If you rented an ECI apartment in Georgia at any time from May 19,1997 through June 30, 2018 and did not receive a refund of some or all of your security deposit, you may be entitled to a payment from a class action settlement.

Relevant ECI properties include: Bentley Manor (The Columns at Bentley Manor); Concepts 21 - Delk Apartments (The Columns at Bentley Manor); Concepts 21 – Hillandale; Concepts 21 – Roswell; Concepts 21 - Six Flags; Concepts 21 - The Corners (The Columns at Peachtree Corners); Sussex Club; The Columns at Club Drive; The Columns at Paxton Lane; Canlen Walk; The Columns at Sweetwater Creek; The Columns at Hiram; The Columns at Chicopee; The Columns at Lake Ridge; The Columns at River Parkway; The Columns at Pilgrim Mill; The Columns at Oakwood; The Columns at Akers Mill; Fairways at Jennings Mill; The Columns at Independence; The Columns at White Oak; The Columns at Killian Hill; The Columns at Coldbrook Station; Cliftwood; and Chatsworth Apartments.

This notice informs you of a proposed settlement in a class action lawsuit alleging that ECI Group, Inc., ECI Management, LLC, and DeKalb-Lake Ridge, LLC (together “Defendants”) withheld all or a portion of former tenants’ security deposits without providing a list of alleged damages to the premises within three business days of termination of the occupancy. Defendants deny all claims made in the lawsuit.

Who is included? The Settlement includes anyone who rented an ECI apartment in Georgia any time from May 19, 1997 and June 30, 2018, provided a security deposit with the rental, vacated the apartment between May 19, 1997 and June 30, 2018, and did not receive a refund of some or all of their security deposit within one month of lease termination due, in part or whole, to alleged damage to the premises. (“Settlement Class Members”).

What does the Settlement provide? Defendants have agreed to make up to $2,400,000 available to the class. After deducting the Court-approved attorney fees, costs, and expenses and a Class Representative incentive payment, the remainder will be used to pay Settlement Class Members.

How do I get a payment? If you moved out of your apartment between May 19, 1997 and June 30, 2018, you must complete and submit a Claim Form by March 1, 2021 to be eligible for a payment. Claim Forms are available and may be filed online at www.georgiaapartmentclassaction.com. Claim Forms are also available by calling 1-844-926-1527 or by writing to Roberson v. ECI Group, Settlement Administrator, PO Box 43501 Providence, RI 02940-3501.

What are my other options?  If you do not want to be legally bound by the Settlement, you must exclude yourself by March 1, 2021. Unless you exclude yourself from the Settlement, you will not be able to sue the Defendants for any claim made in this lawsuit or released by the Settlement. If you do not exclude yourself, you may object to the Settlement and notify the Court that you or your lawyer intend to appear at the Court’s fairness hearing. Objections are due March 1, 2021. Please note that objections, if any, must be filed electronically and instructions for electronic filing of objections may be found on the settlement website below.  For more information, including the Detailed Notice and Settlement Agreement, click here.

The Court’s Fairness Hearing. The DeKalb County State Court, located at 556 N. McDonough Street, Decatur,
Georgia 30030, will hold a hearing in this case (Roberson v. ECI Group, Inc., No. 17A64506) on May 20, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. EST. At the Fairness Hearing, the Court will decide whether to approve: (1) the Settlement; and (2) Class Counsel’s request for up to $600,000 in attorneys’ fees and expenses (25% of the total amount made available to the class), and a $12,500 incentive payment for the Class Representative. You may appear at the hearing, but you do not have to. You also may hire your own attorney, at your own expense, to appear or speak
at the hearing for you.