Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why is there a Notice?
  2. What is this lawsuit about?
  3. Why is there a class action?
  4. Why is there a Settlement?
  5. How do I know if I am included in the Settlement?
  6. What if I am still not sure if I am included in the Settlement?
  7. What does the Settlement provide?
  8. What can I get from the Settlement?
  9. What am I giving up to receive a payment or stay in the Settlement Class?
  10. What are the Released Claims?
  11. How do I get a payment from the Settlement?
  12. When will I receive my payment?
  13. Do I have lawyers in this case?
  14. How will the lawyers be paid?
  15. How do I exclude myself from the Settlement?
  16. If I ask to be excluded from the Settlement, can I still get a payment?
  17. How do I tell the Court if I do not like the Settlement?
  18. What is the difference between objecting and asking to be excluded?
  19. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?
  20. Do I have to come to the Hearing?
  21. May I speak at the Hearing?
  22. What happens if I do nothing at all?
  1. Why is there a Notice?

    The Court authorized the Notice because you have a right to know about the proposed settlement of this class action lawsuit, and about your options, before the Court decides whether to approve the Settlement.

    Judge Dixon of the State Court of Fulton County, State of Georgia, is overseeing this case. The case is titled Anderson v. WSE Property Management, LLC, Civil Action File No. 20EV005363 (the “Action”). The notice explains the lawsuit, the Settlement, and your legal rights. The person who filed this lawsuit is called the Plaintiff and the company she sued, WSE Property Management, LLC, is called the Defendant.

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  2. What is this lawsuit about?

    The lawsuit claims that WSE violated the Georgia security deposit statute, O.C.G.A. § 44-7-35. It also alleges claims for breach of contract, fraud, and violations of various terms of WSE’s lease agreements with its tenants. WSE denies all of the claims and allegations made in the lawsuit.

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  3. Why is there a class action?

    In a class action, one or more people called “Named Plaintiffs” or “Class Representatives” (in this case, Amanda Anderson) sue on behalf of themselves and other people who have similar claims. Together, all the people with similar claims (except those who exclude themselves) are members of a “Settlement Class.”

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  4. Why is there a Settlement?

    The Court did not decide in favor of the Plaintiff or Defendant. Instead, both sides agreed to a settlement. The Settlement allows the Plaintiff and Defendant to avoid the risks and costs of litigation and the uncertainty of trial and appeals. The Class Representative and her attorneys believe this Settlement is in the best interests of all Settlement Class members.

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  5. How do I know if I am included in the Settlement?

    You are included in the Settlement if you had an agreement for the rental of real property with WSE and either:

    1)      had all or some of your security deposit not returned due, at least in part, to alleged damage to the premises or otherwise were charged for said alleged damages; had all or some of your security deposit retained during the time period beginning on September 17, 2000 and November 30, 2023; and did not receive a list of alleged damage to the premises within thirty (30) business days of termination of the occupancy (the “Security Deposit Class”); or

    2)      had a lease that contained a provision that you would only be charged for your actual sub-metered utility usage; yet were charged an amount for utilities based on an estimate that was greater than your utility usage during the time period beginning on September 17, 2014 and November 30, 2023 (the “Utility Meter Class”); or

    3)      were charged fees, including “administrative fees” associated with the collection of utility payments that were greater than the amount your contract said you would be charged, during the time period beginning on September 17, 2014 and November 30, 2023 (the “Utility Fees Class”); or

    4)      had a lease with a “Special Provision” which provides that if the lease goes month-to-month you will be charged a $200 surcharge in addition to market rent; and your lease did in fact go to month-to-month (as opposed to entering into a new lease agreement); but nevertheless you were charged more than $200 above your previous monthly rent, during the time period beginning on September 17, 2014 and November 30, 2023 (the “Holdover Rent Class”).

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  6. What if I am still not sure if I am included in the Settlement?

    If you are not sure whether you are a Settlement Class member, or have any other questions about the Settlement, you may call 1-866-952-1545 or send questions to:

    Anderson v. WSE Property Management, LLC

    Attn: Settlement Administrator

    P.O. Box 6177

    Novato, CA 94948-6177

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  7. What does the Settlement provide?

