Metro-area college students forced to leave campus now struggling to break leases

Problem Solvers

DENVER (KDVR) — College students across the Denver metro area have vacated campuses due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Many say it’s unfair that they should have to pay for apartment housing they’ve vacated as well.

University of Denver graduate student Tristan Jenkins returned home to Minnesota to be with his family.  

“There is no reason I should come back to Colorado because I might risk being exposed to the COVID-19 virus,” he said.

FOX31 talked to parents who say landlords are requiring them to sublet their child’s apartment or pay the remainder of the lease in one lump sum.

Renter’s rights attorney Jacob Eppler tells the Problem Solvers the law still sides with landlords when it comes to breaking a lease for reasons other than traditional health and safety violations.

“Your obligations to pay your landlord for rent will continue and you will be liable for that,” he said.

Eppler adds that the best option for those struggling to pay rent is to try to work out an agreement with your landlord.  

“Despite the fact that students may have had a loss of their income because our economy stopped producing goods and services right now, the financial component of our economy is still continuing in terms of debts and obligations,” he said.

Eppler warns that not paying for rent can still land you with an eviction.

Assistance programs are in place to help those who have been laid off and struggling to pay the rent.

You can contact the Denver Department of Human Services and Denver Housing Authority online.

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