Close Menu
The Apartment Hunter’s Guide to Last-Minute Housing

The Apartment Hunter’s Guide to Last-Minute Housing

Fear not, apartment hunters: It’s never too late to find last-minute housing in Madison. There are more available units on the market every year, which means there is a great apartment out there with your name on it. Here are a few resources and tips to help you dig up a last-minute apartment gem. But wait — maybe you want more than just an apartment. Perhaps you’d like a good deal to go with it? We checked in with our renting experts at Steve Brown Apartments for some pro tips. As you’ll soon see, belated house-hunting can sometimes result in great deals on great spaces.

Let Housing-Specific Search Engines be your Guide

Sometimes you’ve just got to go with the tried-and-true. In this case, we’d start by recommending Craigslist to find immediate openings. You can also search, and They’re straight forward and offer plenty of options for the last-minute hunter. Pro tip: Try looking around the sublets section on Craigslist. Sometimes people need to get out of a lease and discount their apartment as an incentive. You could find a gem for the price of a dump. #win.

Gather some roomies or find people who need one

istock_000020813020_small (1)

Madison is constantly constructing new high rises, many of which consist primarily of three to four bedrooms. With so many multi-room apartments in the city, you can ask two or three other last-minute apartment-seeking friends if they’re interested in rooming. As long as you’re not overly picky about location and price, finding somewhere shouldn’t be tough. All of your friends already found a place? Bah, who needs ‘em? You should make some new friends and find an apartment while you’re at it. For example, look for students who’ve already signed a lease but are searching for an additional roommate. In this case, we’d again recommend using Craigslist. You can also also give a try. This UW-Madison website has a detailed apartment search tool that can limit results to residents seeking a roommate. Finally, while housing options are generally limited, it’s never too late for roommate matching. Steve Brown Apartments can help match you up, but there may be slim pickings due to limited choices. Pro tip: Occasionally, a group of students will have individually leased an apartment with roommate matching but there’s still one last bedroom left to fill. This can result in the property management company discounting the rent to attract that final resident. Regularly check in with the leading agents and maybe that final roommate will be you.

Give property management companies a ring

Remember when people actually used a telephone to talk? Now might be a good time to kick it old school. Call up some property management companies and ask what they have available. It could be easier than trying to navigate their websites. Plus, they might have some unadvertised options for sublets or roommate matching. Pro tip: Cross your fingers for no-shows. Once in a while, the tenants simply won’t show up to their apartment. Be persistent and continually dial up the management company to see if anything opens up. They will slash prices to fill a sudden vacancy and you can swoop in to take it off their hands. It’s a win-win.

Let Steve Brown Apartments help you out

While we don’t have a plethora of availability, we do usually have spaces available for roommate matching at the Highlander and the Regent, as well as full studio apartments at Henry Gilman. Be sure to give us a call before the end of August! Once September begins, we’re almost always completely full.


Renting last minute can get you in a panic. Don’t let it. Your choices might be a little more limited, but with the resources and tips we provided, finding a gem is still very much in your reach.

Download a FREE Lease Review Checklist

With questions you must ask before you sign a lease!

Get it now

Published on Jul 23 2014

Last Updated on Aug 26 2022