College students petition to be released from Sacramento apartment leases since classes are moving online

Local News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — With universities in the Sacramento region moving most classes online, many students no longer need housing, but they’re still responsible for leases signed months ago.

When Amanda Landis signed a lease for the coming school year back in November, she had never even heard of COVID-19.

But with the virus forcing most Sacramento State classes online, Landis told FOX40 that she’s stuck with an apartment she no longer needs.

“They tell us, ‘Oh, they’re going quick! Sign now. You’ll save some money,’” Landis said. “That is just such a waste of money, and it’s money we don’t have. My mom is a single mom, and she lost her job because she had to stay home with my sister.”

Landis said she’s moving home to Los Angeles to care for her sister. But under the terms of her agreement with Lark Sacramento, a student housing complex not affiliated with the university, she’ll owe close to $12,000 over the next 12 months.

Landis said the complex is not giving an option to cancel or buy out the lease and told her she can find someone to sublet but requires that they must also be a student.

“It’s just a mess and I feel like I’m creating a burden on everyone because I chose to go to school further away. These places aren’t doing anything to help,” Landis explained.

FOX40 reached out to Landis’ housing complex.

In a statement, The Scion Group which manages Lark Sacramento, explained that they are not eligible for or seeking government assistance or financial relief but are still liable for all business expenses.

“We rely on revenue from our contracted residents to meet our own obligations and to be able to keep the community operating safely for the hundreds of residents who make their homes there.  This is why we are not in a position to simply allow open cancellation at this point; we must continue to look to our contracted residents under their Housing Agreements, unless we are able to mitigate our losses from terminations.”

The Scion Group

But Landis said she plans to keep fighting by joining a coalition of student renters in Sacramento who are all trying to get out of their leases.

They started a petition on change.org that has more than 1,700 signatures.

“We are publicly announcing what they’re doing and that is going to really negatively affect their business in the future,” Landis explained.

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