TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Hudson Valley Community College freshmen rushed to stuff a moving van with everything they could before noon Friday. They say since they got the notice on July 24 to pack up and get out of the College Suites at Hudson Valley apartment complex, they’ve been scrambling to figure out what to do.
“We’re from the city, we have nowhere to go,” says freshman Siani Romero.
“We don’t know the area, so we’re just like, stranded,” adds Jenise Mayers-Hamblin.
“Our family is all over there. We’re here alone, all alone. This is our life. We have to handle it alone, can’t rely on mom to bail us out,” chimes in Kayleen Jimenez.
Rensselaer County Executive Steve McLaughlin says many concerned parents have come to him demanding to know how their students can be pushed out with only a week’s heads up. Section 226-C of New York’s tenancy law states anyone living in a unit less than a year must be given at last 30 days notice, should the landlord decide not to renew their lease, and anyone with at least a one year signed lease must be given 60 days notice.
“It doesn’t strike me as particularly fair to be doing that, because it just throws their life into turmoil,” McLaughlin responds to NEWS10’s Mikhaela Singleton.
A Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute representative confirmed to NEWS10 the college is working on a deal to lease the entire College Suites at Hudson Valley property as an extension of its campus housing. Even though McLaughlin and the county have no legal authority over such a move, he says his position is clear.
“A community college student is just as important as a four year college student, so what about the students at Hudson Valley? Things like that get under my skin. It’s, in essence, a big institution bullying a smaller institution, and I don’t like it,” he says.
On top of all the pressure to get out and find somewhere else to live, Hudson Valley students were under the wire at 30 minutes before noon and with a close to full apartment. The notices taped to their door by complex management on July 24 threatened a $50 per hour fine for every moment they’re still in the unit past noon on Friday, July 31.
“You’re going to charge me $50 for trying to move out the same day you’re demanding me to move out? I mean, cut me some slack!” exclaims Jimenez.
“I don’t know how they would enforce that, legally speaking. If it were me or my child and I’d paid to move them up there and to have the security that they would have a safe place to stay, then I would be saying, good luck trying to charge me that $50 and I wouldn’t be leaving. Personally, I would be like no, I’ll take all 30 days. That would be my approach to things. How other people handle it is up to them,” McLaughlin says.
NEWS10 also reached out to United Plus Property Management, the parent company overseeing the College Suites at Hudson Valley, and its PR representative Greg Eves. We have not yet received a response. We are also awaiting a reply from the New York Attorney General’s Office after parents informed NEWS10 they had filed complaints.
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