ATLANTA - Several senior citizens say they received letters threatening evictions from their southwest Atlanta apartments over recently acquired late fees.
Residents at The Oasis at Scholars Landing say they are being bullied by their management company and squeezed for cash they don’t have.
"They sent me a letter, a threatening letter, first of all, indicating I owed a certain amount of rent and I was behind. They told me they wanted me out by the next day at 10 a.m.," resident Sonja Reddick revealed.
The 75-year-old admits she was frightened by what she calls a threat to evict her from her apartment in northwest Atlanta.
The disabled retiree says she has lived in her building for seven years and always makes sure her rent is current.
"My rent is autopay. That means they take it out of the bank before I even see my check. When my Social Security [check] comes in, they take my rent and my water bill together," she commented.
Another resident, Reginald Jones, had the same problem. He showed FOX 5 his eviction letter, and he too has always paid his rent on time.
"I have direct withdrawals on the third of every month. They have been getting my money late without giving me any information," Mr. Jones said with frustration.
More and more seniors living in the federally subsidized building started telling FOX 5 the same thing.
"When I went in to talk to her, she said I had four months’ late fees. I said ‘What, when, how?’" resident Frances Sinkfield questioned.
Her daughter, Rosa Ayaegbunam, said the entire thing made no sense.
"Why you gotta pay a late fee, mom? I said your rent is automatically taken out of your account," Ms. Ataegbunam insisted.
FOX 5 reached out to The Integral Group, which owns the apartments. A spokesperson said there are 60 residents in the building and only 20 received eviction letters. Integral says they sent electronic invoices for the rent shortages on the residents’ RentCafe accounts.
They also claim they had face-to-face conversations with all residents in arrears, which the tenants FOX 5 talked to vehemently deny. Resident Reddick has a suggestion for the ownership company.
"If they are in the wrong, they should come clean and pay me my money back," the resident exclaimed.
Integral says, in light of this issue, it has decided to revert to the printed letter method in the future.