Students living in Isla Vista will have the chance to learn about their rights as tenants and the move-out process at a workshop tonight at 7 in I.V. Theater.
Representatives from the Community Housing Office, A.S. Legal Resource Center and I.V. Tenants Union will discuss preparations for moving out, emphasizing communication between roommates, tenants and landlords. Landlords from Wolfe & Associates and BDC Management, Inc. will also be present to talk about security deposits and answer questions. The event will include free pizza and prizes, including a digital camera, several disposable cameras, certificates for the Community Housing Office’s video service and Swiffer sweepers from Albertsons.
“We are going to educate people about how to better communicate with landlords. Sometimes students lose sight of the fact that this is a business relationship and landlords are not out to get them,” said Elizabeth Yossem-Guy, Community Housing Office program coordinator. “I think there is a pervasive attitude among students of, ‘Oh, I’m not going to get my deposit back, so I might as well not clean the place.’ We’re here to say, ‘No, you can get your deposit back, and you do have rights, but there are procedures to do so.'”
Along with tenant rights, the Tenants Union will give a presentation on the move-out process, including how to cancel utilities, forward mail, clean up and divide the work among roommates. A major portion of the workshop is dealing with the security deposit, Tenants Union representative Melissa Ruiz said.
“We want to encourage students to ask [the landlords] questions, because that’s where all the mystique is. Students think that they don’t have any control over their security deposit, but they do,” said Robin Unander, an attorney adviser with the Legal Resource Center. “This will take the shock value out of it. Some students are resigned that they won’t get their deposit back and some count on it – this is designed to help them get some money back.”
In the past, the Community Housing Office has held workshops for students regarding moving out, but this is the first year all three organizations have collaborated.
“We want to educate [students] so they know what their rights are, so they’re not apathetic and will be able to stand up for their rights,” Ruiz said. “Many I.V. residents think that they’re going to get screwed over their deposit, but a lot of it is knowing their rights.”