Off Campus Leases

Nov 182003
Authors: Erin Frustaci

As the semester winds down, some students living off-campus are

in search of new roommates.

“Students leaving before leases are up happens every year,” said

Jean Robbins, director of operations and marketing at Ram’s Village


Robbins estimates between 10 and 15 percent of Ram’s Village

residents end up transferring their leases to someone else, usually

between semesters.

Some reasons for leaving leases early include graduating and

moving out of the area for work, transferring to a different

school, dropping out of school, financial problems and roommate


“I’m looking to move closer to campus and am trying to find

someone to take my place,” said Ryan Maier, a sophomore psychology


Maier has hung flyers around campus as well as posted a listing

with Off-Campus Student Services/Resources for Adult Learners.

Off-Campus Student Services provides students with information

about finding a place to live off campus, finding potential

roommates and the stages of renting.

The office keeps a book of listings and also posts them online.

They also hold Roommate Roundup events where students can come and

meet other students who are looking for roommates.

Jeannie Ortega, the director of Off-Campus Student Services,

said Roommate Roundups give students a chance to meet potential

roommates face to face.

“Off-Campus Student Services helps students who are living or

moving off campus. We help students understand their rights and

responsibilities as tenants of the community,” Ortega said.

Robbins said it is important to read and understand one’s lease

because every lease has a different clause for selling, subletting

or assigning leases before the end of the lease term.

Ram’s Village provides the option of “assigning” a lease to a

new renter. For a $50 fee, a current resident can assign or sell

his/her lease to a new applicant. Once all the paperwork is

completed, the original resident has no further legal


The students who remain behind are also impacted when they have

a roommate move out.

“One of our five roommates decided to move back with his parents

in California three months into our lease,” said Bruce Redmond, a

junior business major. “He is still paying us, but we have to trust

that he will send money from California.”

Redmond says he is kind of worried that they won’t find someone

for next semester. He advises students to make sure they are

confident in the people they live with and believe they will be


“I signed a sublease contract because I didn’t want to be paying

more if something happened. I already am paying enough for myself,”

said Elena Trevino, a veterinary medicine graduate student.

Trevino and her current roommate put an ad in the paper and put

flyers around campus. They hope semester break will be an easier

time to find a new rommate.

For students who plan to move off campus in the future, Robbins

encourages them to be mindful of all the options that exist and to

consider what type of living environment they want to be in. She

also suggests that if in the event a student wants to move out

early, he/she should speak with his/her landlord.

“Every year we have one or two residents who just move home at

semester break and don’t bother telling us they need to (reassign)

their lease. Sometimes we don’t discover this until we are trying

to collect money in January. As a property manager, I’m much more

likely to work with a resident who comes in ahead of time and talks

to us about his or her lease,” Robbins said.

Box info:

For more information on off-campus living, visit the Off-Campus

Student Services Web site at




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