Housing Shortage at UVa

Hundred of students will be arriving for school this fall without a place to live, Elizabeth Nelson reports in Sunday’s Progress. Eagle’s Landing and Camden Plaza, two new student apartment complexes, have been pre-renting apartments for months, with Eagles Landing telling prospective students on their website that if they decide to live there, “[their] life will be a million times easier.” The only problem is that, due to construction delays, the complexes won’t be finished until well after the students arrive. UVa doesn’t have nearly enough dorms to house the students, and it’s not clear if area hotels could handle them all. A consequence of UVa’s approach to housing students, or just an unfortunate situation?

15 thoughts on “Housing Shortage at UVa”

  1. I’m wondering if this is a problem with a lot of major public universities. VCU was having this very same problem recently. They had to put students up in hotels. They lost a lot of money because the cost of the hotels was obviously waaay more than the room and board costs they took in. Why did it happen at all? Because they only had like 2 or 3 dorms. Amazing. But I’m betting that universities all over are having these growing pains from their increased enrollment. They need to catch up on their infrastructure. I for one believe in the subsidized housing for one major reason, protecting the students financially. When I was going to school in Richmond I got reamed living in the Fan. There was no way to pay for even a sh*tty student lifestyle *with* roommate. I was forced to take on FT work to pay bills. And what was I there to do again? Oh yeah. Flunk out.

    I’m for controlled growth, and I wouldn’t mind some of that being dorms. It would help us reclaim some of Charlottesville’s suffering neighborhoods, too. Shame it’s coming to a head when we so can’t afford it.

  2. seems unfortunate, but there’s nothing UVA should have to do about it. if i were a leasee at eagle’s nest, and i had it on paper that they were going to have a unit available for me on a certain date, i’d either be moving in on that date, or i’d be suing for alternate living arrangements til my place was done. personally, i wouldn’t have signed a lease on a place that wasn’t finished yet, but that’s just me. oh well, that’s the price you pay for living in a swanky new apt. complex, i guess.

  3. this has nothing whatsoever to do with UVA save for the fact that the apartment complexes advertised themselves to UVA students. None of the students will be first years, they all have to live in university housing. this is housing that doesn’t have to do with the school…its just some business making a bad move and they’ll be responsible for putting their tenants up if the apartments aren’t ready.

  4. A consequence of UVa’s approach to housing students, or just an unfortunate situation?

    Well, it’s both. As UVa policy currently stands, the students (except for first-year undergraduates) bear the burden of making their own housing arrangements. This has numerous advantages and disadvantages for both the university and its customers (the students) who are paying for its services. Even if UVa were to build or otherwise create more on-Grounds housing options, my bet is there would be a stigma for choosing this — when you’re 19, it’s a big deal to be moving in to your own place, especially when that’s what your friends (other UVa students) are doing. If a UVa-sponsored option were available, I imagine it would be offered at a lower cost than most apartments (although maybe not than sharing a house, though there are other issues, both legal and practical, surrounding that arrangement), adding to the stigma — only poor kids would live on Grounds.

    But landlords’ ability to capitalize on student demand for housing has tremendously overinflated rental rates in Charlottesville, no two ways about it. Because there are almost no options available from UVa, landlords get away with a lot that they couldn’t otherwise. Although I think this is just an unfortunate situation and the apartment complexes mentioned here weren’t out to make promises they couldn’t keep, the problem continues. At least these companies are trying to do the right thing ahead of time to prevent a worst-case scenario, even though they can’t meet a best-case one.

  5. Having lived near the grounds for two years in student-type apartment buildings, I’ve found out that the problem with finding housing is based upon the managing companies. When my wife (a grad student) and I first came to visit campus, we were told that we should look for housing immediately (in May, for our August arrival). We went through Wade Apts and found a nice place on University Circle. We moved into the apartment in August and by March, we were asked if we were renewing. We decided not to, and found an apartment off Grady Ave. through MSC. We moved into the MSC property the next August, and by Feb. they were asking us to renew.

    Most apartments that I’ve lived in required only two months adavance for renewal, but properties around UVA require notice right after the spring semester has started; It’s crazy.

  6. So where would you suggest displaced students live while suing Eagles Landing?

    Maybe we could have a tent city on the lawn…..

  7. In most rental leases, if the leasor cannot provide the complex at the time of the lease, then it is null and void. If the students got there and their apartment wasn’t ready, the lease is gone and they don’t have to pay squat. They can simply tear up that agreement.

    I had something similar where I moved into a new townhouse and it wasn’t ready for a few weeks. The landlord said that I could tear up the lease.

    I guess the only problem is that mad weekend where the floods of students arrive. I guess if I was a another rental outfit, I would be licking at the chops.

  8. breaking the lease is one thing. having someplace to live is another. i don’t think anyone is going to argue that these kids can’t break the lease if their apartments aren’t ready. the real problem for them will be finding an alternative to their ruined housing plans. this close to the school year, there’s no way there going to find a place comparable. but like i said before, not my problem, as i have a roof over my head.

  9. Yeah, when I was going to JMU they had NO problems with the student section of the city. They had a area close to the school with apartment buildings everywhere. Plus, it was CHEAP in price as compared to Cville. So if you decided to get the latest and greatest apartments and they were not ready, you had NO problem finding a another one. I totally agree with you, this AIN’T my problem.

  10. If the lease is a simple contract, with a promise to pay rent exchanged for a promise to provide housing, then if the lessor "defaults" on the contract he must arrange for suitable housing. You may be right, though, if the lease contract contains specific language as to what would happen in the event of the building not being ready. I don’t know if they have that or not.

  11. I’m not a lawyer, I don’t play one on tv, blah blah blah…

    The landlord is not obligated to provide housing. In the event that the housing is not available, the rental agreement is terminated. If the rental agreement is terminated, the landlord is not obligated to the tenant in any way.

    If your apartment building burns down, you are not obligated to put the tenants up in a hotel. The landlord is responsible for nothing more than returning any prepaid rent or securities.

    I suggest you read the Virginia landlord tenant act before making such wild assumptions. It’s really quite irresponsible of you.

  12. I suggest you read the Virginia landlord tenant act before making such wild assumptions. It’s really quite irresponsible of you.

    It really is! Just think of all the frivolous lawsuits that have been filed in this country based on arguments on internet discussion forums.


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