Some students living off campus have a hard time finding a place to stay over the summer when an old lease ends and a new one doesn’t begin for a period of time. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo Editor

Many students living off campus have encountered similar, if not the same, issue between leases.

They experience a temporary limbo when an old lease ends, and the new one doesn’t start for another week or so, hits those from outside the city or state especially hard.

Before the start of every school year, Waseem Naboulsi, a third-year in biomedical engineering, has to think about housing plans for the following year.

His housing arrangements are already set for the coming school year with his old lease ending three weeks into July, and his new one starting Aug. 1, leaving him without a lease for at least a week.

“Sometimes it takes a month, and sometimes a couple of weeks [for the new lease to begin],”
Naboulsi said. “I know some people consider a sublease at that point, but it’s more convenient for me to move back in with my parents who live in Dayton.”

Monica Wasef, a fourth-year in biology, found herself in a similar situation when switching houses left her couch surfing for three weeks. With her old lease ending on Aug. 1 and her new one not starting until Aug. 19, she was forced to rely on friends.

“I was lucky enough that a friend of mine had a townhouse during the summer, and I could stay with her and keep my stuff with her,” Wasef said. “If you don’t know anyone in Columbus, it can get nerve-wracking because you’d have to end up getting an Airbnb or booking a hotel.”

Being from a neighboring city and knowing people in Columbus, Naboulsi and Wasef are luckier than others.

Although their experiences are nothing new for off-campus students, other students, such as Sondos Issa, a third-year in psychology and philosophy, have found ways to work around the problem.

Due to effective coordination with her landlords, Issa hasn’t experienced a gap between leases.

“On July 31, I moved out of my old place and into my new place by Aug. 1 because of the agreement I came to with my landlords,” Issa said.

Although this is an ideal situation, it’s unrealistic for students to have the kind of time to communicate their preference to their landlords, Issa said.

“I’m in class and on campus from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., and then I have meetings until 9 [p.m.],” Issa said. “I don’t have the time to be worrying about housing. I’d rather not deal with it and focus on my studies.”

The university requires students to live on campus for their first two years if they’re out of state or do not live with a parent or guardian within a 25-mile radius, something Wasef said she appreciates. But, she thinks they should be taken care of even if they don’t live on Ohio State property.

“OSU does such a great job with taking care of students for their first two years, but I think they should still be mindful of upperclassmen,” Wasef said. “I feel like if you’re an out-of-state student, OSU should take more ownership with finding accommodations.”