Off-campus UCF students struggling to pay rent; officials trying to end leases

University of Central Florida students who live off-campus say they're having a hard time paying their rent without jobs during the statewide stay-at-home order.

State representatives are working to try and let students end their leases early without penalty. 

Graduate student Sara Goldstein says she lives off-campus at a private apartment complex for students.

She lost her waitressing job and can't pay rent. 

"I really think they’re taking advantage of students," Goldstein said. "They’ve just been threatening us with late fees and have been giving us slim-to-no options." 

With UCF classes online, Goldstein went back home and won't be living in her apartment.  

She's hoping to get out of her lease with The Retreat at Orlando, but tells FOX 35 News that she hasn't been able to yet.

UCF says it's issuing partial refunds of student housing costs to those who live on-campus.

Goldstein would like to see the same for those who live in student housing off-campus. 

"We think it's unfair that we live off-campus, in UCF affiliated housing, but we're not cut a break," she said. 

"They’re being threatened late fees and perpetuating business as usual M.O., which is leading to students and their families facing increasing financial despair," said State Rep. Anna Eskamani. 

State Rep. Eskamani and Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith sent a letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis asking for an executive order that would let college students end their leases early. 

"You no longer have that source of income. You’re not coming back to campus until the fall and you’re lease went until the end of summer. You are in a tough situation with no exit right now," Rep. Eskamani said.