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Some SDSU students locked into leases

Posted at 3:04 PM, May 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-15 18:46:55-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Some San Diego State students are locked into their apartment leases for the next school year, even though most classes will be offered online.

With SDSU's virtual classes for fall 2020, many students no longer need housing. That's the case for one student going into her junior year. We're calling her 'Jane' to protect her privacy.

“I pay out-of-state tuition," said Jane. "So it’s really kind of pointless to be paying rent in San Diego if I could live at home.” Jane's home is in Las Vegas.

Before the pandemic, she signed a 12-month lease with Paseo Place for the 2020-2021 school year. The complex advertises as on-campus student housing on their website. The property is managed by Campus Advantage, which operates dozens of student housing properties throughout the country.

In the Coronavirus section on the Campus Advtange website, it reads, "...we are not able to release residents from lease obligations."

That means students are stuck paying for apartments they no longer need. In an email to Jane, the property manager told her the only option was to sublease her apartment. In the era of Covid-19, it may be difficult to sublease when students no longer need to be on campus to begin with.

“They know, okay the student may not have the money to pay for it but maybe their family can figure it out," said Jane.

Another student complex called "M @ College" sent an email to residents saying they are allowing students to terminate their lease without penalty.

“Given what’s going on and how many people have lost their jobs, I am almost certain I am not the only student going through this," said Jane. “This is unfair housing. They are taking advantage of students and their families.”

Paseo Place sent this statement to 10News, claiming to be off-campus although their website says otherwise.

"Paseo Place is an off-campus student housing property that is independent from San Diego State University and our leases are not connected to the University’s operating status. Paseo Place remains open to our residents, many of whom are not students, who continue to reside at the property, or who plan on returning, in order to keep the facility operational.

We are working with our residents and their families by offering a number of rent flexibility options on a case by case basis."

Paseo did not answer our specific questions about whether students will be let out of their leases.

10News also reached out to San Diego State. They sent us the following statement:

"We understand that this period of uncertainty can be especially difficult for our campus community and are prioritizing preparing and sharing timely updates as decisions are made. San Diego State University is in active conversations with the California State University (CSU) Chancellor’s Office, as well as local and state health officials, including the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency, regarding student housing arrangements. Our priority remains the health and safety of our campus community. Additional information regarding student housing is forthcoming, with approval from the CSU."