Ryan Chartrand

Yes, I know, we’ve heard it all before. When you live in a college town, you pay more rent. The two go hand-in-hand. But with the recent increase in rent throughout San Luis Obispo, I can’t help but wonder if the property owners are just taking major advantage of us students.

Do property management companies and landlords feel that since tuition is rising-yet again-that it’s only fair for rent to rise too? Have mortgage payments suddenly increased dramatically that the rest of us are left unaware of? Someone please explain to me how it is considered OK to charge at least $1,500 for a two-bedroom place. As if rent wasn’t hard enough before for some students who don’t have their parents for monetary support to survive, now finding a place in town has become a nightmare.

Our landlord recently told us that he had to raise the rent a couple hundred more because “that’s what other houses are going for around here.” Well thank you, Mr. Landlord. Thanks to you we had to find a new place to call home. So because one greedy person decided to up the rent, everyone else has to too? Are we all going to jump off a bridge just because one person started to do it? I didn’t think so.

Yes, I know homeowners need to pay their mortgage and hopefully make a profit on their house, but by making it almost impossible for students to afford a house, let alone find an available one in this town, just isn’t fair. With well over 3,000 incoming freshmen for the fall quarter arriving and not nearly enough dorm rooms to accommodate them, we all knew housing was going to be tight for the coming year. I, for one, did not expect such a dramatic increase in the rent though.

As students, we generate a huge profit for this town that sometimes goes undeserved. Yes, we are to blame for the cancellation of the Mardi Gras parade and other fiascos that happen throughout the years, but is that grounds for making us barely able to live in the area? It just isn’t fair, and we have practically no say in it! Does the community really want more homelessness on the streets? I know that’s a stretch, but that’s what they’re asking for.

As bitter as I may be about this on-going situation, I still love this area and the people in it. I just believe that many people take advantage of us students (don’t even get me started on the textbook issue here) and we need to take a stand against what is being done. We shouldn’t be expected to pay an absurd amount of rent and barely be able to survive because of a select few greedy property managers.

So to those of you out there struggling with rent or finding a place to live, don’t let your voice go unheard; they’ll get the picture soon.

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