Off-campus property summer leases prompt creative storage ideas for students

With spring term now in full swing, the blitz to find housing next year is on. Students are rushing to decide on roommates, types of housing and even types of leases.

According to the Office of the Registrar, the University’s student population, both undergraduate and graduate, is about 24,000. Of that number, about 4,000 are freshman, leaving the remaining 20,000 to find off-campus housing arrangements.

This burden typically falls to local rental companies such as Stewardship Properties, which specializes in managing and leasing campus-area properties for students. @@

According to Amanda Whitney, property manager for Stewardship Properties, roughly 90 percent of its 300 campus-area properties operate on a 12-month lease.

“The reason for this is that when you have properties, it is hard to justify having them open for two or three months,” Whitney said. “If we open up properties for summertime, it is too hard to fill a place for only a couple months.”

If a person or party chooses to change companies or properties, the leases do not always match up. Renters can either have an overlap of leases, where they have to pay for two properties at once, or renters may have a gap of time when no property is rented at all — rendering students without an option for storing belongings like furnishings, clothes and other school-year property.

University junior Mac Wolfson, who returns home every summer to Pittsburgh, has experienced this dilemma before. She thinks local rental companies take advantage of students with limited housing options. @@*[email protected]@

“My lease ends in the middle of the summer, and it’s inconvenient because I have to figure out what to do with my bed, desk and other belongings either before I leave Eugene, or from my home in Pittsburgh,” Wolfson said. “Even though (the companies’) main clientele are students, they don’t take into account our situations,” Wolfson said.

Wolfson managed to find a way to combat the system — she leaves her belongings in a friend’s garage during the summer.

Unfortunately, not all students have this option. Another approach for students to deal with awkward lease pairings is storage lockers. Storage lockers are prominent in the Eugene area, with companies such as Castle Storage renting out units at monthly rates.

“The units that are most popular are  the 5-by-5 (foot) locker at $47 a month, and the larger 5-by-10 (foot) locker at $66 a month,” said Castle Storage employee Breanna Watson. @@

University senior and Los Angeles native Jake Oldach has opted for a storage locker every summer to hold his belongings during gaps in his leases. @@He exists, Facebook says [email protected]@

“The rates are very reasonable, especially when the alternative is paying hundreds of dollars for rent,” Oldach said.

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John Goodwin

John Goodwin