Looking for an apartment? Start searching soon rather than later

TRI-CITIES, Wash. -- A year after many apartments offered special deals to attract renters, demand is sky-rocketing.

What a difference 12 months truly makes. Only a year after local apartments were desperate to get anyone through their doors, the Tri-Cities rental market is flooded with hopeful tenants.

"We knew there was an opening and we would get it," says Gavin Upton, a Pasco resident.

Upton is one of the lucky ones. The Yakima native moved to Pasco in March and had virtually no trouble finding a place. But only three months later, his story is becoming increasingly rare.

Across the Tri-Cities, apartment complexes are seeing a trend that would've been unheard of a year ago: sky-rocketing demand. Currently the occupancy rate is at 95 percent, but if apartments continue to be filled, many units tell KEPR they may soon have to resort to waiting lists just to handle everyone.

And that begs the question: if you're planning on switching apartments this summer, what should you do to stay ahead of the curve? For starters, try to plan out everything two months in advance.

"The partnership between tenants and landlords needs to be an equal agreement on both sides," says Kasey McComis, Chapel Hill Apartments. "Both parties want to be happy in that decision where you should live."

Landlords tell KEPR any possibility of waiting lists wouldn't happen for a few more months, but the message is clear: if you want to have success, act now rather than later.