Students deserve prompt information about apartment ownership changes

Neha Dronamraju

Home is associated with safety, comfort and most importantly familiarity. Everyone deserves to feel secure in their residence — temporary or permanent. However, these positive associations are threatened when students face significant changes in their housing management without complete information from their proprietors. 

Harrison Williams, a Greystar senior community assistant and leasing agent, said 2400 Nueces houses approximately 700 residents. The apartment claims they “take care of everything — from apartment essentials to entertainment and recreation.” They also take care of decisions regarding management turnover, which directly impact student lives, without consulting residents. 

Student apartments must involve residents in major decisions that affect them and disseminate all information pertaining to that decision. 

Greystar, the owners of 2400 Nueces, sold the building to University Housing and Dining last year. Microbiology and Plan II sophomore Kavyaa Choudhary signed her lease in October and found out about the sale through a Daily Texan article in March. The apartment officially notified her in late June. 

“I was absolutely not happy when I found out,” Choudhary said. “It was too late to reconsider my decision because I had signed my lease months ago. If I had known, I would have probably decided to live somewhere else.”

According to Choudhary, 2400 Nueces still isn’t being completely transparent about the process and what it means for residents. She feels that the apartment withholding information about the sale places undue pressure on her and her roommate, as they have to renew their leases soon.

“I have a lot of things going on this fall, and I don’t need to be stressing about not having sufficient information to make such an expensive decision,” Choudhary said. 

Aaron Voyles, University Housing and Dining director of residence hall operations, outlined a few of the changes residents may experience in the 2020-21 school year. These changes include potential change in rent depending on the Board of Regents’ approval, routine fire drills and limiting pets to emotional support animals. 

These changes will be made clear in next year’s lease agreement. Voyles said that important information regarding this year’s lease contracts, which will be honored as they were signed, has already been dispensed. 

“We do our best to update students, and we focus on updating them on the bigger changes,” Voyles said. “If students have any standing confusion, I would encourage them to come to our meet and greets at the 2400 building and ask questions.”

Voyles mentioned that some of the smaller impacts are subject to change depending on residents’ needs and feedback. 

Choudhary was not aware of the changes Voyles shared with the Texan and feels that she would have felt more at ease if she was.

“Even though they’re small changes, by telling us, (housing and dining) would have erased some of the mystery surrounding the sale, and this process would have been less stressful,” she said. 

Management switches in student apartments are not trivial changes, and they directly impact residents’ daily lives by creating undue stress. Students deserve to be informed of management changes and receive updates once decisions are made before they commit to signing a lease. 

Dronamraju is a public health sophomore from Dallas.