With summer leasing only a couple of months away, off-campus apartments are planning to welcome back potential lease owners for the upcoming fall semester.
“We are going to start doing the same thing as last year — just prepping for summer placement for you guys so that we can start pre-leasing for anybody who is interested in moving in around June, July or August,” said Maria Penaloza, a leasing consultant at the UCA apartments located near Cal State Fullerton.
When the pandemic hit, Penaloza said that the UCA apartments made adjustments to its facilities in order to keep the property and tenants safe. The pool was restricted to appointments only and then later closed, while the gyms remained open until the county hit the purple tier.
Penaloza said that once CSUF closed, many students left the apartments to return home.
Currently the apartment’s occupancy rate is 96%.
Penaloza said she has started to receive phone calls about potential leases, but does not yet know if there will be an increase in rates for the summer.
The University House, located on Chapman Avenue, is also making adjustments to lease out the rest of their open units for the fall semester, said Eric Strain, general manager at University House.
Since the announcement of CSUF’s plan to return to virtual learning in the fall, Strain said that University House has seen more leases for the 2021-22 year and are making arrangements for summer move-ins, which are currently available.
Strain said the University House is three-quarters full with move-ins happening regularly.
Damian Arteaga, a fourth-year theater major, said he continued to live at his University House apartment throughout the beginning of virtual instruction. Arteaga's current apartment has not had any new move-ins since summer 2020 and he currently lives in a four-person unit with two empty rooms, he said.
“They were trying really hard to get people to renew their leases. I got so many emails about it, but I didn’t renew it.” Arteaga said. “It was clear that they were kind of like scrounging for money a little bit and that they were trying to do the best that they could in the situation.”
Avery Mann, a fourth-year theatre major at CSUF, said that after some of her assigned roommates left at the beginning of the virtual semester, she received some refunds every month after paying rent.
“They gave us like $50 back for an amenity fee because we weren’t able to use the gym and the leasing office for anything, so they gave us back $50 on our rent, but they only did that for two months and then after that, it hasn’t really been spoken of. It kind of went back to normal,” Mann said.
Strain said that they will return to hosting in-person events and increasing capacity for amenities once the public health guidelines allow it.
Currently, the rates are expected to increase for the 2021-22 academic year, Strain said.
Uptown Fullerton is also welcoming new leases as they resume in-person tours by appointment only. The apartments have outdoor amenities that have been open with the exception of the indoor gyms, according to Nichole Dines, the apartment’s leasing consultant.
“We just ask for residents only — no guests at this time. Let's say there is only one person in the pool, we are okay with you bringing one guest with you. Other than that, just keeping social distancing and wearing the appropriate face masks and everything as well,” Dines said.