Comments about ‘BYU students struggle with gap weeks between housing contracts’

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Published: Saturday, Aug. 10 2013 10:25 p.m. MDT

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Beck to Harline
Provo, UT

This is exactly what happened to me after Fall Semester, Winter Semester, and Spring Term this past year. It's a real problem, no matter what the cause of it is. I hope they figure something out soon, because as of now, it is extremely inefficient/impractical.

Auckland NZ, 00

A free market approach to property rental without the BYU nanny might go a long way towards alleviating problems like this. But that would require recognising that its students are adults.

Zadruga Guy
West Jordan, UT

Maybe things have changed from when I went to the Y, but I sure don't recall Provo landlords being willing to work with students during the gaps. I recall on one occasion sleeping in my car overnight.

Payson, UT

Landlords are all about helping themselves, excuse me, helping students out. I mean, combined rent that is usually around 1200 or more for a tiny shabby apartment in Provo is perfectly reasonable even though it rivals my mortgage! If property owners are frustrated by this perception that they are emptying their properties then maybe they shouldn't do it. Encouraging students to talk to them is a good start, they are usually great at fixing maintenance issues really quickly too! Years ago as a freshman from out of state I experienced the same thing at on campus BYU Housing, had to take my stuff and stay at my sisters for a few days when changing from one dorm to another, but maybe my perception was just off. I'm sure there are many caring property owners but I think there are a healthy number that know that BYU students need to be in BYU approved housing and put the screws to them a bit with inflated cost and this homeless weekend issue.

Nana Sid
West Jordan, UT

Not just a BYU problem. Same thing happens in Logan with USU students.

Mark from Montana
Aurora, CO

I have had one son at BYU Prove and three daughters at BYU I and my experience with every landlord, and both of the student housing offices were negative. The landlords, in Provo particularly, are greedy with little regard for the students. Take a small apartment, fill it with six students each paying $300 per month and you can see how much money these people make. On top of that many are old and moldy places that if free market ruled, would be torn down. They also charge a 'utilities fee' that is supposed to cover phone lines. Yet when the apartment complex removed the phones, there was no drop in the utilities fee. The fee is enough to pay for all utilities, plus give the landlord an extra $300 - $$400 per month in profit.

I fully respect the stance BYU takes on housing, with three daughters attending college trust me I support the concept. Yet seldom does the housing offices do anything more than lip service. At BYU I, one daughter had a room mate that refused so shower, kept the heat on during the summer and the room stunk. She had to sleep with her sisters to survive.


I find Provo apartment complex managers to be complete crooks. They'll kick you out in a heartbeat when your contract ends, forcing you to scramble for a place to stay before you can move into your new place, but when it comes to evicting bad roommates... well, that's a three month ordeal. I had one roommate who after eating all our food and destroying my $1,200 laptop it was finally discovered he wasn't even supposed to be living there because his initial deposit check bounced. You'd think when this was brought to the management's attention they'd waste no time in getting him out of there. Nope. It took over a month. All part of standard eviction procedure, they said. What a joke.

City, Ut

Sadly, have to agree with the posters who see those who rent properties in utah county....the dollar signs in their eyes are paramount to everything else. :(

Dietrich, ID

When BYUI was Ricks and BYU now I am sure there are a few students who work on campus or in town between semesters. For major cleaning they may put them in one apartment while they clean the rest. Christmas break don't know how many charge extra.

Not a whole lot of people are homeless if they don't have to be. If you enjoy camping summer not bad time to wait until school starts to camp if you can stay warm. Of course that is out of the question in the Winter.

Some people seem to have bad roommate experiences. For ones that don't shower, cost money I would say people need to do things about them. However for the most part I think many roommates wind up being the best of friends. It was that way with me for most roommates, though some are not great experiences. I never meant them before either and knowing them before you room can help. But many strangers become friends.

Riverdale, MD

TimBehrend, I have to say, I don't know that a free market approach would fix the problem. I think with a free market, the apartment management would be LESS inclined to be accommodating to students' needs. At least with the "BYU nanny" the school housing office can help resolve problems. Without BYU, they would be more likely to have contracts that ended at the end of a month but for most students, a contract that coincides with the school year is a nice benefit.

I also was EXTREMELY grateful when I was a BYU student that I didn't have to pay more rent if someone moved out early or hound roommates for their share of rent or utilities. Individual contracts have so many advantages. I was very grateful that I didn't come home to people having sex or smoking marijuana in my bedroom, like all my friends at other schools experienced. I think the "BYU nanny" helps students with housing more than it hurts.

