LUBBOCK, Texas — Back to school season is just a few weeks away, and for college students, and that means moving season too. While it can be fun to find a new place for the semester, getting into it can be stressful for many students, especially those who stayed for work or summer classes.
For many college students, like Texas Tech senior Sadie Gregg, there’s often a two to three week wait until they can get into their new place for the semester.
“It’s been a little rough having to jump around from everywhere,” said Gregg. “Last year, I got to go home cause I had my summer classes online in July. This year, it’s been a little different. I had summer classes again and they were still online, which made it easier, but I was bouncing around from my friends’ houses because I needed to be here to be able to [be a] nanny for the family that I work for.”
Around this time of year in Lubbock, many students are moving out of apartments and homes they had for the summer, but their fall lease hasn’t started yet, leaving some with no where to go.
“It’s stressful for sure; having to live out of a suitcase for two weeks is hard and just making sure I’m able to get into the houses, and I have a key or I’m there at the same time as the people that I’m living with are there,” said Gregg.
However, Gregg also said that moving from an apartment to a house with a property manager like Micah O’Hair has made this much better than the last. O’Hair said he makes a hard effort to have his rental properties ready by the first of the month to help students avoid this exact problem.
“My leases generally end on the 30th and begin on the 1st, so that leaves me exactly one in a fraction days to take care of whatever needs be and in order to pull that off,” said O’Hair. “If I was a student, I wouldn’t want to be out of the house for a long period of time.”
According to O’Hair, a lot of properties typically need those few weeks to do work like repairs and cleaning out units, especially if past tenants weren’t the greatest.
“Over the years I’ve learned, you know, there’s certain things–despite what they tell me–I shouldn’t assume,” said O’Hair. “A good example would be college boys who have a tendency to tell you, ‘Oh, we’ll get the house cleaned,’ but no. So I’ve learned to keep maids on standby and do whatever we need to do to make sure that we can have a clean transition.”
Even with how stressful couch-surfing can be during this time, Gregg said she sees a slight silver lining.
“My friend that I was living with this past week, she actually ended up canceling her lease, and she was moving out so that was stressful on her,” said Gregg. “But she was like, ‘This kind of fun,’ because we have sleepovers a lot during the school year anyways, so it was just like a week-long sleepover. We just liked living with each other and it was a lot of fun.”
Lubbock Association of REALTORS® President, Donna Sue Clements, also recommended talking to a trusted realtor and property manager about short term rentals, and other possible solutions to bridge the lease gap.