Parent Times: The University of Iowa
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SPRING 2000-01
Volume 44, Number 3


Forget the Stereotypes: Nurses Explore New Fields

Abusive Drinking: University, Parents' Efforts Begin to Show Results

Presidential Reflections

Read This Before Renting

Senior Care: Respect, Understanding Kindness Can Quiet Fears

The Daily Iowan: Much More Than It Seems

Cataloguing Challenges: New Librarian Takes on a Big Job

Track Legislation on UI Web Sites

Parents Board Funds Projects for 2001-02

Campus Event Calendar

Parent Times Briefs

University Calendar

Read This Before Renting

When students first think of the idea, it seems perfect: "Let’s rent an apartment together. We get along well, and it would be fun to have some parties. We’ll have quiet when we want to study, and we don’t have to put up with (name your irritants)."Apartment for rent

By the time logic sets in, the lease is signed.

Iowa City residents know that summer is coming when the sublease ads start to appear in the papers: "Desperate—Have job in Chicago now, apartment in I.C. through August. Sublease for $425/mo. Call…."

If you sense that your son or daughter is catching apartment fever, you can get facts to help your student decide whether this is the right move and if it is, to anticipate any problems that might arise and take care of them in advance.

To find an apartment, your son or daughter may use the Housing Clearinghouse, which gives your student a handy place to examine apartment listings. It is located at the Campus Information Center, Terrace Lobby, Iowa Memorial Union, or at

The clearinghouse staff will help students interpret the apartment ads. In addition, they offer:

  • a courtesy phone to call landlords for appointments

  • local newspapers

  • campus, city, and transit maps

  • comprehensive apartment directories

  • many other useful handouts for new residents

Another source of help is at, a web site developed by the Tenant-Landlord Association, or in the association’s printed Apartment Guide, which it issues with the Housing Clearinghouse. The web site tells both landlords and tenants how to deal with common problems:

  • Your landlord has failed for one week to correct a plumbing leak under your sink.

  • Your landlord pops in without notice.

  • You arrive to move into your new apartment and find a serious problem with it.

  • Your landlord seldom gives back damage deposits.

  • You find out, after moving in, that there are fees charged for any maintenance.

A look at the landlord’s part of the site will tell you the problems they have with tenants, too—nonpayment or slow payment of rent, damage to the property, noise complaints, unauthorized persons living in an apartment, furniture left in the apartment after a tenant moves, even criminal acts occurring on the landlord’s premises.

Rent is just the first expense. The cost of food also must be factored in. Apartments must be furnished, which can add a lot to the cost even if the furniture is secondhand. Pots and pans, a television (and a subscription to cable TV), curtains, towels and washcloths, silverware, dishes…It can be a major expense to buy these things. For other considerations, check this site.

It’s important to make sure you have answers to your questions before the lease is signed. What seems like a minor problem that can be settled easily can mushroom into a lawsuit if issues are not resolved.

Many students do move into apartments and are very happy in their new location. But it takes advance planning to make it work.


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