Home Life and Arts Four things to know before signing a lease at an apartment

Four things to know before signing a lease at an apartment

Cabana Beach Apartment’s lounge area March 24.
Cabana Beach Apartment’s lounge area March 24. Like many complexes in San Marcos, Cabana Beach is currently leasing for fall 2017.
Photo by: Nathalie Cohetero | Staff Photographer

As the spring semester comes to an end, Bobcats are weighing their housing options for the next year.

With multiple off-campus living options, making a final decision can be challenging, but these easy tips can make the search easier.

  1. Know ACT

Achieving Community Together is a collaborative program between the city of San Marcos and Texas State that works to ensure students have an ideal living environment.

Margaret Yackel, off-campus living coordinator, said apartment complexes can become ACT members if they uphold to certain criteria.

“We make sure that they keep their property up, that they pick up their trash and they don’t advertise with alcohol,” Yackel said. “We also go through and check their crime prevention and make sure it’s a safe property.”

Apartment complexes must pass this evaluation every year. Once a complex’s membership with ACT is renewed, it is listed as one of the properties encouraged for students by Texas State.

  1. Know the resources

The Department of Housing and Residential Life offers many helpful resources for students. Using some of the tools it provides can be helpful in the process of finding an apartment.

The DHRL offers a list of all of the apartments that are ACT members and a detailed spreadsheet showing what each complex offers.

There are a number of other resources provided by DHRL students can explore to choose an apartment and help plan out budgets to accommodate new apartment expenses.

  1. Price

One of the biggest concerns students have when deciding where to live is the price of rent.

The apartment complexes under ACT vary in prices. Students should find a complex right for their budgets.

Students who want a lower rate should sign as soon as possible, because the prices for all apartments rise as the semester goes along.

Jeanette Gonzales, CastleRock apartment complex leasing consultant, said many apartments use the tiered system, meaning they are required to raise prices periodically throughout the year.

“With the tiered system we start out at one price for the first fifty people,” Gonzales said. “After those first fifty people, the price goes up for the next fifty, and then for the next fifty and so on.”

  1. Flood zones

San Marcos is known to be prone to flooding. Students should ask if a complex is known to flood and how the management handles emergencies.

Alexandra Keanini, Aspen apartment complex assistant general manager, said even while being on two flood zones, the complex worked well with students during flooding periods.

“When it flooded, our property was one of the first to respond,” Keanini said. “We had a higher renewal rate the next year because of how well we handled it and how quickly we got student’s apartments fixed and had them move back in.”