End of apartment leases requires students to fill gap

By Brian Klein

Varun Mittal, senior in engineering, doesn’t have a place to live for two weeks following Aug. 6. Ramshaw Real Estate needs him out of his current apartment by Friday for cleaning and repair work. He cannot move into his new apartment in Champaign until Aug. 20.

An international student from India, Mittal must find housing and storage space for the two week period before his fall lease starts.

“It is a great inconvenience,” Mittal said. He said he doesn’t have any concrete plans about what he will do.

Mittal’s dilemma faces a number of students who chose to stay on campus for the summer. Some landlords need a week or more to check the apartments before the fall semester begins.

“We basically have to clean the apartments and fix them up for the new tenants,” said Scott Garnick, leasing agent with Campus Property Management (CPM). Garnick said they have approximately 1700 apartment units to check.

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Garnick said mid-August is the busiest time of the year for them. The move-out date for Urbana CPM apartments is Aug. 8 and the move-in date is Aug. 18. In Champaign, CPM apartments reserve between Aug. 9 and Aug. 19 for their cleaning and maintenance work.

“I have to try and find accommodation with some friends,” Mittal said, “which is tough since most of them are in the same stage.” He said he does know one friend who is keeping the same apartment through the end of summer into fall, and he is already taking in other students with the same predicament.

Some realtors try to offer ways to ease the process for their tenants.

Garnick said that CPM tenants who relocate from one of the realtor’s apartment units to another are allowed to move out of their summer apartment into their new one on the same day. The transfer day is Aug. 13 for Urbana apartments and Aug. 14 for Champaign.

“We do our best to accommodate them,” Garnick said of the tenants. He added that it is impossible to please all tenants, citing that the company is asked to address “a lot of unique situations.”

The University Group, another campus real estate agency, allows tenants to sign up for early move-in dates with the understanding that the apartment may not be completely cleaned by that time.

Chris Hamelberg, general manager at The University Group, said tenants do not pay extra rent for their early move-in agreement.

“I am having an easier time than most,” said Divya Chandrasekhar, graduate student in FAA, who is moving from a place owned by Linton Rentals to an apartment owned by The University Group. “Most small renters have very few days difference between the check-out date and move-in dates.”

Chandrasekhar would have been without residence for two days had she not made arrangements with a friend.

Linton Rentals asks their tenants to vacate their apartments on Aug. 13, while Chandrasekhar’s fall residence lets her move in on the Aug. 15. Her lease with The University Group begins Aug. 20, but she was able to arrange to move in early.

Chandrasekhar said the apartment is expected to be ready for Aug. 15, regardless.

“Being homeless is hardly a good feeling,” said Chandrasekhar. “There are always a few days difference that we have to find housing for.”