OPINION: Your landlord is not your babysitter

Forrest Hollingsworth, Staff Reporter

In the last month, the bathroom floor of the house I rent started sinking into the basement. The next day, my fridge completely stopped working and the day after that, the power went out completely with no sign of returning, we couldn’t use our water (showers and toilets, too!) because a company hired by the city was cleaning our sewage line.

On top of all this, my garbage can full of food that went bad in the broken fridge was sitting out in the 100+ degree heat for days wasn’t picked up by waste management because the city failed to coordinate sewage cleaning and garbage pickup.

I texted my landlord once during all of this.

While my friends and family were telling me that most of this was the landlord’s responsibility, that they were bound to help me by some sort of landlord law, I was figuring things out on my own.

It’s not because I don’t like my landlords (they’re great!). It’s not because I don’t trust them, either. It’s because I know that I’m capable or, should be capable, of handling this stuff on my own and, they’ve already done a lot for me by renting out their land and property to me, trusting me to take care of things.

The thing is, when you sign a lease agreement, it doesn’t matter that you’re in your early 20s. What matters is your signature, it’s legally binding and, indicates a level of duty and responsibility that you should be prepared for no matter how many broken fridges or sinking floors come your way.

For a lot of us in college, this is our first try at being adults. Yeah, there’s some latitude, you’re taking classes and probably getting some kind of support from your parents or family but, you’re expected to keep up with the things coming at you.

Use Google, find the people that can help you, find the stores and the things you need. Use WikiHow and Youtube videos and learn how to fix a weedeater on your own. Why? Because, unless you’re getting a college degree so you can live in assisted living for the rest of your life, you’re going to need to do this stuff sooner or later.

It’s very possible that the bed you’re going “home” to at the end of each day right now is, in fact, in someone else’s home or apartment. You’re allowed there because they trust you. You should return the favor however you can, you’ll be all the better for it.

If you want to live alone, you need to act like it.