Landlords claim the stay-at-home COVID-19 pandemic orders and restrictions are similar to “spring-break.” I’m not sure where these landlords went for spring-break, but it doesn’t sound anything like where I went in the 1980s.
While universities rushed millions of dollars back to families during these difficult times, some privately held dorm apartments refused to refund a penny. These large companies will not even give money back for items such as an “unlimited buffet” despite their cafeterias being closed. What makes matters even worse is that they are harassing families with debt collection emails, phone calls and hitting them with illegal fees and penalties for doing nothing more than responsibly following our government and colleges’ directives. One landlord told all its student tenants that they or their parents should go apply for unemployment if they were having trouble paying the rent.
Thankfully the law, common-sense and equity are on the side of the students and parents. These families have come together and asked Florida courts to intervene and provide them with some much-needed relief. Our firm filed the first class action in the country on these issues against Southgate Campus Centre. ABC News also did a great investigative story. [Click Here to Read]
What the future holds for Florida’s students is unclear. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease expert, urged caution in Senate testimony last week concerning reopening college campuses too soon saying that the idea of having college students all returning for the fall term “would be something that would be a bit of a bridge too far.”
For now, we will fight for our families. Our firm is spearheading this effort at Florida State University (FSU), University of Florida (UF), University of Central Florida (UCF) and University of South Florida (USF) to obtain a partial refund and stop the illegal and harassing debt collection. We are currently investigating: Plaza on University, Stadium Centre, The Village at Science Drive, The Pointe at Central, Knights Circle, 2nd Avenue Centre, The Social 2700, The Retreat at Orlando, Northgate Lakes, The Verge, The Courtyards, Urban Enclave, Onyx Apartments, The Nine at Tallahassee, The Station Alafaya, Boardwalk at Alafia Trial, Broad Street Commons, and Hub on Campus Orlando.
College kids and their parents went on an involuntary “staycation” together this year. It was no “spring-break” and we will not sit on the sidelines as these landlords cheat families and put their profits over our students’ safety.