Students start renters’ rights group, Web site
Many are not aware of protections
A group of students launched a class project, the Students for Renters’ Rights, at the end of March with a mission to educate students about their rights as tenants.
The project is for the class HNRS-302 The Politics of Human Rights, an honors colloquium that teaches the theoretical and legal foundations of human rights. The class challenges students to put theory into practice by managing a human rights campaign. The group is composed of seven students: Jon Baker, Ellie Ezzell, Jon Freimark, Brian Goodrich, Jennifer Kim, Aaron Luce and Quinn Pregliasco.
The Renter’s Bill of Rights
As a tenant in Washington, D.C. I have the right to ...
Legal services for tenants:
D.C. Bar Pro Bono Program: Legal Information Help Line
Tenant’s Advocacy Coalition: TENAC
D.C. Office of the Tenant Advocate: 202-719-6560
Information from the Students for Renters’ Rights Web site, rentersrights.community.officelive.com.
Students for Renters’ Rights hopes to get 500 students to sign its bill of rights. A week and a half into the campaign, they already had about 150 signatures, according to Goodrich and Pregliasco, who are juniors in the School of Public Affairs.
Students for Renters’ Rights will also cooperate with Housing and Dining Programs in compiling a resource guide for students living off campus. The group is in the process of writing a portion of the guide. They hope that the guide will have a lasting effect on the student body, according to Goodrich and Pregliasco.
“A lot of students don’t know what their rights are,” Pregliasco said.
Students for Renters’ Rights posted a survey that tests students’ knowledge of tenants’ rights. The scores were “really shocking,” according to Goodrich. The average score is a 55 out of 100 points.
“I didn’t even get a perfect score when I took the survey,” Goodrich said.
In 2008, The New York Times reported that the Student Housing Association, a D.C.-area property management company, was cited for a number of housing violations against AU students, including habitually ignoring tenant complaints and renting apartments without a license.
To help clarify tenants’ rights, Students for Renters’ Rights has posted a number of resources on its Web site. These resources include a guide to tenant-landlord laws, the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs’ housing regulations and overviews on different types of housing discrimination. The Web site also provides links to other renters’ advocates and government agencies charged with protecting tenants’ rights.
Students for Renters’ Rights will be tabling in the Mary Graydon Center on Friday afternoon.
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