Local landlords explain policies

By Stewart Warren

Prepaid rents and security deposits protect student tenants and landlords, according to DeKalb apartment managers.

Sixth Ward Alderman Jamie Pennington proposed a landlord and tenant ordinance limiting the amount of prepaid rent to a month and a half. The proposal also makes the interest payments on deposits mandatory for apartment complexes with 10 or more units.

Pennington’s proposal failed by a vote of 4-3 at the Jan. 29 DeKalb City Council meeting.

Jim Mason, owner of James Court apartments and other complexes, said “rules are set in place to protect everybody—tenants, visitors and landlords.”

Lincolnshire West Manager Joyce Williams said her complex required the last two months of rent prepaid because “prepaid rents prevent one roommate from walking out on another” leaving the rent unpaid before the lease is over.

Williams said she pays interest on security deposits. “Generally, most students are pretty good renters and) some students are excellent—they get their security deposit and some interest returned to them,” she said.

Laing Management also requires prepaid rent, assistant office manager Nancy Teichmiller said.

“May, June and July rent is prepaid before you move in,” Teichmiller said. “It’s easier to get summer rent before tenants move in rather than after they move out.”

Security deposits assure Laing Management of clean apartments in good condition when leases expire, she said.

Every landlord has rules, and Laing Management and Lincolnshire West managers both said they forbid beer kegs in their apartments.

Laing Management fines residents $150 if a keg is found in an apartment, Teichmiller said. “We don’t allow kegs because kegs bring strangers … and a lot of times things get out of hand,” she said.

Williams said Lincolnshire West forbids kegs because ” The noise levels are higher and there is less control.”