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The Dartmouth
April 18, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Housing quality, rents often vary

Although it varies by term, between 8 and 9 percent of enrolled undergraduate students live off campus, according to Director of Undergraduate Housing Rachael Class-Giguere.

Patrick Campbell '15 said he decided to live off-campus so that he could live with all of his lacrosse teammates in one place. He said he enjoys having his own apartment and that living on his own has been a positive experience.

"I wasn't a big fan of the dorm rooms in the first place," Campbell said. "Plus, it's always been a lacrosse team tradition that every year the lacrosse guys get the apartments."

Living in the apartments above Murphy's on the Green is more expensive than campus housing, but it is worth it to pay extra to live off campus, according to Campbell. One plus is the kitchen, and the teammates enjoy cooking for each other and eating in their own home.

"We actually might have a couple mice in some cabinets, but everything else is fine," Campbell said. "The landlord's a good dude and a really nice guy he understands that people want to come over and hang out."

Although landlords are generally wary of renting to students, Jolin Kish '88 Th'91 said that she prefers renting to Dartmouth students.

"I don't really have issues with students because I know what to expect," she said. "When I was a student, no one wanted to rent to me, and when I started my company, I specifically founded it to meet the housing needs of the College."

Kish, who owns Kish Consulting and Contracting, said that as an alumna she understands what students want out of off-campus housing and thus is capable of catering to the needs of her tenants. Kish holds orientation meetings for all of her tenants to go over the guidelines of their rental agreements at the start of each lease.

"If you know how to communicate appropriately, then you can set expectations appropriately, and everything goes quite smoothly," she said.

Katharine Pujol '13, who lives at 13 South Park, said she appreciates living with 10 of her best friends in one place because it allows them to spend more time together, as there are many more activities they share by living together.

"Being in a house is a lot better than being in a campus dorm because you feel more self-sustainable," Pujol said. "We're always sitting around the kitchen talking, eating and doing homework."

The house is among the oldest in Hanover and has many issues, including Internet access problems and rodent infestations, according to Pujol. She said, however, that though the entire house is "warped," it is adequate for her and her roommates' needs.

"My bed is on wheels and sometimes it will roll to the middle of the room during the night," Pujol said. "You feel like you're in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' when you walk in because the doors are all warped."

Pujol said that the most difficult part of living off campus is dealing with a landlord. All of the tenants have to pay their share of the heating, rent and electricity bills, she said.

The average rent for a unit close to campus is $850 per person, according to Kish. This price decreases as the distance from campus increases.

Kish rents by the year, so students may find themselves in situations in which they have to sublet their apartment during their off-terms. This is especially difficult during the Winter term, according to Kish, and students may end up with an empty room for the winter, especially if their room is not close to campus.

"Fall is by far the highest demand term, hands down," Kish said. "Spring and summer are about the same, but winter is really slow."

James Lee '13, who lives at 7 Maple Street, currently lives with three of his freshman floormates. He said that they wanted to live off campus because the "big consensus" among them was to have a culminating senior year experience with the people with whom they started at Dartmouth.

"We asked ourselves, Who do we want to be around and what kind of senior year experience do we want to have?'" Lee said.