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College students struggling to pay rent for off-campus apartments they no longer live at

Many students have already moved out and returned home to their parents during the pandemic, but are still expected to pay rent based on the lease agreement.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Most students at UNC Charlotte and Winthrop University who live off-campus now share a common dilemma — apartment leasing concerns at a place they no longer call home

Since the growing threat of the coronavirus, both of these universities have moved to remote learning and removed all students from campus. 

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As for off-campus properties at Haven 49 and Walk2Campus Rock Hill, many students there have also already moved out and returned home to their parents, but are still expected to pay rent based on the lease agreement.

“A lot of them can’t avoid to stay there, they have a loss of income, their parents have a loss of income,” says Rima Daya, a parent of a junior at Winthrop who lives at Walk2Campus.

At Haven 49, students say there are similar concerns.

“The financial burden for me is that I work a little bit but most of what I rely on to pay rent comes from my parents and with both of them not really working right now, there’s not any income coming in to pay rent in the foreseeable future,” UNC Charlotte senior Yovany Romero said.

They are like many other parents and students who have attempted to get out of their apartment lease due to the changes forced by COVID-19, but so far with no luck. 

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They tell WCNC Charlotte the only options given by property management are waived late fees, a payment plan, or sublease options.

“They would release her from her contract if she found someone else, but there would be no one else because students aren’t coming back so there would be no other students to take over her lease,” Daya says.

Winthrop University announced students who live on-campus would be reimbursed for meal plan costs and room and board for the remainder of the semester.

WCNC Charlotte reached out to property management at Haven 49 and Walk2Campus for comment, but have not heard back.

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