Apartment living is no more safe for students! Here are 5 reasons why
18 January 2021
College applications accepted, scholarship cheques encashed and the semester’s study materials bought. We scout and select the best possible higher education institutes the world has to offer and burn midnight lamps to crack their entrances. But how often do we evaluate our accommodation options when we go to study outside our hometowns? You might be spending your most productive hours at university but at the end of the day, it’s your room that you have to return to and call home for the next three years. The omnipresent question that lingers is one of choice- apartments or hostels? Although it is believed by most that apartments offer greater degrees of freedom, it comes at the cost of compromising on safety. Here’s 5 reasons why apartment living in India is no longer safe for students –
The only place where you want to see a rodent in your three years of college life is on the dissection table if that’s your field of study. Rodents are pesky little creatures and often stay cocooned in their dens during daytime, which also happens to be the time when most students go to check out these apartments prior to moving in. Unless one has lived in an apartment for at least a week, it is difficult to assure that it’s rodent-free. Rat-bite fever, Salmonellosis, Hantavirus, you name it and rodents are sure to be involved. Not only do they cause property damage but their droppings can spread numerous viruses. The accumulation of faeces from mice and rats can spread bacteria, contaminate food sources, and trigger allergic reactions in humans. Once the faecal matter dries, it can be hazardous to those who breathe it in. Not to add the running around of rats in your room while you sleep at night. Discovering the infestation after you have already paid your deposit is nothing short of a nightmare. Most landlords refuse to treat it as an actual problem and the entire cost of pest control eventually ends up falling on the student’s shoulders.
Gone are the days when burglars meant masked men with sacks propped on their shoulders who broke into your apartment in the wee hours of the morning. If you’re somebody who binges on Crime Patrol as much as I do, you’re sure to know that crime rates are higher than ever. Most burglars sneak into housing complexes and apartments as either mailmen or housemaids. Elaborate planning goes into most burglaries as they build trust before launching their plots. Most people, especially students, do not run a background check on people they hire and interact with on a daily basis. It is not always possible to do so too. This poses a considerable amount of threat for students, especially with expensive gadgets lying around in almost every household.
Water Leakage and Damp
You’ll be surprised to learn how easy it is to mask damp damage for a few days. Corrupt landlords often paste laminate and wallpapers on walls when showing apartments to prospective tenants. Leaking water faucets are another problem that is very difficult to discern through a single visit. And when you learn of the problem, it’s already too late. If you’re a student located in a city that experiences heavy rainfall, you might be at an even greater risk. Ground floors are notoriously famous for flooding that not only does this destroy property but can also affects health and renders students apartmentless for weeks. Damp walls also lead to formation of moulds and spores. Inhaling these can inflame the airways, causing nasal congestion, wheezing, chest tightness, coughing and throat irritation. Prolonged exposure to high levels of indoor dampness can also reduce lung function and cause chronic health problems such as asthma.
Unless you’ve known your landlord for ages, which is usually not the case for students moving halfway across the country, you never know whether they can be trusted. They might be cheating you by charging you ridiculously high rates and may also create issues while returning deposits. They might present an extremely rosy picture of the apartment when you visit or see the flat in photos. The main problem is that of accountability- as most landlords are independent entities, there is no institution that can resolve your grievances if he/she turns out to be corrupt. They may even visit your apartment whenever they like and compromise privacy at odd hours.
Last but definitely the most prevalent problem of all, lack of proper food. It may seem promising to eat out every day and gorge on pepperoni pizza and peri peri fries, but students soon realize that not taking proper care of their health can have severe consequences. Lack of energy, inability to properly concentrate on studies, and weeks of spending entire days in the loo soon begin to set in. As a teenager who is most probably living on their own for the first time, keeping oneself alive is a task in itself. Cooking every day after long hours of classes and internships is next to impossible and most students end up settling for substandard dabba services. Neither does one have any knowledge about whether these cookeries are maintaining hygiene standards nor does the food taste good or offer much variety (in most cases). Where to eat and what to eat are problems a college-goer shouldn’t have to deal with, after all, these years are meant to be enjoyed and spent in carefree hours. You’ll anyway have to deal with the mundane routines of life once you graduate and start working, might as well have the time of your life in college!
Not the Home you Need, But the Home you Deserve.