When summer arrives in Lawrence, many Kansas University students will not be in town during the three-month vacation. Some will be staying, however, and will be looking to fill the vacancies.
Subletting season has arrived.
Kevin Angell, Lawrence sophomore, is just one of many looking to sublet his apartment. Angell said he needed to find a place with more room for his wife and two children.
"We're moving into a house," Angell said. "When a house came available, we started looking for sublettors for the remainder of our lease."
The two-bedroom apartment Angell has lived in for the past three years currently rents for $420 a month. He said he is seeking the same amount each month for the period of May 15 through Aug. 15.
"The first week or so that we started advertising, people would hang up because of the price," he said. "Now that it is nearing the end of the semester, people are not as choosy, because the cheaper apartments are already gone."
ANGELL SAID the number of calls he has received in the past few days was "amazing." He has fielded five to 10 inquiries per day. Some of the callers tried to get him to lower the price.
"A lot of people have tried to bargain with us saying, `If you won't rent to us at a lower price, you'll never get anyone,'" he said. Angell is not too concerned, however, because his management company has agreed to let him out of his lease whether he sublets the apartment or not.
Before Angell and most students can sublet their apartment, they often must first contact the management company and inquire about the subletting policy.
"Legally, with a sublease, it is the responsibility of the tenant to find someone," said Geriann Robins, manager of Apple Lane apartments and Quail Creek Apartments. "Since the traffic (subletting) comes through the office, we try to help out."
SHE SAID before a sublet is arranged with a tenant and sublettor, a form must be filled out signifying the balance owed on the property, and the amount for which each part is responsible. At Robins' properties, a $75 subletting fee must be paid by the tenant, but if a sublet agreement is not reached, the money is refunded.
Kaw Valley Management oversees many properties in the Lawrence area and presents a very organized subletting system.
"Our tenants come in and give us a written notice as to the time period they wish to sublet," said leasing agent Mike Walrod. "We put the property on our availability list, and as soon as we start getting calls, we try to get it rented as soon as possible."
Walrod said a $100 subletting fee from the original tenant assists the management company in helping arrange either a sublet or a new lease on the property. He said a sublessee renting for the summer is allowed the option of extending the lease.
JANE ELLIS, property manager of Colony Woods Apartments, offered a different approach.
"We have about 372 apartments," Ellis said. "About one-third of the tenants leave for the summer, but we try to rent those apartments out, rather than sublet them."
Vicki Vande Velde is not a student, but she is hoping one will rent her apartment.
"I've been looking on and off for a couple months," she said. "I figured now would be the best time, because students are looking for places for the summer."
She said she is looking for someone to sublet her apartment until the end of July at the regular rental price of $380 a month.
Not all sublets are contracted at the regular rental prices bargain rates are just one of many incentives to attract sublettors.
A subletting advertisement of "May rent free" is an example of the savings students can find. Students can save hundreds of dollars when subletting an apartment or house, because the supply is much greater than the demand, and sublettors will often sacrifice in order to attract summer tenants.
One sublet even offered a jacuzzi.
Not everyone is willing to sublet to just anyone. Often, a sublet situation is an available room or apartment shared by others. Non-smokers, men, women, graduate student, and a "non-homophobic female," were just some of the specifications presented for certain sublets.