Students prepare to move out for summer but face difficulties subleasing their apartments

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Photo Credit: Mel Westfall | Daily Texan Staff

Students preparing to move out of their apartments for the summer face a costly burden: paying the rent their 12-month leases demand.

While they may not live in the apartment year-round, students still have the responsibility of paying rent for time not spent there. As a solution, many try to sublease their apartments.

“Last year, I had to pay for two rents because I couldn’t find anyone to sublease my place in Austin,” said Kristina Tubera, a management information systems senior.

Tubera said she worries she will have this problem again as she leaves Austin this summer to take on a full-time job in Manhattan with Goldman Sachs, an opportunity she feels she cannot pass on.

“I’m moving to New York in July and my rent is going to be $5,000, and I have to pay $1,200 for this summer in Austin,” Tubera said.

Similarly, biology sophomore Hannah Danks said when she decided to study abroad in Australia, she feared having to pay rent would affect her budgeting while abroad, but she got lucky.

“(A classmate) told me she was living in her sorority house currently, and that she couldn’t stay there over the summer,” Danks said. “So I offered her my place, and she accepted.”

Chad Kehoe, CEO  and co-founder of Leaseful, an app that matches students with subletters, said Austin is a market where supply outweighs the demand.

“Since UT is a massive school, lots of students end up with empty bedrooms, despite being away,” Kehoe said. “There’s just not enough guests to fill up all the empty rooms.”

Summer subleasing could save students $2,000 to $3,000, said Kehoe. But Kehoe said students do not typically advertise their apartments until the last minute because they underestimate the difficultly.

Tubera said she is having trouble with the process.

“Finding a good subletter is going horribly,” Tubera said. “I pay $1,200 for a nice bedroom and private bathroom at Pointe on Rio, which just opened two years ago, and people want to rent for about $600.”

For a more successful subleasing experience, Kehoe advises students post clear photos of their rooms and make sure the place is cleaned beforehand.

“To have your place furnished and utilities paid for the guest is another big thing,” Kehoe said. “If you discount your apartment for 15 percent a month, you have a much better chance of renting the space out.”