Will students have to pay rent after Thanksgiving?

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Leer en español: ¿Tendrán que pagar los estudiantes de BYU por vivienda después del Día de Acción de Gracias?

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BYU has decided to move classes online after Thanksgiving. But what does that mean for students whose housing contracts don’t specifically address rent payments if students choose to stay home over the holidays?

A statement from the BYU Off-Campus Housing Office says “students are encouraged to review their individual agreements and contact their individual landlords for clarification on rent charges between Thanksgiving break and winter semester.”

Hannah Miner
BYU classes are going remote after Thanksgiving, but some students will have to continue paying rent even though they’ll be living at home for the rest of the semester. (Photo illustration by Hannah Miner)

In an email sent out to tenants, Mountain View Management, a real estate brokerage that specializes in BYU and UVU student housing, said it will not extend releases at this time. “This includes the time period after Thanksgiving to the end of Fall Semester, and beyond,” the email says.  

The email also states tenants should consider selling their contracts and listing them as soon as possible if they feel uncomfortable keeping their contracts or do not wish to wait for BYU’s decisions about how classes will be offered during Winter Semester 2021.

Vision Real Estate President Jeremiah Maughan said he considers the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas similar to the time between finals and the start of a new semester.

“Whether a tenant stays or goes home with family, their property is still there so they would still be responsible for rent,” Maughan said. He said the tenant will still have the option to sell their contract early as many students do at the end of December.

The Daily Universe reached out to several other management companies. Legend Real Estate and Rockwell Property Management declined to comment and Redstone Residential and Aspen Ridge Management did not respond.

BYU’s Office of Residence Life said, “All housing agreements will remain in place during the remote learning time frame following Thanksgiving, and the pricing will remain the same.” The office said students who choose to come back after Thanksgiving should be mindful of their exposure to COVID-19 and quarantine or isolate at home prior to returning as needed. 

The statement from BYU’s Off-Campus Housing Office also said students can seek mediation through the Center for Peace and Conflict Resolution if they have concerns and landlords are also able to utilize the CPCR if they believe a student is not fulfilling the terms of their housing contract.

Back in March when the school closed, BYU’s Off-Campus Housing Office encouraged landlords to work with students through the hard time, as BYU was pushing for students to return home for the remainder of the semester. Several BYU students started filing requests for mediation from CPCR after their landlords would not release them from their contracts upon their own request.

BYU student tenants and BYU landlords can begin the dispute resolution process by filling out a form found on the CPCR website.

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