(WSVN) - University of Miami students are almost halfway through the fall semester, but some are still waiting for a permanent place to stay for the school year. 7’s Karen Hensel investigates.
Most college kids look forward to getting out of the dorms and into their own apartments.
Amanda Mohamad, UM student: “I don’t have a home. I don’t have a home.”
UM sophomore Amanda Mohamad was looking forward to moving into The Cloisters Student Apartments near campus. Instead, she’s been stuck in a hotel while the apartments are being renovated.
Amanda Mohamad: “Exactly 30 days.”
Her parents are still paying the rent for an apartment where she can’t live.
Eric Mohamad, Amanda’s father: “So they’ve asked for two months’ rent payment before the kids have actually even moved in yet.”
The Cloisters is supposed to offer furnished student apartments, a fitness center and a pool. Plus, it’s just a short walk to campus.
Anh Steininger, parent of student in hotel: “It does not look like it is ready to be moved in.”
Parents shared pictures from the past two weeks with 7 Investigates. They are concerned with how long it’s taking for work to be completed.
Anh Steininger: “It’s obvious that it’s not ready, yet they keep sending out emails that it is ready, until the day before, and that’s when they say, ‘Oh, by the way, it’s not ready.'”
Landmark Properties bought the Cloisters property a few years ago.
In 2022, it began renovating the existing apartments, along with adding new townhomes. The apartments were supposed to be ready by Aug. 18.
The move-in date has been pushed back at least three times.
Anh Steininger: “I think these kids have so much going on already, the last thing they need is more stress as to where they are going to live.”
And parents are stressed because they are still on the hook for the rent.
This 56-page lease says “…The failure on the part of the landlord to assign a unit to resident … shall not relieve resident of his or her responsibilities…”
If the apartment isn’t ready, the landlord can provide “temporary accommodations (which may include, without limitation, hotels)…”
Eric Mohamad: “So, if they’re providing a hotel space for you, then you can’t break the lease. And that’s what’s written in the lease.”
The lease says it can only be broken within 30 days of the move-in date if “alternative accommodations” are not provided.
Amanda Mohamad: “All I have is a bedroom and a bathroom and a very small closet. I don’t even have, you know, drawer space for my clothes. I’m practically living out of my suitcases.”
We reached out to Landmark Properties.
The company tells 7 Investigates, “We are on schedule for all students to move into the renovated buildings on our Cloisters Miami property Friday morning, September 22. … Unforeseen construction delays pushed back our move-in timeline for this final group of move-ins.”
Parents and students are skeptical, because the move-in has been pushed back so many times.
For now, it’s set for Friday, but that doesn’t mean everything is finished. Landmark Properties says work continues on the pool, fitness center and leasing office.
Karen Hensel, 7News.
Students tell 7News they were notified about the move-ins late Thursday, and they’ve been told they can pick up their keys starting Friday at 7 a.m.
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