With the university undecided on whether classes will be in person or online in the fall, many apartment and housing agencies with students for tenants in Bloomington have yet to make a statement on leasing agreements.
IU sophomore Jessica Terzarial signed a lease at The Quarters apartment complex for the upcoming school year. Management at The Quarters has yet to say whether or not students will be locked into their leases.
“Moving into my apartment while classes are online would not be a smart thing to do just because I would be more focused at home,” Terzarial said. “However, if I cannot get out of my lease, I would most likely move into my apartment because I don’t want to waste money that is being spent.”
Living in an apartment may make it difficult to enforce social distancing. Aside from amenities apartment complexes have to offer, people crowding in tight spaces can cause health concerns to arise. Complexes may limit the amount of people allowed in elevators or the lobby to guarantee the safety of residents.
“If students move into their housing units, I don’t think anything would be open such as the pool, gym, etc. This would help social distancing because people wouldn’t be gathering in one area,” Terzarial said.
Hanna Martin, leasing manager of Olympus Properties, said Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines are posted in elevators, mailboxes and hallways to ensure regulations are clear to tenants. Not many of Olympus Properties' complexes have common areas which may include fitness centers and pools, Martin said. This makes it easier for occupants to follow guidelines relating to social distancing.
“In regards to students attempting to get out of their lease, we’ve only had a few requests. Within the handful of requests we’ve received, each student has successfully been able to be released from their unit,” Martin said.
Olympus Properties has binding lease agreements with their tenants. Students who wish to get out of their lease are only responsible for a small administration fee. Although they don’t plan on having promotions or incentives for students if classes were to be online in the fall, they are working with those who need to be let out of their lease.
IU sophomore Nick Peirick has signed a lease with Stageyard Apartments. Stageyard Apartments is a new complex in Bloomington which will be finished being built by the fall semester.
“As of right now, I plan on moving into my apartment in the fall,” Peirick said. “I have been keeping in contact with my apartment agency in regards to the possibility of e-learning in the fall. There may be a discount offered to students who plan to live there for the fall semester; however, it is still unknown.”
Peirick believes apartments should offer incentives because students were unaware of the future circumstances when signing lease agreements. On the other hand, it’s difficult on both sides of the table because complexes can’t afford to be losing so much money, Peirick said.
"Regardless if classes are in person or online, I still plan on moving to Bloomington in the fall," Peirick said. "There are far less distractions for me at IU, so it's easier for me to stay focused."