Living in filth in downtown Lewisburg…

The house that I live in downtown is literally a piece of crap.  The first and second level porches are on the verge of collapsing, the outside paint is chipping, and there is mold throughout the house behind the walls and in the ceilings that is causing the ceiling in my bedroom slope down in a precarious manner in several different areas.  I hope to never live in a house as crappy as the one that I live in now.

This is not to say that I don’t love living in downtown Lewisburg.  I love the feeling of freedom that comes with not living on campus and being under the constant watch of the school and the RA’s that they employ.  I love being able to be a social butterfly as I live in a house with seven of my close friends and right across the street from so many more.  Living downtown is a truly amazing experience that I would not pass up, despite the piece of crap house that I live in.

Therein lies the issue — the landlords of the downtown houses know that Bucknell students will rent their houses for the school year no matter what conditions the houses are in, and they take HUGE advantage of this fact.  The landlords have absolutely no incentive to make any improvements to the houses that we live in, and consequently the downtown houses end up looking like my house.

I am not saying that I expect to live in a beautiful home that is perfectly decorated and maintained inside and out; I am no prima donna and I know that this is merely a college house.  However, I do believe that either the town of Lewisburg or Bucknell should implement some regulations on the landlords, first for the health of the students, and then for the appearance of downtown Lewisburg.  I tested my bedroom for mold a few weeks ago and found that there are several different kinds of mold present.  Although none of them are deadly (thank goodness), they are proven to cause many different kinds of allergies, and I think the fact that so many of them are present is disgusting, especially because they are causing the downward slope in my ceiling.  I also think that Historical Lewisburg could benefit from a better upkeep on the outside of the houses, as there are random “normal” peoples’ houses that are beautiful and quant scattered among the downtrodden student houses.

There is no doubt in my mind that Alex Whigbee is correct that living downtown senior year is an essential part of Bucknell life as well as an important part of growing up and transitioning into the real world on living independently.  Bucknell should not not try to limit the number of students living in downtown houses as the years progress, but rather should implement regulations on the landlords so that Bucknell students can continue to live healthfully and happily in beautiful downtown Lewisburg.

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10 Responses to Living in filth in downtown Lewisburg…

  1. You took the words right out of my mouth with this post, Kelly. I feel the same way in every regard. My realtor and landlord sat around for 7 weeks while I lived on the couch after the flood. After 7 weeks they hired a crew of workers to work on my room and one week later I was moving in (finally back to normal last week!!). So in essence, my situation could have been fixed one week after the flood but it took 7 weeks to get anyone’s attention. The realtor never saw the damage. The owner came down only at the end of the 7th week. They didn’t care. We are taken advantage of as the realtors/landlords know we have no where else to go and want to live downtown. They knew I could terminate my lease at any moment, as my home was uninhabitable, but that I probably would not. It makes me furious writing about this subject. Linda Treese is unprofessional and a sore excuse for a realtor, but because of the Bucknell students downtown she still has a job. If only I could show you the emails she writes…..

  2. katiebaum13 says:

    I agree with all that has been said, and have many friends who deal with this issue. I have even had some friends threaten to sue their landlord for such poor living conditions and not sticking to their contract. I, on the other hand, have not had to deal with this issue, and have had an opposite experience. I live above the Towne Tavern and my landlord is the owner of the Towne Tavern. So far, he has been an amazing landlord when it comes to my house. He understands that it is an older house and it always there and eager to fix and replace things as they break. He always checks in with us to make sure everything is ok and is always wanting to help us make out living situation better. I know I’m rare with the relationship I have with my landlord, so I agree that this is a major problem for downtown living.

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  4. tpm011 says:

    Wow that is gross about the mold! I feel so bad for all the people that lived downtown during the flood. Would you be willing to pay more for rent if the houses were better kept? Unless the owners have an incentive (money) to improve the house i don’t think they would

  5. knriggins says:

    I think we already pay sooo much more then the houses are worth. A lot of realtors have made the argument that there is no use fixing up the house because college students just come in and don’t take care of it. I can understand this perspective, but there comes a point where the houses are not sanitary. I think that point has come for my house and quite a few others downtown. Lewisburg is so quaint and our neighbor’s house is lovely! I feel like the college houses are an eye sore for those who live here permanently. I don’t think we (as students) should have to pay more to make the houses livable either. That is the job of the owner. I’d really like to see the downtown cleaned up a bit for the sake of the locals and the students. People should take pride in where they live.

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  7. mnickels says:

    Another thing about these downtown houses (at least mine) is that we can not make any changes to our house unless we consult the realtor AND the owner. How am I supposed to get in touch with the owner of my house? They don’t live in Lewisburg and I am not given any contact information for them. I would love to repaint some rooms and be able to take my moldy skylight out of my bathroom and replace it, but I am not able to do that. If one of my housemates wanted to paint her room and cover up all of the white patch marks and holes on her turquoise walls, she would have to call the owner to make sure it’s ok. I know I am not going to live in a pristine, beautiful house, but having holes all over your wall and white splotches everywhere is not really the ideal scenery when hanging out in your room. I know that when my brother rented a house junior and senior year at Tufts, he was allowed to paint his room and the rest of the house. If I’m paying a high rent price for a whole year, shouldn’t I be allowed to change something for the better?

  8. eeewald says:

    I completely agree about the owners and landlords taking advantage of college students. A couple of my friends lived dowtown last year and believe it or not, were never issued keys to their house. I forget who their landlord was but he just kept promising that he would give them their keys “next week” but never acutally did. Their inability to lock their house actually led to a number of thefts and a couple of drunken intruders who got lost or confused about which house they were looking for.

  9. meganm423 says:

    Landlords take advantage of students and it is beyond fair. I had my own experience where my landlord threw out furniture that we had brought from the previous tenants. She also threw out porch furniture that my roommates were storing down in our basement. In all she threw out a total of $1,000 worth of furniture. To say that least we were pissed and we made a very big stink about it to the school and the town relations committee. It’s bull how these landlords think they can get away with these kinds of illegal activities and have no repurcussions for it.

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