University Village
6:27 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

University Village tenants allowed to break leases

The walkway collapse at University Village Apartments in Columbia, Mo. February 22, 2014.
Credit Miranda Metheny / KBIA

All residents in the University Village apartment complex have been given new options regarding their leases in light of the balcony walkway collapse last Saturday. 

In emails sent out to all University Village residents on Thursday and Friday, university apartment office manager Mark Partise wrote that each resident would be able to choose between renewing their contract, transferring to another university owned apartment, or breaking their lease without penalty. He also shared resources for finding off-campus housing suitable for graduate students and students with families.

Residents evacuated and displaced by the balcony walkway collapse at University Village spent Friday moving to new homes around the city. Betsabé Castro Escobar cancelled her university apartment lease on Friday and found a new apartment just north of campus. She says the University Village apartment had been in a great price range and location for her, but she was able to find a big place off campus that was closer and cheaper than anything else available through the university. Despite help from Residential Life, it has been a difficult week for her and many of the other affected residents.

“Most of the residents have like, a lot of struggles this week. Just, you know, you’re a grad student and you have to work as well, and many of the people there have families as well, they have to take care of their kids. And just to find a place, like in a week, it’s kind of impossible. But many of us did manage. And all of the residents now have apartments in place that they’re going to move to," Escobar said.

At least four of the affected residents have moved to other apartments owned by the university, while others have moved off campus. There’s no word yet on how many other University Village residents will take up the university’s option to break their leases and how many will stay to see what happens to the apartment complex.