Owner disputes that just 24 hours were given to residents to move out
UPDATE: APRIL 13, 2022
Elliott Hollander, the owner of Hollander Senior Living in Monroe, Ga. said as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the senior living facility had got into financial difficulty and has now been placed into foreclosure by the bank. He said he had initially attempted to sell the property and when that was unsuccessful, he had attempted, also unsuccessfully, to have the loan refinanced. That was declined by the bank and as a result the property went into foreclosure.
However, he disputes that any of the residents were given 24 hours to vacate the premises and says, despite requiring an accelerated move out due to unfortunate staffing issues, no one had to move more than 5 days earlier than planned.
“As of April 7th we had successfully relocated the majority of residents. The final few residents had notified us of their moves scheduled to occur by April 15th (in advance of the April 30 deadline), at which time the community would be vacant, and closed. On April 8th we received notice of an unexpected staffing change which could impact our ability to sufficiently staff the community in the final 5 days of operation. We were able to coordinate the relocation of the remaining 12 residents five days earlier than planned, which was necessary to ensure uninterrupted care for our residents, and we sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this caused. While this was not the final week we had planned for, I’m pleased to report that as of Sunday April 10th, one hundred percent of our residents have successfully relocated, and are receiving excellent care in their new homes, which is what matters most. There were many individuals and organizations involved in this process, with special thanks going to our staff, resident family members, the Georgia Department of Community Health, the Georgia Long Term Care Ombudsman Program, local senior living placement agencies, and healthcare staff in various neighboring Walton County communities, for their involvement, support, and assistance during this transition,” Hollander said.
“As April 8 we had already successfully relocated approximately 30 residents with only 12 remaining. Those remaining residents and families were contacted via phone and informed we would be short staffed for the final 5 days of operations, and therefore we needed to coordinate the remaining move outs a few days earlier than expected.” Hollander said. “All of the residents’ new communities were able to accommodate this request, and we asked the 12 remaining residents to relocate by Sunday afternoon.”
However, those who were in the process of moving out over the weekend said they had not had any official notification, except by word of mouth among the residents and their families, that they had until Friday the 15th and then Monday the 12th to be out. They still contend they were taken by surprise on Saturday that it had been again shortened to Sunday and that left them with just 24 hours to finalize their move. Up until that point, they were not sure what was fact and what was rumor.
They had also “heard” that the reason for the staffing shortage was that the staff was not going to be paid, but Hollander also disputes that.
“This is a rumor, and completely untrue. All staff have been paid in full, on time,” Hollander said. There also had been speculation on whether any residents would get their deposits back, but Hollander said that was not in dispute as any deposits held were non-refundable.
“Our community does not collect refundable security deposits, we never have. We do collect a one time non-refundable community fee upon move-in, which is standard in the industry, and covers our operating expenses related to admissions,” he said. “While the topic of senior care is one of the most sensationalized, and often attacked, the facts are: my company, like many others, went out of business due to the economic impact of Covid-19, everyone was safe, all staff were fully paid for time worked, all regulations were adhered to, and it ultimately resulted in the successful relocation of all residents, without any interruption to resident care. The business closure regretfully DID cause some unforeseen inconvenience to its customers due to a 5 day relocation acceleration for a few residents, which was in the best interest of the residents’ care needs given the staffing circumstances.”
MONROE, GA – (April 11, 2022) On March 22, residents of Hollander Senior Living in Monroe were notified that they would be required to move out of their home by April 30, 2022. The letter stated they would be given the required 30 day notice, effective from April 1. As upset at the residents and their families were, they began making arrangements to find alternative accommodation arrangements, not an easy task with some with severe health problems and others even on hospice care.
Then rumors began circulating that they would in fact be required to be out by Friday, April 15, then Monday, April 11, but no official notification was given so they just continued looking for other accommodations and slowly packing up to be out as soon as possible.
But that all changed on Saturday afternoon when any residents who were still there or who had items still there were told they had until noon on Sunday, April 10, to be gone and have everything out. At that time there were six residents remaining. The doors were locked at 3 p.m. on Sunday and Hollander Senior Living in Monroe is no longer in operation.
Some, like Lisa Nichol’s mother, have been there for 15 years and others just a few short months. One new resident had been there for just five days when she learned the facility was shutting down. