New digs for new grads

Amid the flutter of final papers and projects, graduatingstudents living in campus housing have one more thing to worryabout besides receiving their diploma: finding a new place tolive.

Graduating students have thirty days to vacate their homes,according to Joe Vennes, the administration manager for CollegeHousing Northwest (CHNW). Around 150 students are estimated to bemoving out of college housing in June, according to CHNW.

There’s no need to worry about finding a new place to live,according to Vennes.

“Right now is a great time to find an apartment … because themarket is so soft,” Vennes said. A free month’s rent and even DVDplayers are being offered by some landlords as incentive forrenting their apartments, according to Vennes.

“You can get good deals just about anywhere,” Vennes said. potential renters can receive a quote, basedon their income, of how much renters should be paying. With amonthly income of $1600, renters should not pay more than $520 forrent and utilities in the Portland-Vancouver area, according

When it comes to finding an apartment, Vennes suggests gettingout from in front of your computer and walking or driving to scoutout the best deal.

“In downtown, walking the streets is the best thing to do,”Vennes said, “In the more spread out areas, driving works best.” Ifwalking isn’t an appealing option, then may beuseful. Putting in the address of the area desired to live in willprovide a list of housing availability in that area.

When it comes to actually renting, knowing the laws protectingrenters is useful. According to federal law, renters cannot bediscriminated against by a “person’s gender, race, color, nationalorigin, religion, disability, family status.” Oregon state lawprohibits discrimination based on marital status or the source of arenter’s income. In the city of Portland and Multnomah Countysexual orientation and gender identity cannot be grounds for alandlord denying renting to a potential tenant. Fair Housingmaintains a complaint phone number at 503-223-8197 or1-800-424-3247.

Once into an apartment, another useful resource for renters isthe Community Alliance of Tenants (CAT). CAT provides renters withinformation about their rights and it maintains a “renter’s rightshotline” at 503-288-0130. CAT can help get repairs made in a rentalif a landlord will not.

Students planning on moving out of campus housing should notfocus entirely on their new place of residence. Vennes has somerecommendations concerning moving out of college housing. Makingsure all your belongings are gone and nails are out of the walls isa good first step. Students don’t have to clean their apartmentswhen moving out; a non-refundable cleaning fee is paid when movingin to CHNW housing. Turning in your keys will ensure the return ofat least some of your security deposit. Completing and mailing achange of address form to the post office will ensure you receiveyour mail – otherwise, it will be returned to the sender.