Some SUU students stuck paying rent after flash flood takes over apartments

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CEDAR CITY, Utah (ABC4) – It’s been just over a week since many students at Southern Utah University became displaced after flash floods took over their off-campus apartments and now some students say they are having a difficult time getting out of their leasing contracts.

Kyley Hernandez says and she and her roommates lost many of their personal items after flash floods damaged their first level West Hills Apartment on July 26.

“Our apartment filled with water, there was water coming in from our toilet, our shower, the front door, pouring in from everywhere,” says Hernandez.

“Our main goal is to get West Hills back up and running, they were not nearly as affected as University West,” says Debbie Forsyth of Asset Management Real Estate, LLC.

This is what tenants living on the first level of the West Hills Apartment saw. And Kyley, along with others who paid $500 for the summer to live here say they’ve moved out after the floods.

“To have your entire basement torn apart, while you’re living there and then being in water that we were told was full of sewage and it wasn’t safe for us to be in, we didn’t think it was safe for us to eat food out of the fridge that had filled with sewage and muddy water, we didn’t think it would be smart to use an oven that was filled with the same exact thing, and they were like ‘you’re fine you can live upstairs you’ll be okay,’” says Hernandez.

Kyley says she’s trying to get out of her leasing contract and get their deposit back from Asset Management Real Estate, but it’s not happening.

“Anybody that was impacted by the flood was released from their contract. If there are still students that are in West Hills that are trying to get out of the contract, then no, we have not released them from that,” says Forsyth.

Forsyth says that’s because West Hills Apartments, where Kyley lives, are considered habitable. Forsyth says she expects these apartments to be ready in three weeks.

“There was an alternative given to anybody that was on the first floor of West Hill to go to the university while we were renovating, I have not been informed of any sewage water, but if it’s been impacted, then yes,” says Forsyth.

Kyley says for now, she’s moving in with a friend and will have to pay double the rent.

According to Forsyth, people living at the University West Apartments who live on the basement level, on the opposite site of West Hills, are getting their full deposits and are allowed to leave their leasing contracts.

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