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Sunday, June 05, 2011

Reader Question: Renting to Gallaudet Students

A reader writes in with the following:

I'm hoping to move to Trinidad soon, right by Gallaudet. (A short sale, cross your fingers for me!) The place has a great basement and we plan to do some renovation to make it rentable. We want to make sure that the apartment will be suitable for everybody in the neighborhood, and so want to make sure that it could accommodate a deaf tenant. The only knowledge I have about making a safe place for a deaf tenant is from a dorm room in college one of my friends was in. It had flashing fire alarms and a flashing doorbell.


I tried poking around the Gallaudet school site to see if there was some information that might be helpful to me, but didn't find much. Do you have any insight? Maybe one of your other readers might? I don't really know the school culture at all, so don't even know if Gallaudet students rent off campus that much. I just want to make sure that, if we rent it out, we can provide a safe and comfortable place for anybody.

More after the jump.
I know that more Gallaudet students are living off campus now than ever before. They seek affordable housing close to campus, and often close to the entertainment options on H Street. Gallaudet offers both undergraduate, and graduate degrees, so you have a wide age range of students at the University. We also have a sizeable deaf community here that are not Galludet students, but the same concerns would obviously apply. Honestly, the flashing doorbell and fire alarm are the only necessary modifications that come to mind. So we turn to you dear readers to help us out on this one. What other mods might be necessary/desirable for deaf renters?

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Gallaudet student, albeit a hearing one, but I've had deaf roommates for two years. Good lighting is important because it makes it easier to see the conversation.

Anonymous said...

The neighborhood has a REALLY high crime rate. Be sure that you have really good (and multiple) locks on the doors and windows.

Anonymous said...

1) Any potential deaf tenants will probably provide their own doorbell/light, so no need to install one.

2) The most important consideration is to have the main living area be as open as possible. There should be excellent line-of-sight because if someone's in the kitchen, they want to be able to sign to someone on the couch.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a Gallaudet student, but my wife is and I frequent the campus so often that I'm considered to be one. Anyways definitely install the doorbell flashing lights, that'll definitely appeal to deaf renters. I concur what the others said, good lighting and multiple locks are pluses as well. That's pretty much it.

When communicating with the deaf, paper and pen's the ideal way to go, unless they can speak for themselves and can understand you.

Kenny G said...

Smoke detectors with a strobe are also a plus.

Rayful Edmond said...

Check Fair Housing Accessibility Guidelines for Hearing and Visually Impaired online. While not required for rental buildings with less than 4 units, your basement rental will have greater marketability to Gallaudet students.

Basic requirements include: strobe light connected to doorbell and smoke/CO2 detectors in living room and all bedrooms.

Anonymous said...

Installed equipment for a security system. That neighborhood is scary!

SnowPantalones said...

Just a bit of friendly advice: Don't get too carried away with big plans for your new home until you have the keys in your hands at closing. I only say this because it took me 5 offers and 3 ratified contracts before I finally closed on my place in Trinidad. With that being said, I wish you the best of luck.

Anonymous said...

In case anyone missed the NBC video about Trinidad being a "Real Estate Hot Spot".

http://www.nbcwashington.com/multimedia/Trinidad__Real_Estate_Hot_Spot__Washington_DC-122989883.html#comments

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:09,

Inked was on it.

http://frozentropics.blogspot.com/2011/06/nbc4-trinidad-real-estate-hot-spot.html

Anonymous said...

Good question and discussion. Off topic... what about our councilmember's shenanigans??!! Yuck.

Ward 6, for now? said...

I am shocked, you hear me, utterly "shocked" to learn that there is corruption in ward 5 / team Thomas. Notice earlier press that Langston was protected from redistricting to stay in ward 5. Coincidence?

inked said...

10:26,
I suspect that was just politics. Many people in Ward 7 objected to Langston moving to Ward 7.

Rayful Edmond said...

Harry Thomas' Audi should be donated to a local high school for their drivers ed class.

OP said...

Thanks for all your input. Locks and security system are useful for everyone for sure! I'll try and look through the Fair Housing guidelines online for any other info. And Snow: I know! It's tough waiting, but I figure that I'll end up in the neighborhood eventually and I'll still want this info.

Anonymous said...

I'd just like to second snowpantalones comment about getting carried away, especially on a short sale.

Kati said...

Gallaudet has a bulletin board where people seeking tenants can post fliers about their properties, as well as an email list of commuter students the University can contact with information about apartments. You can contact Mary Lott, Director of Campus Activities and Commuter Programs at Gallaudet University for more information. Her email is Mary.Lott@gallaudet.edu. Hope that helps!

james White said...

I have had a couple of deaf roommates in the past when i was at university, have to agree good lighting and a strobe fire alarm is a must. My roommate slept through 2 fire alarms the one year.