Wednesday, April 20, 2011

WWU Student Interest in Rental Licensing Not Flagging

Rental licensing and inspection remains a topic of substantial interest at Western Washington University where over 8,000 students plunge into Bellingham's rental market each year. This mass of renters vie with local residents for the estimated 17,000 to 18,000 rental units within the city limits. The closer to campus, the better and the less expensive, the better. That sets up a dynamic akin to a game of musical chairs but with financial implications as this demand tends to drive up prices and create an atmosphere conducive to poor conditions.

With the recent publication of a survey on rental conditions by the Viking Community Builders and Neighbors for Safe Rentals, Western Front student journalist Emma Chadband reviewed the findings and wrote an article, Rentals Get Poor Marks in Tenant Survey, that appeared on April 19th. The article is available by clicking on the image at left.

The appearance of the article is timely in that this is the season during which most of the students are seeking housing off-campus for the next academic year. Perhaps, in some small way, the information on rental conditions will spur some students and their parents to ask hard questions about the condition of these rentals. In the long run, the most effective mechanism to ensure that rentals are safe is to have a mandatory licensing and inspection ordinance.

You can read more about the rental survey itself by reading my previous blog entry entitled Survey on Rental Conditions - "Bellingham, we have a problem". (Click here)


NewGame said...

A report of poor conditions can come from a renter??

Zonemaven said...

Yes, or from anyone else for that matter. The present laws in Washington State allow for renters to complain but do not call for mandatory inspections.