SHORTCUT HERE: SUMMARY OF 2016 GROUP LEASE APARTMENTS
- Please refer to “Listing Categories” in the sidebar to quickly access group lease listings in different areas.
- Leave a comment to seek roommates！
A. What is group lease?
If you buy something in large quantities, you can probably get a bulk discount. The same logic applies to group lease here! At the beginning of each year, Sam Wong will negotiate with the management of major student apartments, who would offer amazing discounts like low rent, waived application & administration fee to Sam for bringing in renters in large numbers. If you join group lease, Sam will be able to pass the saving on to you!
B. Is group lease free to join?
Absolutely! You get all the savings at no cost, that’s how group lease works.
C. What exactly does group lease offer?
Well, besides the apparent savings on rent and fees, you get Sam Wong’s service as a professional apartment locator(which is free BTW).
- Let’s talk about savings first…
As mentioned, apartment management offer group lease renters bulk discounts like low rent and fee waivers. For example, in 2016 University Estates offered us BEST PRICE GUARANTEE, which means group lease renters will be guaranteed to have lower rent than non-group-lease renters. For their 4-4 units, group lease renter’s monthly rent is $470 instead of $590. In addition, the $180 application fee is waived for group lease renters, who will also have a lower monthly furniture fee ($15 instead of $35).
We do emphasize that such discount is only offered to group lease held by reputable apartment locators. This means you will not be able to get such big discount by negotiating with the apartment management yourself, or seeking referral from your friends living there. This is especially true if you are international student with neither credit history or guarantor.
- What about Sam’s locator service?
If you are new to U.S. with only your passport and I-20 (or DS-2019), you will frequently get stuck filling out forms and sheets, which usually ask for personal documents you don’t have (like Social Security Number). We have plenty of experience helping new international students through the laborious procedure of apartment renting.
If you have concerns about your apartment but you are not in Austin (or even in U.S.), you will probably find it hard to resolve it yourself. Even if you are able to contact the manager, you may not know exactly what to ask and what to expect. In such cases, group lease renter can directly ask help from Sam Wong, who would address your concerns quickly.
When you move in to your new apartment unit, Sam will be there to help you inspect it. She will help you take note of any pre-existing damage, so you won’t lose deposit for other people’s fault. If the condition of the unit is not satisfactory, Sam will help you switch to another unit.
- Are group-lease apartment any good?
We only select reputable, convenient, comfortable and safe apartment for group lease every year. Most of these apartments house a large number of UT students already. Generally, our group-lease apartment will be within 5 minutes walk to the nearby UT shuttle stop and 15 minutes walk to the nearby supermarket. We will even help you find roommates among group-lease renters so you are paired with people you are comfortable living with.
IF THE GROUP-LEASE APARTMENTS DO NOT SUIT YOU, WE WILL HELP YOU RENT OTHER APARTMENTS, FREE.
As a professional locator, Sam Wong’s business area stretches far beyond group lease. Whatever your need is, we will do our best to help you find your dream home. Please contact Sam with your requirement,
Our new group on WeChat:
Alternatively, you can leave us a message in CONTACT SAM page, we will get back to you ASAP.
D. WHAT IS SPECIAL ABOUT SAM’S GROUP LEASE
- Since 2005… We’ve been providing group lease deals each year since 2005! During the past 10 years, we have accumulated abundant experience, good reputation and a lot of partners in the local community (which means better discount!). We understand students’ need better, especially for international students from different backgrounds. This is important because with such understanding, we consistently pick the best apartments and units for our renters.
- Sam Wong’s experience: Sam has been a licensed realtor since 2003. She represents buyers and sellers in the Austin area, both residential and investment. Majority of her business is generated from referrals and repeat clients–an indication of the quality of service she provides.
- Collaboration with UTCSSA: Sam has held a long and successful collaboration on group lease with Chinese Student & Scholar Association of University of Texas at Austin (UTCSSA). If you need help with tasks like moving in Austin, Sam can help you find a volunteer from UTCSSA.
- Follow-up services: If you rent an apartment from Sam, Sam will provide you free follow-up services (like helping you post sublease informations).
E. HOW TO JOIN GROUP LEASE
- Please browse our listings and find the apartments that you like. The latest group lease listings are as follows,
- Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for application form. Please specify your name, apartment of interest, desired floorplan and flooring preference (wood or carpet). Meanwhile, if you have already found your roommate, please tell us his/her name and email address so that we can put you in the same room.
- If there is an online application system, we will send you instructions to help you complete it. Otherwise we will send you an application form through email. After you print and fill out the application form, please send a scanned copy back to us (email@example.com).
- We will also send you an understanding letter for you to read and sign. Please send scanned copy of the signed understanding letter, your I-20 and passport (front page) to us.
- You will get a group number if you and all of your roommates have completed step 1-4. If you don’t have roommates, we will match roommates for you and send you the group number.
- In early June, we will release the unit numbers so that renters can pick unit according to their group number. (If you sign up early, you can pick early)
- What is Best Price Guarantee: Best price guarantee means the apartment guarantees that the group-lease rent will be lower than the non-group-lease rent at the time you move in.
- What is renter insurance: Renter insurance protects you against loss of your personal belonging in events like fire, earthquake or theft. Such losses will not be covered by the apartment management! If you somehow damage the apartment, renter insurance will also help you cover part of the repair cost. (Please read terms of your renter insurance to determine exact coverage you have) Sam recommend purchasing renter insurance from Stacey Lin, AllState Insurance, 512-873-0118, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Why some apartments ask for full monthly payment in August (even if you move in during late August): What renters pay to these apartment every month is actually their monthly installment (often used interchangeably with the word “rent”). This means the apartment calculates the your total rent according to length of the entire rental period, divides it evenly into “installments” and collect one installment every month. So even if you missed the first few weeks of August, don’t worry, your total rent will be prorated so that you won’t be paying for them.
- Can I join group lease before I receive my I20/DS2019: Yes. But please let s know and make sure you have your I20/DS2019 before you move in.
- Can I move in early? Unfortunately no. As all leasing contracts end at 07/31/2016, the apartment management only have 2-3 weeks to clean up all their units before the new renters move in. This is the busiest time of the year for apartments. It would be impossible to make special arrangements for anyone during this time.
- Why apartment requires security deposit: As the name suggests it’s for security purposes. In cases of property damage or delinquent payment, the apartment management can deduct appropriate amount from the deposit to cover the loss. If you have good credit history or guarantor, you will be asked to pay less deposit. International students are usually charged high deposit due to lack of credit history.
- Can Sam be my guarantor? No. Your renting guarantor should be your parents or close relatives, because your guarantor will be required to pay your rent when you cannot afford it.