Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Advertisements
Advertisements

Group urges tenant awareness

[media-credit name=’BEN CLASSON/Herald photo’ align=’alignright’ width=’336′]Tenants_BC[/media-credit]

Landlords take note: The Student Tenant Union held its kickoff event Thursday night discussing plans to teach students how to exercise their rights as renters.

Despite a small turnout, organizers were still optimistic about the future, emphasizing tenant education, legislative advocacy and housing counseling.

Advertisements

?What we hope for [this group] to be about is empowering people who are in the organization and empowering the students they help, that it?s really sort of a circular thing,? said Jennie Mauer, STU organizer.

University of Wisconsin junior Lauren Michels suggested compiling a list of ?landlord horror stories? to distribute to students.

?I had a horrendous experience with this landlord on Gilman Street, so anything I can do to help other people who are in a similar situation I was in, I?m all for it,? Michels said.

According to STU organizers, 75 percent of UW students live off campus. Mauer added housing counseling would help student tenants with security deposits, repairs, evictions and subletting.

?We?ll train people to be volunteers and housing counselors, and they?re going to become better advocates for themselves, and then they?re going to educate other students,? Mauer said.

City Council member Brenda Konkel, District 5, talked about STU?s legislative advocacy program to help pass legislation favoring tenants? rights.

?We can win if we have a group of people behind us who are helping to support legislation,? Konkel added.

Ald. Eli Judge, District 8, spoke more specifically about the photo ordinance he introduced that the housing committee is working on passing through the council.

?[Landlords] have to have photographic evidence of the damages that they are deducting,? Judge said.

He added landlords are ?nickel and diming? tenants, making it easier for them to get away with unnecessary charges.

Chair of STU, Joseph Lindstrom, said they would hold a training session March 8 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for people interested in working for the organization.

?There are still plenty of opportunities for people to get involved,? Lindstrom added.

Next year, STU plans to have headquarters located in the Student Activity Center in University Square, where students will be able to hold paid positions or earn course credit as housing counselors.

?This is a really great opportunity for students who are thinking of going to law school to learn about tenant landlord law or students thinking of going into social work,? Mauer said.

Lindstrom said there are plans for a Tenant Education Week this April to get the word out. Since most students have already signed leases, organizers want to focus on tenant rights regarding subletting and moving in.

They hope to have another Tenant Education Week in the fall.

STU plans to develop a website ? including a ?Rate My Landlord? section ? and start a Facebook group, Lindstrom added.

Advertisements
Leave a Comment
Donate to The Badger Herald

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Wisconsin-Madison. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Badger Herald

Comments (0)

All The Badger Herald Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *