Due to COVID-19, I have decided not to return to my university in April (which was my original plan.) However, my university-approved apartment complex will not release me from my contractual obligation; they have only offered a discounted rent for the inconvenience.
As a condition of university approval, all apartment complexes are required to ensure their premises are safe. However, based on the latest word from the university's Housing Office, it does not appear that they will be intervening.
I am in Colorado, and my apartment complex is in Idaho. For the uninitiated/unaware, both are under stay-at-home orders that, at the time of this writing, are scheduled to end before April 18th, when I am "expected" to return to university.
My question is, am I still obligated to pay rent, or can I refuse on the basis of the pandemic?
EDIT: After a review of my last contract with them, I found this section:
- BREACH OF CONTRACT BY LANDLORD: Landlord may be in breach of Contract for the following reasons: (A) Landlord fails to maintain property according to BYU-Idaho requirements as stated in the Approved Housing Guidebook; (B) Landlord materially misrepresents property on website and/or in written information such as e-mails, flyers, brochures, etc.; or (C) Landlord suffers, permits, or maintains any nuisance or any health or safety hazard on the premises. Landlord agrees to release Student from this Contract and cover moving costs.