The fire alarms go off only at 2 a.m. and it happens super often. My car was towed for parking in the parking garage that I pay to use because they randomly decided to start using parking stickers in the middle of the semester, and I had to pay a $200 fine.”

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Kyle Martin

Kyle Martin

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