Senior complex reverses policy forcing residents to pay for appliances they didn’t need

NEWTON COUNTY, Ga. — Residents of a metro Atlanta senior living complex turned to Channel 2 Action News for help after being told they would have to pay new monthly fees for a service they did not want, did not agree to and do not need.

“She asked me if I was bringing my own washer and dryer, and I said, ‘Yes, I’m bringing a washer and dryers,’ and she said it was OK,” Covington Crossings resident Rebecca Jones said.

That was last summer, when Jones moved into the Newton County complex.

She told Channel 2 investigative reporter Justin Gray she never thought about washers and dryers again until this winter, when Covington Crossings told residents they must remove their washers and dryers and pay $25 a month to rent the building’s.

They were also told if they didn’t allow the install, their laundry room closets would be locked.

“I’ve lost sleep over this. This has been very disturbing. A whole lot of people are disturbed about this,” Jones said.

For a senior on a fixed income, it’s money they don’t have for something they don’t need or want.

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“I’m on a fixed income, and if there’s any extra money, then I need it to pay it in copays,” Jones said.

In a statement, Covington Crossings blames the supply chain for their washers and dryers arriving after residents moved in and wrote:

“We are in no way forcing residents to pay additional fees or taking advantage of our residents.

“We believe this is simply a miscommunication between staff and residents during a busy time when there are a lot of new residents moving into a new facility.”

But the paperwork Covington Crossings has sent residents is clear.

A letter to residents reads, “This is a mandatory install,” and warns if not installed, they’d charge a $35 a month storage fee.

The building newsletter tells residents: “Install of our washers and dryers are not optional.”

But after Gray contacted Covington Crossings, a staff member assured him that they now would allow any resident who purchased and installed their own washers and dryers to keep them.

They said Jones and her neighbors will not have to pay any fees. The policy will only apply to new residents.

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