Column: Lessors, Lessees should build relationships

Megan Ivey, Staff Reporter

The beginning of the semester brings many new relationships at a university.

Students are reconnecting with friends, discovering new passions within their academics, and finding new places to call home.

For those who choose to live off campus, the place they call home is found through rental properties.

A new relationship that one normally does not think about but has a high importance is one between a student and his/her lessor.

Some first interactions leave lasting impressions and turn into unfavorable exchanges.

From experience, relationships with lessors have a common way of heading south.

I know that I am not the only one who has felt hostility toward a lessor.

Everyone has his or her stories, some probably worse than feeling robbed of their security deposit or having a lessor who is less-than-available.

The relationship is an odd one, where both parties assume the worst of each other.

Once a lessor experiences a bad seed, they are on the side of caution, for any future renter could become the same nightmare.

Once a renter has a horrid and unresponsive lessor they become skeptic, and demand more from their next.

If people viewed their contract as a relationship and not only a business agreement, I think the entire arrangement would be more satisfying.

A 10-month commitment seems long term to a student.

The majority of romantic relationships last less time.

I’ve seen someone bounce through three relationships and change majors twice within one year.

Students do not have set expectations for the future.

That doesn’t make them any less responsible for taking on an apartment, but it does shed some light to the fact that leasing is a new form of commitment to students.

Signing a lease is often the first legal-binding document that a student encounters, and mistakes will be made while adjusting to the new process.

This is where the lessors should show patience.

Lessors of college students should realize the learning experience rather than take advantage.

I consider myself an expert mover.

There might not be set criteria to qualify one as such, but from actively researching Charleston’s rental properties and moving four times within my three academic years, moving and renting is just a part of my annual routine.

Even so, I have learned (and quite honestly, I am still learning) from the mistakes that have been made.

Sometimes, the mistakes are from my end, and sometimes the lessor could have easily fixed the problem.

While lessors should be patient, the student should also show the same amount of respect to the property.

Being attentive and vocal about problems allows the lessor to adequately fix them.

In reality, both parties have to deal with the good and bad of each other.

So even though those rental properties have probably had more tenants than one would ever like to imagine, students continue to wear in the used furniture and ignore that unidentifiable stain in the carpet for one sole reason: a space to call their own (at least for 10 months).