Luck of the landlords

Students speak out about housing options in Big Rapids

Graphic by: Sarah Massey | Production Manager

Article by: Harley Harrison and Cora Hall | News Staff

There are a variety of housing options in Big Rapids, both on and off campus, leaving students with a wide range to select from. 

For Ferris automotive engineering technology senior Derek Pereira, renting with Silvernail Realty meant getting evicted in February because of city zoning regulations. 

“The city found out that they were renting to four people that were not of immediate relations, so yeah, we got kicked out,” Pereira said. “They did offer us a house but it was a three bedroom and we just wanted to get out of there.” 

Life at University Parke Suites (UPS) was not much better for Ferris junior Luke Pattison. 

“When I lived there, it was awful. They wouldn’t take care of anything,” Pattison said. “We put in a work order explaining that our window broke. We explained how it happened, it was an accident. We were just playing Frisbee and stuff, it just happened. And then they didn’t do anything but it was in the middle of March, so it was freezing. Then they tell us that our electric bill is getting up there and we were like, ‘yeah, because it’s been two weeks and you guys still haven’t fixed our window.’ They were basically awful.” 

Pattison wasn’t the only student to have difficulties with UPS as Ferris sports communication senior Bobby Cardenas experienced difficulties as well. 

“Last year at UPS, they switched landlords. The new one that came in, she would come into our rooms without our permission,” Cardenas said. “I’ve heard that the staff changes made at UPS were because of someone pocketing money and I’ve also heard allegations of one of the staff members having inappropriate relationships with residents but I’m not sure how true either of the rumors are because I haven’t looked any further into the situation since I’ve moved out.” 

But according to UPS assistant property manager, Jacqueline Reynolds, those allegations are simply not true. 

“That is untrue and that is what people thought and spread around. Really, that’s not why [the landlords] were let go. They just weren’t good fits for the company,” Reynolds said. 

Fear not, Bulldogs; not all housing in Big Rapids has negative reviews, according to Ferris heavy equipment junior Jacob Stoops, who recognized both the pros and cons about living at Campus Creek Townhouses. 

“My first year here, our fridge died in September and it took around a week for them to get us a new one. Personally, I think that’s way too long to get a fridge to come in, especially since it comes from the Lowes in town,” Stoop said. 

Stoop also noted that the AC that broke down in September and was replaced so quickly that he didn’t realize it until his roommate pointed it out to him. 

“My experience with my landlords has been about par for most of my stay with them. They aren’t great, but they aren’t horrendous either,” Stoops said. “When it comes to maintenance, it’s easier to do a lot of the smaller stuff ourselves.” 

Ferris pre-physician’s assistant sophomore Hanna McCrath found her experience with UPS to be a more positive one. 

“They’re really helpful and they listen to you if you have a problem. They are super understanding about things. One of my roommates, when she moved in, it was really crappy and the carpet wasn’t cleaned. And we pay a cleaning fee before we come in, so they were supposed to clean and they didn’t. So she went in and complained and they gave her around $200 off her rent and came in and cleaned it for her,” McCrath said. 

McKenna Van Doornik, a Ferris sports marketing senior living in the Oakwood Apartments, agreed that things could be worse. 

“They are friendly but they’re difficult when it comes to questions and stuff because they don’t know what they’re doing sometimes,” Van Doornik said. “I would say they would need to train their staff a little better. I know this year they got new people, so maybe that is different but definitely stepped up a little bit from last year.”