A growing number of students at UC Davis are rushing to find ways to get out of their leases for the next school year, with more classes being held online due to the pandemic.
Students are choosing to take their classes from home after finding out only a limited amount of in-person classes will be held at UC Davis in the fall.
Risa Slavin is searching for ways to get her daughter Nicole, a student at UC Davis, out of her lease after learning her classes will be all online.
“Trying to scramble now to find someone to take a lease over for the fall is very difficult. The thought of having to pay another year, it just can’t happen,” she explained.
Slavin is already paying $5,000 in rent without her daughter living there. Last week she informed the landlord that her daughter would be breaking the lease, but said the property manager told her she would have to find another renter or pay more than $12,000 of rent for the remainder of the lease.
“We are not going to be able to afford paying for this lease going forward and just pray that they are going to be reasonable,” she said.
Countless students are turning to social media to try to re-rent their apartments. Eugene Chang, the owner of College Town Realty, said a number of students trying to break their lease.
“Take one day at a time. Trying to work to make sure the maintenance and the workers there are covered and not laid off,” he said.
Chang said rental units are usually fully booked by this time of year in the college town. Instead, he is still dealing with empty units. He has lost around 80 students at his properties so far who decided not to renew or broke their lease due to the circumstances.
“We want the properties to be rented but at the same time, we want what is best for the tenants. We understand students’ concerns and families’ concerns and we want to work with them,” he said.
Most classes this fall at UC Davis will be on-line with some in-person opportunities, according to the university.
“The majority of properties will be able to be rented out in the fall, but if there is a second wave of coronavirus or the university gives the students the leeway of not coming back in the spring there will be more vacancies,” said Chang.
Even students who decided to stay, said they wish they had other options.
“It is pretty frustrating. When I think about paying for tuition especially, I’m thinking I’m paying for the in-person experience but I do understand, it is unprecedented times. I do wish I could go back home and live for free,” said UC Davis student, Noelle Querrero.
Slavin, who is still trying to find a solution, wishes companies would be more flexible, given the uncertainty.
“I know they have to make a living, but I think it hurts students a lot more than these large property management companies right now,” she said.