Russell Howes
Los Angeles, CA

The teaser headline on the front page "Is BYU's 'homeless period' a real problem or the result of poor planning?" is tabloid-esque and pretty clearly biased towards mitigating criticism of the Y's arcane and ridiculous housing policy. Yes this problem happens at non-church schools, but there the students have the option to live elsewhere, giving the complexes a little more incentive to not shaft their tenants.

BYU students are a captive market susceptible to landlords whose apartments or management either (a) do not meet quality standards and manage to keep their approval through dishonest tactics or (b) woefully overcharge for the quality of apartment they provide. With the recent transition from student to YSA wards, this seems like a great time for BYU to ditch its onerous housing policies and start treating its students as adults, like other posters have said.

Danbury, CT

I thought we were talking about BYU going independent in football...

San Bernardino, CA

All these people are crying about the landlords making so much money off of students. Why don't you just buy a place down there for yourself or your student if you think they are so profitable? I've wanted to buy property down there, but struggle to know how to make it worth my while.

Bountiful, UT

Loved Provo and had a great time there. However, dealing with my landlord was a real pain too - especially because I was already married and with a kid. Our landlord made us sleep on our car for a night, because she lied to us saying she didn't get a hold of our references, when the truth was that she never called them at all (we called each of the names and no even one received any call). Both her and her husband manage the Villa Rose Apartments, around 100 South. They only have three ours a day of office hours, they are always traveling and knocking their door is ALWAYS a inconvenience. One day my wife went there to talk with them and their daughter answered the door and said my wife shouldn't be coming over with repairs request because it always upset her mom. We really hated those landlords - and every single couple we know that lives there also do. DON'T GO TO THE VILLA ROSE APARTMENTS!

Plano, TX

I had to return to school a week before my contract opened at 9th north and 9th east. They absolutely refused any option to me so I could move in, even though the apartment was empty and cleaned professionally. I ended up drive next to the city park east of the apts later in the evening, throwing a sleeping bag out for the night. One kind jogger woke me up each morning as the sun was coming up. Got in the apt on 1st day allowed. Months later, met the jogger; happened to be the mayor of Provo. Long time ago but still funny.


I managed a business in Provo that had small storage spaces for rent. Every August we moved in a few dozen BYU students who stayed a week, then emptied their lockers. In talking with them, a few went and camped on the beach in CA for a week, some went camping up the canyon, and a few did the real homeless gig, sleeping in their cars or in city parks for a few days. Provo's homeless population is probably the least drug addicted in the nation, but you better believe they are there, at least for a few days in August.

Box elder, UT

Before you sign a contract ask what their policy is if you needed to stay a few days longer or move in early. If they say they will work with you, get that in writing. Or have them highlight that part of the policy in the contact that states that. If they are unwilling at least you know that upfront.

Joe Schmoe
Orem, UT

Maybe I need to start letting students stay in my basement for $50 a week during this time. I could pack in about 40 of them in sleeping bags.

I've never even heard of this problem so it is good someone is bringing it to light. I was married by the time I went to BYU so we lived in on campus married housing. It was a great deal and we made some great friends.

I'm hoping with the drop in freshmen due to missions, the landlords will start to clean up their places and rent will drop. Competition will be a good thing for Provo.

Bountiful, UT

Every semester break I have my college children and nieces and nephew¡ 5 kids total. Sometimes, an extra friend too. And all because landlords. In fact, it doesn't matter if they are renewing comtract, they got to leave. Maybe they could stay but have to pay extra but these kids live on instant soup diet so they just grab their boxes and get out. Housing ddoes not charge cheap and yes, there is housing that looks like getto. In fact, one time, we rent an apartment because pics look nice but when we landed in Provo and met the room, there was no way on how to get out of contract. The room was dark, smell moldy, mattreses was like one from a shelter and dont start me with the bathroom. BYU Housing response? "my son lives there and it's perfectly fine". I didn't think so!

New Haven, CT

I cannot speak for all of the BYU-area properties, but it is pretty clear that in many instances this is a classic social choice instance of rent-seeking by the landlords. They have found many ways to extract higher-than-market benefits from BYU administration.

Like any similar planned economic system, BYU's policy has created perverse incentives for the landlords-- they understand that they can do virtually anything to local students without facing consequences. This is why King Henry and Belmont didn't lose accreditation in light of site-allowed drinking culture and dangerous parties. This is also why a particularly popular student married housing complex applied birth defect-causing concrete sealant without warning its residents, and BYU discouraged the formation of a tenant strike to resolve the complaints.

Any economist worth his salt, including BYU's Kearl or Pope would tell you the particular inputs would yield this result.

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