Housing horror stories

And the Golden Cockroach Award goes to…

Image by: Herbert Wang
Layla reflects on student housing.

Before getting into the nitty gritty of the prestigious Golden Cockroach Award, a history lesson is in order.

The AMS first introduced the illustrious Golden Cockroach Award back in 2005, granting the title to the worst landlord in the University District. The ultimate purpose behind this award was to shine a spotlight on the awful living conditions students were subjected to.

While this distinguished award has traditionally been bestowed upon a landlord, I’ve decided to switch it up—mostly because I’m afraid of getting sued.

Without further ado, I’m proud—and slightly embarrassed—to present the Golden Cockroach Award to none other than me and my housemates. From my housemate CJ falling through the floor, to our reading week robbery, the last year and a half in our current manor has been interesting, to say the least.

To address the elephant in the room, it is true that CJ took an unexpected tumble through the floor of her bedroom and even managed to hit a heating pipe on her way down. Ouch!

Let me set the scene: It’s a chilly evening, and I’m sitting at the kitchen table studying for my stats exam. Suddenly, from the bedroom that shares a wall with the kitchen, I heard a startling gasp.

Minutes later, CJ walks out of her bedroom, exclaiming that she just fell through the floor. Lo and behold, I enter her room and discover a gaping hole in her bedroom floor, where a vent once stood. We promptly contacted our landlord, who assured us they’d get on it. It took a couple days for them to show up, and in the meantime, we spotted our landlord’s handyman enjoying some (apparently much needed) downtime at Ale.

Next story, the reading week robbery. It was our first year in the house, and our first time leaving the house as a group for an extended period. We got back on Sunday night, only to see that we had been robbed after someone crawled through our basement window. Sneaky!

One housemate’s jewelry was stolen, some bags were stolen, but the cherry on top was that our Ben and Jerry’s was gone.

We’ve since fortified our defences with a basement window lock, and locks for our bedroom doors—though we did have to convince our landlord. To top it all off, our motherly housemate has begun booby-trapping the house every time we leave for breaks.

There are many more horror stories that I could delve into, from the second-floor smell, the sound of rodents that scratch the walls in the late hours of the night, our car being towed from our own parking spot, and the crowning jewel, it’s a five-bedroom house with only one bathroom. Let’s just say we’ve all peed in the backyard more times than we’d like to admit.

It could be worse. We’re two minutes from campus and have in-unit laundry. My roommates are great, and our rent isn’t terrible. On that note, if you need a place to stay for the winter semester, I’m subletting.


AMS, housing, landlord, Student Housing

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