Apartments struggle to fill leases due to Kent State housing policy

Kennedy Caldwell

Handing out flyers, dropping rent prices and holding leasing events are some of the ways apartments in Kent are filling available units.

Leasing season began in November, but several apartment complexes are still looking to fill available spots.

Leasing manager at 345 Flats Lexie Baughman said one of the main reasons apartments are struggling is because Kent State requires sophomores to live on campus.

“Because sophomores are required to stay on campus, I think the apartment market is really struggling,” Baughman said. “If those students were able to leave campus after freshman year, I think the market would be doing so much better.”

Kent State’s housing policy states that students under the age of 20 or students who do not attain a junior standing must live on campus. If students commute, they must fill out a Mandatory Housing Policy Exemption Form to be excused from this policy.

In past years, Kent State has had a large number of incoming freshman and a limited amount of available space in residence halls, which makes it difficult to keep students on campus for two years.

Apartments such as Campus Pointe, 345 Flats and The Province mainly reach out to students through social marketing tactics and sending staff to campus to talk with students and provide information about off-campus living.

Campus Pointe’s community assistant Alexandra Mallory said they also host leasing events where staff members plan events for current and future residents in hopes of getting leases signed or renewed.

“Putting on events for the residents is so rewarding and effective,” Mallory said. “Meeting new faces and making friendships with our residents are just some of the perks of my job.”

At Campus Pointe, gift cards and technological devices such as GoPros and iPads are given out to selected residents after signing a lease.

While at 345 Flats, events include free food and fun activities including a recent visit from the Barrio food truck.

At The Province, the staff communicates to current residents through emails regarding lease renewal, which are sent out in November.

Penny Rossi, The Province’s leasing manager, said emails are a big reason why they have a high renewal number.

“We communicate almost every day with our residents,” Rossi said. “Our daily emails really do make a big difference in the renewal outcome and make our relationship with our residents stronger.”

Leasing for apartments in Kent will continue throughout the summer and into next school year.