What can we do if an apartment complex is taking advantage of students?

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What can we do if an apartment complex is taking advantage of students?

I am a student living in student housing. My boyfriend and I recently signed a lease with a brand new apartment complex. Move-in day was supposed to be yesterday but we have not been able to move in yet. They sent us an email that we can move in 6 days, a whole

week late and only 3 days before school starts. Yet, they are still charging us almost a full months rent for only 4 days of living there, and then expecting us to pay another months rent on the 1st of next month. Also, we have been staying with family while we’re in between places. It was only supposed to be for 2 weeks, and since we work in rather f away from where we are living, my boyfriend’s place of work was kind enough to give him 2 weeks off until we’re back in San Marcos. My boyfriend went back to work today on the 20th despite still living in 3 hours away. I’ve tried contacting the apartment management by email, phone and text but they have not given me any information. They should be paying for my boyfriend’s gas and a place to stay until we can move in. We should also be only paying for the days we live there. Another problem is there is a flash flood warning in effect in the area until tomorrow so my boyfriend is forced to drive 3 hours in dangerous conditions. This all should not be legal.

Asked on August 20, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

1) Forget about the flash flood issue: that is not the landlord's concern in *any* way, since they have no control over and do cause the flood. The landlord bears on responsibility or liability in this regard.
2) If the lease you and your boyfriend signed had you paying full rent for August even though you were not moving in until the 18th, then you agreed to pay full rent for a partial month.
3) The above said, if the complex is delaying move-in, they need to give you a credit or refund for the days that you can't move due to the landlord's choice or actions; for example, for 6 days of rent.
4) Check the lease to see if, in the case of a move-in delay like this, the landlord owes you anything beyond a rent credit: if the lease limits their responsibility to a rent credit, that is legal. If not, you *may* be able to sue the landlord (you'd have to sue, if they won't pay voluntarily) for the 6 or so days of rental cost for living elsewhere--but if you are staying with family and not paying rent, there is nothing to sue for (you also can't sue for gas since it is your choice to be so far away--that landlord is not making you stay 3 hours away).


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