NorthSteppe Realty getting sued by OSU students

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

My dad forwarded me a link to a recent story in The Lantern, the student newspaper at Ohio State University, about students fed up with NorthSteppe Realty, which owns numerous properties in the neighborhoods bordering OSU.

The issue involves gas bills.

See, many of NorthSteppe's leases have a built-in gas estimate, which is supposed to be a realistic monthly cost to heat the place. Students don't realize that most gas bills are much higher; when they move out, the company hits them with accumulated overages.

One pair of students living at 12 E. Norwich Ave., a NorthSteppe property, was charged an extra $1,663 in overdue gas expense when they left a rental unit in the building; another pair was charged an extra $1,669 after 20 months there.

A legal representative of the realtor claimed no illegal activity and said that the students were charged the amount of gas used to heat the unit.

It happened to me when I lived at 2196 Waldeck Ave., a four-unit building on North Campus also owned by NorthSteppe, during my senior year (Fall 2003 - Fall 2004). My gas estimate was well below $100, and when I moved out in less than a year, I owed hundreds. I was quite angry, since the estimates were clearly lowered to make my apartment more appealing.

The students are looking for others who have experienced similar problems. Call the OSU Student Housing Legal Clinic at 614-247-5853.

Full story here.