KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Rent has gone up nationwide, especially in Knoxville. It’s putting many in a bind, including University of Tennessee students. An on-campus housing lottery UT put into place is causing many upperclassmen to scramble in hopes to find off-campus housing in their price range and available.
Darryl Collins is the leasing and marketing manager at Flagship Kerns, an apartment complex close to the University of Tennessee’s campus. He said the demand for apartments has skyrocketed in the last few months, let alone weeks.
“Once they tour, they sign these leases very, very quickly,” Collins said.
Right now a one-bedroom apartment at Flagship Kerns isn’t available until the end of 2023. This is only being a rough estimate since residents have the option to renew their lease.
“Just this week alone we had at least 165 new leads come in, just asking what we doing, what our pricing was, and we had about 25 tours just this past week,” said Collins.
Many of those requests coming from students after UT announced the lottery back in November guaranteeing first-year students a dorm room. It’s something Collins said he’s seeing the effects of.
“Due to the lottery situation on the UT campus, we’ve had a lot of students that are scrambling looking for housing. From what I can tell, a lot of students are taking it more seriously after they got back from spring break,” he said.
According to Apartment List, so far over the first four months of 2022, rents have increased by a total of 2.5 percent, and although Collins said they are thankfully not apart of that statistic, there are other obstacles.
“The hardest part right now is we are pretty full, so we don’t have immediate move-ins available. There are people who call saying, ‘hey can I move in next week?’ and we just don’t have it,” Collins said.
As for students who can wait a few more months before settling into a place for fall semester, Collins suggests they shouldn’t wait. He’s predicting that in the next 7-10 days, there won’t be any more availability left within Flagship Kerns.
Collins has spoken to other apartment managers near UT’s campus and many of them say they are already full.
UT does have a website showcasing available housing. However, the listing may not be the most updated.