COVID-19 School Closures and Student Housing Fees

COVID-19 School Closures and Student Housing Fees

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Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Asset Plus Corporation For Their Alleged Refusal to Refund Campus Housing-Related Monies

Kehoe Law Firm, P.C. is making consumers aware that on April 7, 2020, a class action lawsuit was filed against Asset Plus Corporation (“Asset Plus”) in United States District Court, Northern District of Florida, “on behalf of all people who paid the costs of room and board and/or attendant service fees for the Spring 2020 academic semester at private dormitories throughout the State of Florida, each managed by Defendant Asset Plus Corporation.”

According to the complaint,

[u]pon the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, these people lost the benefits of the room and board and/or the services for which they had paid. Defendant [Asset Plus] has responded to the pandemic and the resultant constructive eviction of its tenants by retaining the unearned costs and fees, implementing a policy whereby it refuses to grant any refunds to its leaseholders.

In or around March 2020, Florida colleges and universities announced that, because of the global COVID-19 pandemic, all classes would be moved online for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester. Students who lived in on-campus housing were told they had to move out or were strongly encouraged to do so, such that they had no meaningful choice but to comply. Further, because all classes were moved online, there was no reason for students to remain near campus if they had other housing available to them. This is particularly so in the face of the dangers, risks, and fear associated with the pandemic. Many students chose to leave campus to be with their families, or to avoid exposure to COVID-19, and they have stayed off campus to comply with directives from the schools, as well as local, state and federal governments. In addition, the services that their fees were intended to cover are no longer available to them. [Emphasis added.]

The complaint alleges that “[d]espite the constructive eviction of students at the schools for the remainder of the semester and ending all campus activities for at least that same time period, Defendant has refused refunds to students for the unused portion of their room, board, and fees.  Defendant [Asset Plus] is, in essence, profiting from [the Coronavirus] pandemic.” [Emphasis added.]

Kehoe Law Firm, P.C.