Party animals may soon cost their landlords big bucks near the University of Connecticut campus.
Hundreds of students rent off campus homes in the town and local leaders are now looking at a plan to give financial incentives to property owners whose tenants don't receive any complaints.
Both the town and UConn say only a small percentage of students are creating a problem, but now Mansfield town leaders want to cut out the bad apples by offering money to responsible landlords.
On a Wednesday afternoon one home on Storrs Avenue is quiet, but last weekend it wasn’t.
The UConn students who live in the house hosted a party so large it spilled out into the street and actually shut down Route 195.
“This happened almost instantly. Cars started to show up it seemed like there were Uber drivers, nonstop kids coming out of the back. There were hundreds of kids coming within half an hour,” said neighbor Scott Dunstan.
He said his college neighbors are good students, but last weekend’s party did get out of control, although police did a good job of shutting it down quickly.
The party here is just one more reason the town of Mansfield is looking at ways to curb over the top bashes at homes rented by UConn students.
“University communities around the country deal with this and we're somewhat unique here in that it's a good sized university and a small town,” said Mansfield Town Manager Matt Hart.
Town leaders came up with a plan aimed at inspiring more landlords and tenants to be responsible. The idea is to offer property owners lower bi-annual rental fees if no one has issued a complaint against their property.
“We are looking at ways that if someone is doing a good job with their property, if they haven't had any complaints recently, if there are no issue at the time of inspection they would pay a lower fee,” Hart said.
It’s unclear how much the fee would be lowered by but one proposal calls for a $50 reduction. The plan would impact every unit a landlord owns, so some property owners could save thousands.
UConn supports the proposal, and a spokesperson issued a statement that said “UConn applauds this initiative. The vast majority of students who live off campus are good neighbors. The few who are not often live in homes owned by indifferent or absentee landlords. Good landlords almost always mean good tenants and respectful neighbors."
The town council is looking into the plan, and if everything goes smoothly it could go into effect before the next semester begins.
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