Off-campus move-out

Some Copper Beech residents’ leases end before finals week. These residents must find temporary living arrangements.

Eric Coulter

Some Copper Beech residents’ leases end before finals week. These residents must find temporary living arrangements.

Chelsea Lane

With the stress of finals already building, some Copper Beech residents have another potential obstacle to overcome: where to live. The complex’s residents are required to move out by April 24, although Grand Valley State University’s finals continue through April 30.

GVSU student and Copper Beech resident Kyle Beall said he received a two-week notice by mail regarding the complex’s move-out policies, leaving him with little time to devise an alternate living plan. Beall is required to move out by April 24, but still has classes for another week after.

“I have discussed my options with Copper Beech management and found empathy to be severely lacking,” he said. “The only advice I got was to pay over $100 to stay for one more week … Instead of spending the little time I have free studying for finals, I will be cleaning and moving.”

Beall does not yet know where he will stay during finals week but said he is “extremely frustrated” with how Copper Beech has handled his lease.

“This is an outrage,” he said. “Copper services almost exclusively to students and yet they are either too ignorant or do not care about their sole customer base … The stress of this situation only compounds on the pile of worries that accompanies finals.”

Copper Beech leasing consultant Alison Hardy said the scheduled move-out date was listed on residents’ leasing agreements, but the complex has offered extensions to current residents, as long as summer leasers agree.

“We gave the people who were living in Copper Beech now May 7 or May 14 extensions,” Hardy said. “The extensions are pro-rated by day and it all depends on the people who are moving in next.”

She added the only potential issue caused by the move-out policy is when a townhouse’s next residents were scheduled to move in on April 30, in which case an agreement would need to be reached between the current and future residents. Hardy said the complex is not involved in helping find alternate living arrangements for students who opted out of an extension or were unable to reach an extension agreement with the incoming residents.

In addition, residents at Country Place Apartments have encountered similar move-out problems. The complex is requiring tenants to move out on May 1, which is also the scheduled date of GVSU’s commencement.

“Requiring tenants to move out on graduation day seems like an unrealistic expectation for their customer base, many of whom are graduating that day,” said Michael Rizzo, a GVSU senior and Country Place resident. “Those that are coming back next year, like myself, are still required to move out by May 1 along with all my furniture and belongings, only to move back in on May 8. When asked what I should do with all my things over this week, they suggested a storage unit.”

Rizzo said Country Place’s move-in policy violates his initial lease agreement with the complex.

“When I re-signed my lease for next year, the flier they passed out explicitly said I could leave my things over the summer even if I didn’t sign up for summer rental,” he said. “Considering I did sign up for summer rental, I’m amazed that I have to move my stuff out only to move back in … Their predatory business practices leave no other option for renters, who are locked into a lease agreement with no recourse.”

Country Place office staff member Zena said residents returning to the same unit for summer leases are welcome to keep their belongings in their current rooms, but those moving to a different unit for summer must remove their belongings so the units can be cleaned and undergo maintenance. She said during this time Country Place does not have enough space to store residents’ belongings.

“We have no place for them to keep their items,” Zena said. “You can’t please all people at all times.”

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