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Letter: Common sense not always so common

Published: Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014 9:57 p.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014 10:20 p.m. CDT

To the Editor:

Common sense is defined as good sense and sound judgment in practical matters.  Good sense and good judgement are not always so common. Over the years I have found numerous young adults being sent off to college with little or no common sense on how to live on their own.  

Simple things like run your heat in the winter, get renter’s insurance, or the meaning of a signed contract are too often disregarded. I am here to give a few common-sense tips to renting an apartment or living on your own for the first time.  

When you sign a contract and you are 18 years old or older, you are bound to all terms of that contract until it expires.

Most would think running your heat in the winter would also be common sense.  Unfortunately this is not the case. When water freezes and expands in a pipe running through your home, the pipe bursts, causing water to run freely throughout your home damaging carpet, cabinets, drywall, etc.  

Trying to save money by shutting off your heat may end up costing you a lot more.  Even if your pipes don’t freeze and burst, it takes at least 3 times as much gas or electric to heat a space back up to a desired temperature. If your pipes do burst, you could be looking at a repair cost of more than $30,000.  All rental properties are covered by insurance to repair the building, but not renter’s personal belongings. If the insurance companies find that the tenant was at fault due to neglect, the insurance company can hold the tenant liable.  

Which brings me to my next common-sense tip. Get renter’s insurance. Renter’s insurance will cover all your personal belongings that are lost as well as reimbursement to stay in a hotel while your place is repaired. Renter’s insurance costs about $10 to $15 a month and is worth every penny in instances where your belongings are damaged or worse your home is damaged and rendered uninhabitable.

My tip for all who want to save money by not getting renter’s insurance or turning your heat off in minus 30 degree weather is to live under a bridge or in a cardboard box. You will not have to pay rent, heating bills, or renter’s insurance and you will not damage someone else’s property with your lack of common sense.

Jim Mason

DeKalb

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