Flooding and mice and squirrels, oh my! Concerns rise over UMKC Homes

Sarah Abney

When asked if they would like water damage, an exploding oven or mice and squirrels as roommates in their apartments, most people would likely say no. Yet these are just some of the complaints leveled at UMKC Homes. 

UMKC Homes is university-sponsored housing offering students a place to live just south of campus.

Despite the advantages of their location, students have made numerous complaints about the homes. A simple Google search of UMKC Homes brings up a 1.9 star rating followed by several negative reviews. 

Former UMKC student Mikayla Smith recalled her first impression of UMKC Homes during a house tour.

“Not cluttered, but definitely dirty,” Smith said. “Not well kept up with. The basements were horrible.” 

Due to this tour, Smith decided to not rent any UMKC home. 

“The upkeep was just not there,” Smith said. “It looked as though college students just got up and left. They never really cleaned or fixed it up.” 

UMKC senior Bobby Spence was reluctantly forced to live in a UMKC home after Oak Place Apartments was declared uninhabitable due to mold. 

“The tub leaked into the kitchen, which caused a ton of water damage,” Spence said. “We also had mice. The pilot light went out dozens of times for the water heater. Our oven even exploded one night.”

Despite Spence’s concerns, the house was rarely checked on during his semester living there. Spence proceeded to move out due to these issues the following semester. 

Spence is not alone in his nightmarish home experience. Former UMKC Homes resident Brenden Hill experienced similar concerns.

“The dishwasher in the house had broken, and they didn’t really fix it fast enough to stop water from the broken dishwasher from causing damage in the kitchen,” Hill said. 

UMKC student Noah Kuzca lived only six months in a UMKC home before moving out due to maintenance issues.

“We had a dishwasher stop working, and they ended up having to replace it. It was definitely replaced with the cheapest model possible, and the repair worker was very rude and said it was our fault,” Kuzca said. “The house lacked any sort of insulation. My room was a converted screened-in porch, and they let me borrow a heater but picked it up before temperatures were above 50 degrees.”

Senior Cori Fricke currently lives in a UMKC home. Fricke says she has squirrels that live both in and outside of the house. 

“They scratch at the windows and wake me up,” Fricke said. “Once during a storm, one of the tree branches was hitting my window super hard. I made a request about it, and they came really quickly to fix it because that could cause a lawsuit.” 

Fricke wishes for UMKC Home’s street parking and air conditioning to be improved and for a washer and dryer to be provided. 

“The houses are all just old and need some renovations,” Fricke said.

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