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Housing

Fall '09 Student

I've scouted out housing during my "College Tour 2008" trip here in Provo, Utah. And i've come to only 2 apartments I want to live at but can't decide between.

The Branbury & The King Henry Apartments.

I really like the river and forest next to Branbury but the cool clubhouse and "guarunteed" social life at King Henry can't be missed either. Both are about the same distance from BYU.

King Henry is more expensive but includes some utilities while Branbury is cheaper but makes you pay all you pay all your own.

SO I leave it up to you to help me decide. Which should I choose and why? Please help!

Worst Apartment Stories (excluding booting)

All this talk about bad apartment managers seems to have hit a nerve. What is your worst apartment management stories (booting excluded-see other posts). I would be generally interested in assembling a compilation of bad experiences in the hope that the market will reward those complexes who make an effort actually treat students with respect.

In your stories, make sure you include the complex’s name and the name of the management company where applicable. I look forward to some good entertainment from these posts.

To kick it off, here is mine:

I lived for a spring/summer in King Henry. King Henry management had a pattern of failing and charging people who were not present at cleaning checks to perform little tasks. Since I was on campus all day, I could not be there for the cleaning check.

My roommate and some of the other people in the ward developed a strategy of not doing anything at all until the inspectors arrived. While the inspector was standing there, my roommate and others would promptly only clean the items deemed dirty. They would only have to frantically work for the 5 minutes that the inspector in the apartment. The strategy proved very effective.

TPM Loses BYU Approval

Local management company, "Total Property Management" also known as "TPM" which manages over 50 properties in the area, including many larger complexes, just lost its BYU approval. All owners of properties managed by TPM have been given approximately 6 weeks to procure a new management company before losing their approval.

Can anyone say "it's about time?"

Authority without Responsibility: Part I

The Office for Conflict Resolution is on the fourth floor of the Wilkinson Center and I went there last night for the first time. If you call their office, you’ll most likely speak with Janet - a kind, helpful, understanding woman who works at the front desk. I sat by her desk as I filled out a ‘Request for Mediation’ form - mediation between Belmont Apartments (the ghetto Belmont, located at 195 E 600 N) and myself. Belmont Apartments alleges that I owe them $80 and informed me that I will be evicted at the end of three days if that balance is not paid. I hold that they are chasing a bogus charge, demanding payment for services never rendered. Neither of us will budge, hence the request for mediation. I would say that I am a pretty patient, easygoing guy; it takes a lot to get me riled up. Even so, I have been pushed past irritation and even anger; I’ve been pushed to action.
I’ll relate my experience, and if you’re interested, I’ll follow up with parts II, III, and so on until it’s over. The reason I’m writing is simple. It’s time things start getting better, not worse. That means it’s time for a little responsibility to be added to the authority so freely given (or taken) by apartment complexes in Provo. BYU contracted apartments is the only option available for the 26,000+1 students here, and I have no doubt that you will relate closely to the experience I am about to share. We have all experienced the difficulties of finding an apartment in Provo; choices are limited and they fill up quickly. Wait too long and you take what is left. It is apparent that owners of various complexes know this. These apartments are not run like normal businesses, working to entice new customers or please existing ones. Instead, apartments are only repaired when they are close to falling down and in danger of being condemned. Requests for repairs, more reliable internet, or a more complete record and explanation of fees charged are either ignored or waved aside with ambiguous statements by managers such as, “We’ll talk to the owner about it,” or, “We’ll try to get that fixed soon.” I was told “…Yes, you ‘can’ move in early; the apartment will be ‘ready’…” Apparently ‘can’ and ‘ready’ have entirely different meanings to landlords than they do to tenants.

Housing Shortage

I've been hearing more and more about a housing shortage in Provo for single men's BYU approved housing. I found a blog describing the story of a few BYU guys who just plain don't have anywhere to live. Of course, this problem comes at the same time that BYU decided to close one of its on-campus housing complexes, Deseret Towers, and also as they've shrunk the boundaries for approved housing.

Post contracts for free on RateMyApartments.com

RateMyApartments.com, a website traditionally used for rating student apartments, has recently added a new feature that many have long been looking for--posting contracts! Along with everything else on the website, it is absolutely free...as in...free from cost, free from ads, and free from user accounts.

Homelessness in Provo

I'm like many BYU students who have no place to live between summer term and fall semester. See my summer term housing contract ended and I can't move into my new fall housing for another week. The in between time, I've been crashing on friends couches and such. Today, I was up on BYU campus with a cardboard sign around my neck saying HOMELESS just to see what people's reactions were. For the most part, people just ignored me, except for the one BYU cop who asked if I really was homeless and if I needed help. I've posted a short essay on the homeless situation on my blog as well as a couple pictures and other posts.

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