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“It’s been a nightmare for everybody:” New off-campus UF housing not living up to expectations

UF Senior Brooke Utter says her apartments complex has no wifi and rat traps in the hallways
Published: Sep. 4, 2020 at 11:27 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - No internet access, some amenities not accessible, and rat traps in the hallways at The Hub on campus on Third Ave. “It’s been a nightmare for everybody, not just me,” said Brooke Utter.

“I can’t go to school physically cause of COVID so I’m stuck here and the wifi doesn’t work,” Utter explained. She did not expect the brand new off-campus apartment to come with those issues.

“So the effort that the property has put in to making things right, they haven’t really done.,” Utter added. “But it’s also outside their control because they’re college students themselves and they were thrown in a situation that they didn’t know they were going to be thrown into until corporate left only a week after move-in so their hands are kinda tied.”

TV20 called the apartment’s office number comment twice with no answer.

“Thank you for calling hub on campus Gainesville,” started the voicemail over the phone.

“Yeah this is a common situation that a lot of students find themselves in,” said Jeremiah Tattersall with the Alachua County Labor Union.

The Alachua County Labor Union has formed a tenants association so students like utter can join forces and demand change.

“At the end of the day if one person says ‘I’m not going to pay rent until this gets fixed’ the landlord might say ‘you can go fly a kite that’s fine.’ but if 20 percent of tenants say ‘we’re not gonna parent until our lawn is maintained, we’re not gonna pay rent until our laundry facilities are fixed’ you better bet they’re gonna fix it quickly,” Tattersall added.

The options don’t stop there. UF students can schedule an appointment online and apply for representation by Student Legal Services to resolve potential landlord-tenant issues.

Changes are coming for landlords and renters in apartment-rich Gainesville. City commissioners late Thursday voted to make significant changes to rental codes, including creating a mediation program for resolving disputes between renters and landlords.

Copyright 2020 WCJB. All rights reserved.

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