    WSE will provide up to $800,000 to resolve the Settlement. This amount will be used to pay valid claims submitted by Settlement Class members, attorneys’ fees, costs, and expenses, and Class Representative Service Award.

    If the amount needed to pay approved claims, attorneys’ fees, costs, and expenses, and the Class Representative Service Award exceeds $800,000, the approved claims submitted by Settlement Class members will be reduced on a pro rata basis. If the amount needed to pay approved claims, attorneys’ fees, costs, and expenses, and the Class Representative Service Award is less than $800,000, WSE will pay only the amount required for all of these amounts.

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  8. What can I get from the Settlement?

    If you submit an approved Claim Form, you will receive a payment based on the Settlement Class or Classes you are included in.

    • Security Deposit Class members will receive payment of the portion of their security deposit that was withheld for alleged damage to the premises;
    • Utility Meter Class members will receive $10;
    • Utility Fees Class members will receive a refund of all fees charged to them for collection of utilities beyond the amount that was disclosed and agreed to in the lease; and
    • Holdover Rent Class members will receive the difference between their-previous-monthly-rent-plus-$200 and the monthly rent they were actually charged.

    NOTE: Payment amounts may be reduced on a pro rata basis if the amount needed to pay approved claims, attorneys’ fees, costs, and expenses, and the Class Representative Service Award is greater than $800,000.

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  9. What am I giving up to receive a payment or stay in the Settlement Class?

    Unless you exclude yourself, you are choosing to stay in the Settlement Class. If the Settlement is approved and becomes final, all of the Court’s orders will apply to you and legally bind you. You won’t be able to sue, continue to sue, or be part of any other lawsuit against WSE and the Released Parties (as that term is defined in Question 10) about the legal issues in this case. The rights you are giving up are called Released Claims. See Question 10 for more detail on the Released Parties and Released Claims.

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  10. What are the Released Claims?

    Generally, if and when the Settlement becomes final, Settlement Class members, including their heirs, trustees, executors, administrators, principals, beneficiaries, assigns, and successors, will be bound by the Final Judgment and conclusively deemed to have fully released, acquitted, and forever discharged any and all known or unknown claims, causes of action, or suits of whatever kind or nature arising from the acts which have been alleged or which could have been alleged in the Action by any Class member, whether at law, in equity, or under any statute or regulation arising from or in any way related to the claims asserted in the Action against WSE and all of their past and present officers, directors, agents, attorneys, employees, stockholders, divisions, parent companies, holding companies, affiliated companies, and subsidiaries, and all of their successors, assigns, and legal representatives of any of the entities and/or persons listed in these paragraphs, and insurers, property owners, and any individual or entity in privity with WSE or the property owners in connection with any of the claims alleged or that could have been alleged arising out of the underlying factual allegations in the operative complaint (the “Released Parties”). The Released Claims do not include any claim for enforcement of the Comprehensive Settlement Agreement or the Final Judgment.

    The Released Claims do not affect the right of any person who is sued by a Released Party to raise an affirmative defense. For example, the Settlement does not preclude a tenant, as a defense to an action to collect for damages to a property, to assert as a defense that the property owner violated the security deposit statute.

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  11. How do I get a payment from the Settlement?

    You must complete and submit a valid Claim Form by OCTOBER 30, 2023. Claim Forms may be submitted online by clicking the file claim tab or printed from the website and mailed to the address on the form.

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  12. When will I receive my payment?

    The Court will hold a Fairness Hearing on November 30, 2023 to decide whether to grant final approval to the Settlement. If the Court approves the Settlement, there may be appeals. It is always uncertain whether appeals will be filed and, if so, how long it will take to resolve them. Payments will be distributed to Settlement Class members who submit valid Claim Forms if and when the Court grants final approval to the Settlement and after any appeals are resolved. Please be patient.

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  13. Do I have lawyers in this case?

    Yes, James Radford of Radford & Keebaugh, LLC and Shimshon Wexler of The Law Offices of Shimshon Wexler, P.C. have been appointed as “Class Counsel” to represent you and other Settlement Class members. You will not be personally charged for these lawyers. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.

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  14. How will the lawyers be paid?

