By Ariana De La Garza:
With many students starting to think about where they are going to live next year or whether or not they are going to re-sign their current leases, finding a place to live near campus has become very expensive and even more expensive if you have pets. With rental rates in Manhattan increasing it is hard for students to find a place that they can afford to live with close access to campus.
Megan Irick a junior in equine science talked about her troubles finding a place to live and said, “Since I have a dog Prime Place was the best option for me when I was looking for a place to live last year,” said Irick. “I needed to find a place fast and they did not require a pet deposit which was shocking since other places I looked at wanted between four and five hundred dollars just for a pet deposit on top of everything else I had to pay upfront.”
Prime Place is one of Manhattan’s property management companies that manage several apartment complexes around Manhattan and close to the Kansas State campus. Prime Place’s business motto reads that, “We strive to provide housing that is within walking distance to campus as well as other amenities in town.” Prime Place recently sent out an email to its tenants telling them that if they chose to re-sign their lease by Dec.1 then they could get the special price of their current rent payment for the upcoming year. With plans to raise prices Prime Place is trying to get as many students to re-sign by offering them to keep the lower payment option.
Prime Place not only appeals to tenants by offering close to campus housing but also allowing pets in all of their complexes. Irick said, “This is the second time I have rented from Prime Place, and this time last year they sent out the same email offering tenants a deal to keep their current price.”
In an attempt to reach out to Prime Place to find out what their rates will increase to, they said that they were not going to release that information until December. That way they know how many units they will have available to rent.
Jared Turner the manager for Prime Place in Manhattan said, “We want to get as many of our tenants to re-sign their leases as possible so by offering them this deal we feel it will appeal to many of our tenants.”
Irick said that she would be trying to find a new place to live next year since her roommate is graduating in May. She said that she doesn’t want to go through the hassle of finding a new roommate so she is just going to look at single bedroom options. “I think that I am going to have to look outside of Manhattan for a place to rent next year cause these rental prices in town are just getting too high,” said Irick. “I can’t afford to pay seven hundred dollars in rent a month for a one bedroom place.”
Colleen McCarthy who is also a Prime Place resident said she moved to Manhattan to be closer to her family but had a hard time trying to find a place she could afford here in town. McCarthy said, “I tried to find a one bedroom place that I could afford but I had no luck however I was lucky enough to find two roommates off Craigslist and move in with them to make the rent more affordable.”
Since the 2010 census the United States Census Bureau estimated that Manhattan’s population has grown by 5.2 percent to 54,983 people. Over the past couple of years there has also been an increase in the amount of new housing and apartment complexes being built. Over the last four years Manhattan has seen an increase in properties available to rent by 2.8 percent according to the City of Manhattan’s website. Although the town’s population is increasing and the housing market is increasing the enrollment at K-State has dropped, which means a decrease in the amount of students that will possibly be renting in the area around campus.
Dalton Dean a recent K-State graduate in 2016 has recently moved back to Manhattan for his job and said, “It is so frustrating that with all of this new construction going on that rental prices are still increasing, you would think that you would want to lower your prices to appeal to renters to come rent from you instead of someone else.” When Dean moved back to Manhattan he said he was frustrated with what was available and the prices they were being offered at.
“You drive around town and still see all these signs out saying that places are available to rent so I don’t understand why these companies are continuing to raise their rates,” said Dean.
Kansas State offers assistance to students who are trying to find rental options as well as help reviewing leases, security deposits, and much more. Also they will help students go over the rights and responsibilities that tenants and landlords have. If you need any assistance with any of those things or just have questions students can set up an appointment free of charge with the office of Off-Campus Housing Support located in Holton Hall