Pre-Lease An Apartment Near Campus at UT Austin

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What Is Pre-Leasing?

Pre-leasing an apartment in Austin is becoming a norm for students preparing for fall admissions.  What is it, and why are you always hearing and seeing banners about it on off-campus apartment buildings?  Many are moving, especially students wishing to live independently in apartments near the nearby campus.  We’ve all moved before, and you usually just rent as soon as the apartment is available, right?  Not quite.  Not in Austin.  Put merely, pre-leasing is just leasing a few months in advance before the semester starts.  There’s no difference other than that.  Anyone can pre-lease an apartment, whether a student or not.

Pre-lease an Apartment in Austin Early Before The Semester Starts

Multiple studies have shown that proximity is everything in terms of happiness (and grades for students).  Being a short drive (or walk) from work, school, and the fun can make a huge difference in your well-being.  Specifically, the Austin apartment rental market in West Campus and North University/Campus is in high demand.  Because of this, with well over 50,000 students at the university and limited dormitories, we expect that housing near campus is in significant need.

Pre-leasing is the student housing solution to this high-demand-low-supply dilemma in Austin.  Opening up leasing one month before the expected move-in (allowing tiny plans for the students trying to move) would be unreasonable.  So, student apartment properties near UT Austin’s north and west campuses open up the leasing season 9 months or more in advance.  It allows students to know where they will be well in advance and not worry about not having a place to live at the last minute.

When Does Pre-Leasing Start?

As mentioned, pre-leasing typically begins about nine months before the expected move-in date.  For example, this tends to be in the West Campus and North University area in November because most student residents move around at the start of the fall semester (August).  It means your best time to start your search for housing is in October-November, and the best time to sign is before December.  (If you’re reading this later than that, you’d better start calling!)

Remember:  When you pre-lease early you get the best rate, get the best selection, and open up your schedule to deal with all the other complexities of starting a new semester.

How Do I Start My Search?

Decide on location, find apartment communities in the area, make a call, and tour.  That’s it!  The only way to know what you’re getting is to tour.  Understandably, not everyone can visit before signing, but ensuring you can see the apartment you’re signing for before moving in is always a good idea.  If you’re out of town, ask the leasing representative to send you a video tour of the property.

Whether doing it on your own or working with a locator, there are many questions you should ask yourself.  Do you plan on having your pet?  Maybe being near a dog park is essential, then.  Not to mention, many buildings and complexes (ours excluded) do not allow pets!  Do you want to have a roommate, or is that an option you’d consider?  Maybe a two-bedroom is better for you and split the cost with a roommate.  Splitting rent and utilities go a long way to save money.  Should I sign up early to pre-lease an apartment in Austin near campus or wait at least a month before the class starts?  Is renting from a local business important to you?  A simple check of a company’s website can tell you this.  I’m sure you see what we mean; you need to ask yourself what specific things you want in an apartment. 

No matter how specific, if you look early enough, there will be a place with the things you need at the price you can afford.  Whether in West Campus for the student energy, North University for a more mellow, quieter local scene, or Downtown to experience all the city can offer, you want to experience these neighborhoods firsthand before choosing.  It is not possible if you’re scrambling at the last minute.

How Does Pre-leasing Work Once I Find the Best Place?

Like regular leasing, it all begins with discussing when you’ll move in and how long you’ll stay in the apartment.  Most properties on the West and North Campus coordinate move-in with the fall semester schedule.  The Westside Group in Austin does it differently by ensuring we move all our residents in as early as possible for students to settle in before classes start.  Once you sign your lease at the property you’ve chosen and pay whatever security deposit there may be, it’s peace of mind.  See you when you move in!
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