    Class Counsel will ask the Court for attorneys’ fees and expenses of $360,000, as well as a $15,000 Service Award for the Class Representative. If approved, these amounts will be paid from the up to $800,000 amount WSE has agreed to pay to resolve the Settlement before paying the approved claims submitted by Settlement Class members.

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  15. How do I exclude myself from the Settlement?

    To exclude yourself from the Settlement, you must mail a letter to the Settlement Administrator that includes the following information:

    • Your name, address, and telephone number;
    • The name of the case (Anderson v. WSE Property Management, LLC, Case No. 20EV005363);
    • A statement indicating (a) you want to be excluded from this Settlement, and (b) by excluding yourself, you understand that you will not receive any money from this Settlement; and
    • Your signature.

    You must mail your exclusion request, postmarked no later than OCTOBER 30, 2023, to:

    Anderson v. WSE Property Management, LLC

    Attn: Settlement Administrator

    P.O. Box 6177

    Novato, CA 94948-6177

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  16. If I ask to be excluded from the Settlement, can I still get a payment?

    No, you will not receive a payment from the Settlement if you exclude yourself.

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  17. How do I tell the Court if I do not like the Settlement?

    If you do not submit a timely and proper request for exclusion and you wish to object to the fairness, reasonableness, or adequacy of the Settlement, you must timely file a written objection with the Court and send a copy of that written objection by mail to Class Counsel and WSE’s Counsel at the addresses provided below.

    To be valid, your objection must include:

    • Your name, address and telephone number;
    • Proof of your membership in the Settlement Class;
    • A statement of the reasons for the objection and any evidence supporting those reasons;
    • The name, address, email address, and telephone number of your lawyer, if you have one;
    • Identify, with specificity, each instance in which you or your lawyer has objected to a class action settlement in the past ten years;
    • A statement regarding whether you and/or your lawyer intend to appear at the Final Approval Hearing; and
    • Your signature.

    Your objection, along with any supporting material you wish to submit, must be received by the Court with a copy sent to Class Counsel and WSE’s Counsel postmarked no later than OCTOBER 30, 2023 at the following addresses:

    Clerk of the Court

    Class Counsel

    WSE’s Counsel

    Fulton County Courthouse

    Justice Center Tower

    185 Central Avenue, SW

    Courtroom 3A

    Atlanta, GA 30303

    James Radford

    Radford & Keebaugh, LLC

    315 W. Ponce de Leon Ave.

    Suite 1080

    Decatur, Georgia 30030

    Lee Clayton

    Swift, Currie, Mcghee & Hiers

    1420 Peachtree St., NE

    Suite 800

    Atlanta, GA 30309

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  18. What is the difference between objecting and asking to be excluded?

    Objecting is simply telling the Court that you don’t like something about the Settlement. You can object only if you remain a member of the Settlement Class (that is, do not exclude yourself). Excluding yourself is telling the Court that you don’t want to be part of the Settlement. If you exclude yourself, you cannot object because the Settlement no longer affects you.

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  19. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?

    The Court will hold a Final Approval Hearing on November 30, 2023 at 10:30 a.m., at the Fulton County Courthouse, Justice Center Tower, 185 Central Avenue, SW Atlanta, GA 30303, Courtroom 3A.

    At this hearing the Court will whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate and whether to approve Class Counsel’s request for attorney’s fees and expenses and service award. If there are objections, the Court will consider them. Judge Dixon will listen to people who have asked to speak at the hearing.

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  20. Do I have to come to the Hearing?

    No. Class Counsel will answer any questions that the Court may have, but you may come at your own expense. If you send an objection, you don’t have to come to Court to talk about it. As long as you delivered and mailed your written objection on time to the proper addresses, the Court will consider it. You may also pay your own lawyer to attend, but it’s not necessary.

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  21. May I speak at the Hearing?

    Yes. You may ask the Court for permission to speak at the Fairness Hearing by including a statement in your objection indicating that you intend to appear at the Final Approval Hearing (see Question 17). You cannot speak at the hearing if you exclude yourself from the Settlement Class.

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  22. What happens if I do nothing at all?

    If you do nothing, you will not get a payment from this Settlement. Unless you exclude yourself, you won’t be able to start a lawsuit, continue with a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit against WSE or the Release Parties about the Released Claims.

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