Students face rental woes in Arcata

By Justin Bell
Flapjack Chronicle

The dreaded search for a new place to live. Many HSU students endure this search on an annual basis. And in Arcata this can prove to be difficult.

One difficulty students can face when trying to rent is if they have a cat or dog. This limits the amount of possible places to live because only a select amount of landlords will allow pets to live in their properties. Pets tend to cause damages to homes as well as leave odors that can linger after a tenant has stopped renting the property.

Dog owner Warren Smith, 24, said it’s difficult to find a suitable place to live that allows dogs as well.

“I must have gone to over ten houses that I was looking at renting before finding one that fit,” Smith said, “There were a lot of places that just didn’t seem like good places to live.”

Students have two routes to choose from when renting. They can choose to rent from a private landlord that owns the property or go through a property management company that either owns apartment complexes or acts as a middle man between the renter and landlord. The three main property management companies in Arcata are K Kramer, Strombeck and Humboldt Property Management.

Humboldt Property Management works with landlords to find applicants for their properties. They provide showings to potential renters and then process their applications. Maintenance is provided by Humboldt Property Management making it easier for the actual owner of the property.

Humboldt Property Management employee Nicky Townsend said the landlord has the final say who ends up being selected for the property.

“Ultimately it’s up to the landlord to figure out who they want to rent the property to,” Townsend said. “We just process the applications, they decide if the applicant fits their criteria. We have over 1200 landlords that we work with.”

Renters also face issues when they have problems or things break on the property. Landlords and property management companies deal with these situations differently. Some are very proactive and deal with the situation immediately while some are more timely when it comes to fixing issues.

Arcata renter Sam Barton, 20, said she’s had difficulties with property management companies when it comes to issues with the property she’s renting.

“I’ve rented through both a private landlord and Humboldt Property Management,” Barton said. “The landlord was definitely more helpful when I had issues with the property, Humboldt Property Management was difficult to deal with and sometimes wouldn’t respond when I needed maintenance done.”

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