Party culture skews local landlords’ view of students

RACHEL BAKICH, Channels Staff

City College students are destroying homes and apartments, consequently making it harder to find housing in the future.

It’s no secret that college students can get out of hand when partying, and at times these parties leave a trail of destruction behind them. But apartments are left vandalized by their own tenants, from broken windows, graffiti on the walls and beer bottles scattered in the parking lot.

It’s no wonder why landlords are so hesitant to rent to students. If we want our landlords to take us more seriously, then we simply need to start taking better care of our homes.

In my time here, in Santa Barbara, I’ve experienced first hand the kind of destruction students can cause on a wild night out. When I lived on the Mesa, the parties were constant and usually resulted in the cops being called.

Having fun with friends is a great part of college but should not be everyday of the week.

There is a time and place to blare your music and it’s not on a Monday night when your neighbors are putting their kids to sleep.

The stories heard from the Alamo complex alone on Oceano Ave. are countless. The loud music that would shake the windows until 3 a.m. or the screaming matches with the neighbors are just the tip of the iceberg.

The walls that surrounded the complex were laced with graffiti and beer cans decorated the bushes. I can’t even begin to count how many vases and windows were broken from a friendly game of indoor soccer.

I remember walking into my laundry room on a Friday morning and stepping into a pool of blood. Next to this mysterious pool, I saw a large rock and smeared fingerprints of said blood over the walls and inside the washing machine. My first reaction was, of course, that there was a possible murderer on the loose. However, after speaking to my neighbor I was informed that someone had become so belligerent they threw a rock and cut his friend. Months later, I moved out and the bloodstains were still there as a permanent part of the residence.

It was only last week that someone came over drunk and punched the hallway window in my current home. Now, we’re left with a hole in our window and a trail of glass and blood on the stairs.

Paying rent does not mean you can damage the property and disturb your neighbors.

Freedom is exciting and you want to have fun with your friends. That’s great, listen to music and show your skills on that keg stand. However, when you find yourself throwing rocks at people in the laundry room, it’s time to reconsider your definition of fun.

The strained relationship between landlord and student is very apparent when scrolling through Craigslist to find housing.

Large portions of posts consist of the capitalized words “working professionals only.”

Otherwise, landlords will have parents sign paperwork that basically holds them responsible for any damage on the property.

To clarify, I do not believe all students bring damage to their homes. There is absolutely an abundance of responsible City College students that make great tenants.

It is just the unfortunate truth that when students do decide to act like this, they represent all City College students. Therefore, when students are looking for a place to live, the options are limited.

Landlords’ view of college students will be rightfully skewed and they will be less inclined to rent to us.

It may be an unpopular opinion, but as students who are emerging into the adult world, we must start treating our properties with more respect.

Between housing availability and rent prices, finding housing is hard enough. Why would we make it any harder on ourselves?