Subletters sought-after for summer in Evanston

Elizabeth Campbell

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When he heads home to Spain this summer, Gonzalo Garcia said he will still be paying $885 a month for his apartment in Evanston.

“I think it’s pretty unlikely that I will find someone (to sublet),” said the Kellogg graduate student. “I will pay the rent.”

Students looking to rent Evanston apartments for the summer are in high demand, according to those looking for subletters — renters who sign on to their lease temporarily.

Subletting is a common practice during the school year, with students leaving campus to study abroad or participate in McCormick’s Co-op program.

But student desire to live near campus diminishes when Northwestern isn’t in regular session.

Weinberg sophomore Alex Imas said he is having difficulty finding a tenant to sublet his apartment from June until September.

“There are significantly more apartments available in the summer than there are people wanting them,” Imas said.

To compete with other students, Imas lowered his price to a negotiable $480 a month, which he said is much cheaper than the usual $600 to $700 rent costs.

Those seeking tenants can do little more than keep their fingers crossed, said Communication junior Erica Gorochow, who is trying to find someone to move into her apartment July 1.

Because the move-in date is not the “most convenient” for potential subletters, Gorochow said she is trying to be flexible by reducing the rent and the length of the lease.

There is clear competition among subleasers, Gorochow said, since there are “a lot of options for people looking to sublet.”

“It’s all kind of a mix-and-match game of price, perks and priority,” Gorochow said.

Student advertisements range from messages on thefacebook.com, listservs, flyers in Norris University Center and word of mouth.

Imas began his search for a tenant in mid-April but said he saw flyers as early as January for potential summer sublets.

McCormick sophomore Maulin Shah found an apartment to rent through NU’s off-campus housing Web site when he lived in Evanston last summer and took classes.

Shah said being a temporary tenant had its perks, including a furnished apartment.

“We enjoyed it a lot,” Shah said. “It was much better than living in (Foster-Walker Complex).”

Some students live in Greek housing to save money. McCormick sophomore Bridger Steele said he plans to live in Zeta Beta Tau and at most will be paying $300 for the whole summer.

The terms of many Evanston leasing contracts create issues for tenants, said Weinberg junior Nick Romeo.

“The contracts all start in late June and early July,” Romeo said. “There’s an awkward gap of about two months (before school starts) that everyone has to fill.”

Romeo, who plans to study abroad this summer and next fall, began looking for someone to sublet his apartment in early April. He already has a summer tenant, but is still looking for a fall subletter.

A major target for those who need subletters are students who live in dorms during the school year but want to stay in Evanston for the summer.

The Foster-Walker Complex is the only dorm open for summer session, housing 250 enrolled students, according to assistant housing director Mark D’Arienzo. There were 1,141 undergraduates enrolled in NU’s summer session in 2004, according to the Office of the Registrar, many of whom commute or pursue off-campus options in the summer.

“We would never want to have a bed for every enrolled summer session student because we would be left with a lot of vacancies,” D’Arienzo said.

Reach Elizabeth Campbell at e-campbell-1@northwestern.edu.

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