Wichita's down economy hit apartment rentals

Apartment managers are beginning to feel the effects of the economic downturn, and some are fighting back with free rent and other breaks for tenants.

It's still early in the economic cycle for landlords, but some report that tenants are being laid off and are moving in with relatives or friends to save money.

The July survey of apartment vacancies by the Wichita Apartment Guide shows the occupancy rate is 92.1 percent.

That is a solid occupancy rate, but it has fallen from nearly 95 percent last summer.

A few complexes are offering free rent to stand out from the crowd.

Cathy Weaver, manager of Eastwood Apartment, 4825 Eastwood, near Kellogg and Oliver, is offering two months of free rent.