In an email sent to Penn parents on Sunday afternoon, Provost Wendell Pritchett announced that Penn was looking to move students living off campus away from their residences.
But both Campus Apartments and the Radian, two of the largest off-campus landlords, said they haven't heard from the University about moving their tenants out. The Radian also asserted that Penn has no right to tell their tenants to leave and expressed surprise at the University's announcement.
"We instructed all residents of University housing to leave by Tuesday March 17 and expect off-campus students to vacate their residences by the same time," Pritchett wrote in the email. "We have communicated Penn’s position to local landlords and asked them to work with their tenants to support this public health necessity."
David Adelman, chief executive officer of Campus Apartments, wrote in an email to The Daily Pennsylvanian that the company has "received no communication from the University."
"The Provost’s letter indicates that students must move out of their university college house or fraternity and sororities by Tuesday, March 17 at 8 p.m.," Adelman wrote. "This does not include non-university properties such as buildings owned or managed by Campus Apartments and other landlords in University City."
Along with Campus Apartments, the Radian denied that Penn can make its residents leave. The Radian's General Manager Kayla Hoffman sent an email minutes after midnight on Monday morning to residents entitled "Important update: It's your home."
The message was clear — there is no need to leave.
"This is your home and you are welcome to stay. No one at the University has a right to require you to leave your apartment, or to move out of University City or Philadelphia," Hoffman wrote. "The Radian remains fully open and accessible, both for Penn students and all of our residents."
Echoing Adelman, Hoffman also described surprise at Pritchett's announcement, questioning whether the University communicated their position to local landlords, as cited in the email.
"We were as surprised as you may have been this evening to learn that the University has now also suggested it is instructing students living off-campus to 'leave' their private residences by March 17," Hoffman wrote.
"There was no direct communication from Penn informing us about moving off-campus tenants away from their residences by Tuesday," wrote Hyniff Heyward, sales and customer experience manager of the Radian, in an email to the DP. "That is why we were surprised."
University Enterprises, another off-campus landlord, sent an email to all residents on Monday assuring them they would be able to see out the end of their leases.
University spokesperson Stephen MacCarthy and Vice Provost for University Life Chief of Staff and Chief Communications Officer Monica Yant Kinney did not respond to a request for comment regarding the landlords' statements.
Pritchett's latest update sent to parents also urged parents to make sure their children leave Penn and return home immediately.
Previously, all directives from Pritchett had pertained to on-campus housing. Initially, students remaining on campus over spring break were required to move out by March 15. That date was later pushed back to March 17, following student backlash.