This week, U.S. Rep. Al Lawson, D-Fla., called on student housing companies in Tallahassee to let residents who moved back home due to the coronavirus break their leases without penalty.
On Monday, Lawson wrote eight student housing companies doing business in Tallahassee on the matter.
“Students and families across our state and nation are experiencing extreme financial hardship caused by a global health crisis beyond their control,” Lawson said. “It is unfair, while colleges and universities are temporarily shifting their instruction online during this pandemic and offering refunds on housing and meal plans, that these leasing companies are unfairly demanding students to pay their leases in full and burdening them with additional student debt. We all need to show compassion in these troubling times, and I hope these companies chose to do so.”
Lawson called for “flexibility with students who are terminating their lease early” and called on companies “to not force extra fees, charge interest or take actions that could negatively impact students’ credit.”
“Students are uniquely impacted by the coronavirus, as many rely on part-time jobs, that may no longer exist, to pay their rent. Many are also claimed on their parents’ or guardians’ tax returns. Because of this, these students are not likely to receive any direct government benefits from the current coronavirus stimulus package,” Lawson’s office noted.
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org.