BARHA Question 2: Have you ever been a tenant? Where? Tell us about your experience.
Aaron Brockett: Yes, I rented a room in a woman’s house in college, I rented a three-bedroom ADU from a family after I graduated from college, and also rented an apartment in a small residential tower in my mid-20’s. My wife and I also rented a single-family home in Boulder for 9 months in 2003 while we waited for our current townhouse to be built.
Rachel Friend: Lots of times – multiple spots in Indiana, California, and Florida. (And briefly in Boulder, with my sister as landlord.) Most of my leases were procured from a distance, with limited time to research, and pre-internet. Remember that era!? That left me with renting in apartment communities, which generally have units available on short notice. My experiences were positive. One staple was good neighbors; I tend to get to know, and get along with, people I am in close proximity to.
Bob Yates: Six of the first seven properties my family and I lived in when I was a child were rental units. Some were in apartment buildings, others were rental houses. These were in Omaha, Des Moines, and Los Angeles. Then, as a college student in Scranton, I lived in rental houses. After my wife and I were married, we lived in a series of six apartments in San Francisco, Omaha, and London. All of my more than one dozen experiences as a tenant—as a child, as a student, and as a young adult—were positive. Mutual respect between the landlords and the tenants was the key to those good relationships.
Junie Joseph: I am currently a tenant. I live in graduate student housing. I am allowed to live in Grad housing in Boulder for as long as I am a student. It is very expensive. I pay approximately 1,150 dollars a month for a small one-bedroom apartment. Prior to moving to my current place, I was living with a family in Louisville and commuting into Boulder every day. They were very kind, but that is not the experience that I was looking for as an adult woman. I am worried once I graduate that I will be priced out of the rental market in Boulder. I have checked online with BHP and saw that the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is between 1,350-1,500 dollars, depending on whether it is market rate or subsidized.
Mark Wallach: I lived for many years in Manhattan and Brooklyn, and I was a tenant for more than 20 years, first in a small studio, then in a one bedroom, finally in a two-bedroom apartment. My experience was mixed. When I lived in a studio apartment in a brownstone, my landlords were terrific and attentive. The latter two experiences were not bad (by New York standards), but the building – a large apartment building – was not very well maintained by a largely disengaged landlord. The conditions were hardly terrible; it was just that ownership was essentially absent, and the on-site super required compensation in order to do anything substantial in the way of maintenance. Not unusual for New York, but nothing special, either.
Adam Swetlik: I was a tenant for 10 years is Boulder, most of them under larger property management companies. I have to say that the experience was much better renting from individuals than larger companies. The upkeep and service tended to be much better. Also there was always a problem getting security deposits back from larger corporations, and it was absolutely necessary to take pictures of the entire unit to ensure there were no charges for pre-existing damage or wear.