Apartment Renting 101 event coming to Student Union 415

Patrick Koster, News Editor

In response to the current housing shortage, United Students Government, Sinatra and Company LLC and the Student Life Office will be hosting an event to educate SUNY Buffalo State students about the basics of finding their first off-campus apartment.

Apartment Renting 101 will be held May 3 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Campbell Student Union Room 415. It is free to all students and will be moderated by USG representatives and real estate professionals.

The event is directed at helping students analyze leases and understand their rights and responsibilities as a tenant. It will include a Q&A session and games to test students’ knowledge regarding renting an apartment.

USG President Elect Terron Grant came up with the idea for Apartment Renting 101, proposed it to the Senate which then approved it, and then Grant organized the event.

“I presented it to the Senate last week because of the current housing situation,” Grant said. “I seen it as this could be a potential idea to just kind of help students currently deal with the situation while we try to think of better programs and things that USG can implement.”

Michael LaMonte, director of residential leasing at Sinatra and Company LLC, will be at the event to help educate students. He said the event will be covering the options students should be looking into for apartments, potential “red flags” in a lease, and other potential resources for leasing or helping with lease difficulties.

“Parking seems to be a major issue, especially for Buffalo State students, because they’re typically looking up and down Elmwood where the campus is located and Elmwood, as people know very well, seems to be very difficult to find parking,” LaMonte said. “So, I would say that that’s definitely something that’s a common question.”

LaMonte said students are typically concerned with lengths of leases and common pricing questions as well.

“I would think that if it’s your first time going off campus, you’re probably going to want to look to a property management group that’s handling multiple units and does this professionally on a daily basis,” LaMonte said. “You’re going to want to get into a community where you’re able to have a property that’s well maintained, where you have people at a general office that are easy to get ahold of if you ever have issues.”

For Grant, this is only the first step he is taking to help students.

“This program didn’t really have to be implemented now but I see it as a kind of way to just show the students that the next upcoming legislation is really going to be for the students,” Grant said.

While Grant doesn’t officially take office until next academic year, he plans to begin working on a USG version of Craigslist for student housing over the summer. The database will allow students to search for housing in centralized locations surrounding campus and the properties will all be screened by USG.

Grant sat down with housing director Kris Kaufman for an hour and 30-minute long conversation about the on-campus housing dilemma.

“Basically, I was just getting the perspective from the school,” Grant said, “because a lot of times, students have been seeing it as the student perspective, but seeing it as the school perspective, it’s really just more so a short term problem that just so happens to fall on the next academic year.

“It’s going to balance out when Greenleaf opens and Bishop and all of the different kind of motions that are going on around. It’s a sad issue and I feel for students, and that’s why I’m taking this first initiative.”

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