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New Landlord Information Sharing Program to help students make best choices for off-campus rentals
New Landlord Information Sharing Program to helpstudents make best choices for off-campus rentalsApril 12, 2005Laura Madelonelmmadelo@syr.edu
Current students living off-campus and any students considering a move from on-campus residence halls to an off-campus apartment will be able to benefit from the Landlord Information Sharing Program launched by SU’s Office of Off-Campus Student Services (OCSS). The new program provides students with a method for communicating with each other from year to year about their rental housing challenges and successes. Specifically, it will offer:
- A constructive format to raise concerns about the quality of off-campus housing in a manner that will lead to issue resolution;
- a neutral context in which landlords can address students’ concerns, and;
- a record of concerns raised and the manner in which they were addressed.
Any Syracuse University or SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry student can fill out a comment form at http://students.syr.edu/offcampusliving or in person at the Office of Off-Campus Student Services, 754 Ostrom Ave. Students will be prompted to clearly explain concerns or issues on the form provided or by attaching a separate typed letter. Facts must be provided to describe a given situation that is the basis for their documentation-opinions of landlords with no supporting factual basis will not be considered for inclusion in this program. OCSS staff will also collect information about positive interactions that students have with their landlords.
“In our experience, conflicts between students and landlords often occur due to a breakdown in communication. We hope this program can promote more effective, constructive communication between students and their landlords. Ultimately, we hope this new program will reduce the number of student concerns that ultimately go unknown, unresolved or escalate beyond the point where an amicable resolution is possible,” says Laura M. Madelone, director of the Office of Off-Campus Student Services.
OCSS staff will forward a copy of the submitted comment form to the student’s landlord, who may respond to the concerns or issues directly or may respond by sending a letter to the OCSS. If the OCSS receives a response, a copy will be mailed to the student. OCSS staff will keep a copy of all comment forms and landlord responses. Comment forms will be saved by OCSS; students will be able to view comment forms and landlord responses as they search for off-campus housing. It is helpful for students viewing the landlord files to consider not only the number and type of concerns or issues raised, but the landlords’ responses to them.
“Sometimes landlords may not respond to student concerns or issues, or may respond unfavorably. OCSS staff will work with our students throughout the process to seek to accomplish a resolution to all problems. When appropriate, OCSS staff will refer students to agencies that may be better suited to resolve a given situation, such as the Syracuse Police Department, City of Syracuse Division of Code Enforcement, Conflict Mediation Center or Student Legal Services,” says Madelone.