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Illinois State students join campus organizations in renter’s notice for leasing companies

Written by on November 3, 2023

NORMAL, Ill. – Undergraduate students at Illinois State University will call upon the Normal Town Council at their November 6 meeting to enact an ordinance for local leasing companies.

The proposal in question would require companies such as Young America, SAMI, First Site and others that rent apartments to students to notify the renters before they enter their residence.

According to Junior Communications student Matthew Paul, Redbirds who rent in the Bloomington-Normal area face anxiety and worry about the lack of warning they have for prospective tours of their apartments. Paul talked about the opinion he and his peers share about a leasing company’s ability to enter a residence with no warning.

He said, “I just feel like landlords being able to come in unannounced without a 24-hour notice is a gross misuse of power.”

Paul says several students on campus have a collective experience in off-campus housing. They all find that it is not uncommon to find others who have had sudden and unannounced visits by prospective future renters of their apartment.

Paul spoke on the feelings these students face at the idea of strangers being in their apartments with little to no warning at all.

“I feel like when students are renting these apartments and living there, they should be able to feel comfortable and safe in their own homes,” he said. “The constant fear that the landlords can come in whenever I feel like that is a constant anxiety for these students.”

Paul elaborated on this point, retelling instances when students found themselves devoid of privacy in what he argues is one of their most vulnerable states.

“It’s a matter of respecting privacy,” he said. “I’ve heard lots of stories from other fellow redbirds that they’ve been at home, they’ve been sleeping and landlords have come in, they’ve been showering and landlords have come in.”

The Student Government Association at ISU attended a meeting of the Normal Town Council with the same proposal once this year. However, they will be bringing more support when they bring the proposal before the council this Monday.

Paul, as well as other concerned students, plan to attend the meeting and let their voices be heard. Other organizations in support include the Student Legislative Action Committee, which specifically works to bring student voices to local and statewide politics.

Despite student support, Paul and other students expect resistance from the town council as well as local leasing companies on the proposal. It has been in circulation among students for the past three years and has not yet proven to be successful.

“The landlords do have financial ties with some of the town council members, so I am kind of worried about that,” he said. “We are hoping that once they see this point of view from students, that they will get a better view of why we want this pushed.”