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Landlords face challenges as enrollment declines

Apartment for rent in Brockport

Many students chose to stay home this semester due to COVID-19 and local landlords are dealing with the impact firsthand.  

Enrollment at SUNY Brockport has declined enough to put the college under financial strain, and that strain is affecting all aspects of the community. Landlord Henry Conradt and his wife, Carrie, have been renting apartments in Brockport for 35 years. 

“The rental business has been very slow,” Conradt said. “Due to COVID-19 students don’t know if (or when) the college will be totally open for business. We usually have our apartments full (for the next year) by October, but this whole process has slowed until the students can safely return to school.” 

Conradt uses Rent College Pads to advertise and continues to gain business through word of mouth.  

“Once students rent from us they usually stay with us,” Conradt said. “This year’s been a slow go, but we’re happy to say we only have three two-bedroom apartments still available, and we rent many.” 

SaraJo Mendez is another local landlord who has faced similar consequences due to the pandemic. Her son Jose owns the properties, and she’s acted as the manager for roughly 30 years. 

“They used to rent out really quick,” Mendez said. “Students would start looking for apartments in the fall and they’d fill up. We have a number of students who are staying, but the apartments that still need to be rented are taking longer to fill. It’s been more difficult.” 

Mendez hasn’t done anything different to advertise the properties, but the two have a good reputation and are hopeful for the future.  

“Everything’s changing, everything’s uncertain, but we’re not worried about renting, not yet anyway,” Mendez said. “The apartments will probably be rented out last minute.” 

Conradt’s and Mendez’s properties available for rent can be found on the Brockport Student Government website under off-campus housing.  

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