Rental surveys now online

Chad Hamblin

The results are in: student-tenants win.

Today, the Minnesota Student Association will publish some of the results of the student renters’ survey on its Web site.

Last year, MSA received approximately 1,300 surveys from student-tenants with information about properties around campus. The information includes rankings of landlord quality, privacy, value, safety and the condition of rental units. The 10 properties with the most responses will be published.

Among those properties are GrandMarc, The Melrose, Jefferson Commons and University Village.

Anthony Dew, chairman of MSA’s Facilities and Housing Committee, said the group will continue to add more rental locations to its Web site. When the Web site is complete, it will also include a search function and an interactive map.

“We want to make it as user-friendly as possible,” Dew said. “It’s a great resource for students.”

The published results aren’t a finished product and are meant to encourage students to fill out the student rental survey on MSA’s Web site, said President Tom Zearley.

The final Web site should be out by February so students can use the information during their housing search, said Zearley, who worked on the project last year.

Zearley said MSA was originally concerned the survey responses might only be negative and was surprised when it got an equal number of positive reviews.

“(With) some properties, it’s very obvious that students enjoy being there, and some properties students want to just pull their eyes out,” Zearley said. “We want students to know both cases.”

First-year graduate students Julie Whitcomb and Megan Kruse said the survey is a great idea.

“Especially if you’re new to the area,” Whitcomb said. “It’s always good to know if there are certain situations, like if there’s loud music, that sort of thing.”

Kruse said she loves her current home in Uptown, but it was a chore finding it.

“I think if it was a good database and students respected it, the people would use it,” she said.

First-year student Brenda Clayton said she lives in a residence hall, but hopes to find a house next year. She said the rental survey results would “definitely make things easier” for her search.

The results from the rental surveys won’t only help students, said Karen Kirkhoff, director of public relations and marketing at The Melrose apartment building.

The results will also help landlords better serve students, she said.

“It’s all about improvement,” she said.