October 21, 2016
‘Medical school to blame for rent issues’

Another homeowner has come forward to complain about issues related to renting apartments to foreign students, but this time, the blame is levelled against one of the medical schools.

The landlord, who asked not to be identified said that the American University School of Medicine is failing to deliver security deposits and first month’s rents to homeowners, even after the students have paid this before entering the country.{{more}}

“They will call the homeowners and ask if you have any place to rent and they will bring in students. They collect the tuition and the first month’s rent just to make sure that these guys have somewhere when they come, so when they come in the night they would kinda bring them around.

“After the students come in, a week or so later they (American University) would say come to pick up the first month’s rent and the security fee, but up to now….,” the homeowner told SEARCHLIGHT.

The homeowner said recently, when an enquiry was made of one of the students about his nonpayment of the security deposit and first month’s rent, the student indicated that that money had already been delivered to the school, located at New Montrose.

The landlord said that efforts to recover the outstanding rents from the school are usually be a headache in itself.

“Whenever you call, they would say the person is in a meeting, or when you go they say they not there, or you will be there, waiting for hours. That is what is going on.

“I don’t know what is going on, but I come to the conclusion that something is going on. I want them to know that they need to pay us our money.”

The landlord said that it is hoped that the fact that students are leaving the school does not cause the situation to get out of hand.

An official from American University, speaking on the issue, said that the late payments are not entirely the fault of the school.

“It is a case that sometimes the money will not get to the University’s account, but the students would get here. And this is because of the banking process in Nigeria,” the spokesperson said.

“As soon as the monies come, we pay them; and at times we use monies from our own accounts to make it possible for the landlords to get paid.

“We have explained this to the landlords already,” the official added.

The official stated that it is because of this process, students themselves are late with their rents, when their family members send cash to them from Nigeria.

“We do our best to keep the financial interests of the landlord and students as a priority. We communicated this issue with them and as far as we know we have a good relationship with them.”

The homeowner concurred that the students’ rent situation can be sore spot at times, noting that it can be some time before rents are received.

“A lot of them don’t pay their rent. It does be real late, so you have to be patient with them. Some don’t pay three or four months sometimes.

Last week, in our October 14 edition, SEARCHLIGHT published a story in which another landlord complained about not being able to recover money owed for rent from a medical student after that student transferred from one local medical school to another.