The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Adulting 101: Your Rights As A Tenant

According to Residence Life, about 25 percent of undergraduates dorm in University housing.

SGI hosted the panel discussion “Moving Off Campus & Your Rights as a Tenant” as part of their Adulting 101 series this past Friday. Panelists included Eric Finkelstein, director of Residence Life, Joe Gilani, a New York City realtor, and Larissa Kukapa, a junior who lives off-campus.

Atem Tazi, the junior senator of SGI moderated the discussion.

“We decided to host this event to provide insight to the students,” Tazi said. “I had an interesting experience — I lived on campus and then moved off sophomore year. Had I known more about what to expect, I would have made a wiser decision.”

“We are here to serve the students,” Finkelstein said.  “It’s up to the students to make a choice for them. List out the pros and cons and see what you’re getting or losing.”

Some of the amenities of living on-campus are free laundry, convenience of being close to campus, faculty engagement, the fitness center and counseling services.

Finkelstein compared the price of living on-campus to living off-campus, saying the average rate for one room, utilities, transportation, groceries and amenities is around $2,400 a month.

Anthony Iuliano, who works with the New York City Department of Housing, spoke about the do’s and don’ts when it comes to searching for a room.

“We live in an active district and New York City is one of the most expensive cities in the country, which is why we have the Multiple Dwelling Law,” Iuliano said.

The Multiple Dwelling Law states that no more than three non-related dwellers can live in a house. If a realtor advertises a house that violates this law, the city goes after the realtor.

“Do your homework. Get to know the owner and where they reside. Be a good neighbor, because they’re usually the ones who call the cops when there’s too much noise,” Iuliano said.

“My takeaway from this event was learning about my rights as a tenant,” Cooper Miqueli, a junior, said.

“Living off-campus is not as hard as I thought it would be. It just takes time preparation and patience,” junior Teresa Adeleye added.

Larissa Kukapa was previously an on-campus resident of Hollis and Carey Halls. She recommended students to do their research when it comes to moving off campus. .

“I had a great experience dorming at St. John’s,” Kukapa said. “It’s a lot more expensive to live off-campus. I haven’t even met my landlord.”

However, she was able to give advice to students who are thinking of living off-campus. “Do your research on where you’re living. Take your time, don’t rush it.”


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