Pre-Lease An Apartment Near Campus at UT Austin

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 hearing and seeing banners on off-campus apartment buildings about it all the time? So many are moving especially students wishing to live independently on apartments that are close to the nearby campus.  We’ve all moved before, and normally you just rent as soon as the apartment is available, right?  Not quite. Not in Austin.  To put it simply, pre-leasing is just leasing few months in advance before the semester starts. There’s really 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, in terms of happiness (and grades for students), proximity is everything. Being a short drive (or walk) from work, school, and fun can make a huge difference in your well-being.  Specifically speaking on the Austin apartments rental market in West Campus and North University/Campus are in extremely high demand. Because of this, with well over 50,000 students at the university, and limited dormitories, you can expect that housing near campus is leased early and quickly. 

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

When Does Pre-Leasing Start?

As mentioned before, pre-leasing typically begins about 9 months in advance from the expected move-in date. In West Campus and North University area, for example, this tends to be in November because most of the student residents moves in around the start of the fall semester (August). This means that 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 location, find apartment communities in the area, make a call, tour. That’s it! The only way to know what you’re getting is to tour. It’s understandable that not everyone is able to tour before signing but making sure that 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 important then.  Not to mention, many building and complexes (ours excluded) do not allow pets!  Do you want to have a roommate, or is that an option you’d consider?  Maybe then 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 for 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 Campus/University for a more mellow, quieter locale scene, or Downtown to experience all the city can offer, you want to experience these neighborhoods firsthand before making a choice.  It is not possible if you’re scrambling on the last minute.

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

Just like regular leasing, it all begins with talking about when you’ll move in and how long you’ll be staying in the apartment. Most properties in West and North Campus coordinate move-in with the Fall semester schedule. The Westside Group in Austin does it a little differently by ensuring we move all of our residents are in as early as possible in order for students be settled 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 from there on. See you when you move in!


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