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SDSU student fights for rent forgiveness at off-campus housing complex

Paseo Place may appear to be on SDSU campus, but it's privately owned and indicated it will not release students from rent obligations.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — According to some San Diego State University students, they are being forced to pay rent with very little relief at off campus housing complexes.

Since classes moved to an online format, students who have moved back home said they cannot afford to break their leases. 

Paseo Place is located in the 5600 block of Lindo Paseo, but the university said it is not affiliated with the private off-campus housing complex.

“They [Paseo Place] haven't offered any incentive during these times which is honestly ridiculous because I know so many kids who are experiencing the same thing right now through Paseo,” said a SDSU junior.

The university student did not want to have her name revealed or have her face shown out of fear of retaliation by property management. She signed a lease that doesn’t start until August. She and three other roommates are to pay $1,010 each for a 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom apartment.

“They basically told me, 'we're sorry we are not doing anything. If you want to find someone to sublease, that is your only option,'” said the hospitality major.

Other residents living at Paseo Place feel it, too. 

“We are bound by our lease right now. I have a friend trying to sublease and do things like that and putting in requests for rent forgiveness and not being honored here,” said resident Hans Capozzi.

The student who reached out to News 8 said she is living at home in Las Vegas with her family. She shared communications from other SDSU students living at other off campus housing complexes who are getting their termination fees waived.

“I just don't understand how, they could, so many months in advance, their website is all about ‘students first, student housing,’” said the student.

Campus Advantage is the property management company for Paseo Place, a nationwide company that owns 60 properties near university campuses across the U.S. Other students could be feeling the same pinch as not all schools have announced plans for Fall 2020.

On its website for all properties the following is written:

"We unfortunately are not able to release residents from lease obligations at this time… We’re all in this together and all deserve safe and clean housing. To that end, we rely on rental payments to pay those workers and to cover our mortgage, utilities, maintenance and more.”

A spokesperson for Paseo Place released a statement to News 8:

"Paseo Place is an off-campus student housing property that is independent from San Diego State University and our leases are not connected to the University’s operating status. Paseo Place remains open to our residents, many of whom are not students, who continue to reside at the property, or who plan on returning, in order to keep the facility operational.
We are working with our residents and their families by offering a number of rent flexibility options on a case by case basis."

The student said that is not the case and it’s just wrong.

“They are manipulating a lot of families during and such a horrible time when there is a financial burden to these people," she said.

News 8 reached out to state Assemblyman Todd Gloria who is also running for San Diego mayor. His spokesperson wrote:

“This is a situation we’ll be looking into. Assemblymember Gloria remains deeply concerned about the pandemic’s impacts on renters and landlords, and he is engaged in conversations in real-time about how to provide relief to each. We recognize there has to be a balance. I would note there is proposed legislation by Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins and Assemblymember Monique Limon (D-Santa Barbara) that seeks to address this issue, and our office will look into whether additional legislative action may be necessary.”

A spokesperson for SDSU released a statement:

We understand that this period of uncertainty can be especially difficult for our campus community and are prioritizing preparing and sharing timely updates as decisions are made. San Diego State University is in active conversations with the California State University (CSU) Chancellor’s Office, as well as local and state health officials, including the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency, regarding student housing arrangements. Our priority remains the health and safety of our campus community. Additional information regarding student housing is forthcoming, with approval from the CSU.”

Editors note: The story originally stated that Paseo Place is owned by Campus Advantage but has been corrected to state Campus Advantage is the property management company for Paseo Place.

San Diego State students living off campus during the pandemic say t... hey should have done type of rent forgiveness if they have to move home and take online courses. One student says Paseo Place will only her to sub let when her lease starts in August

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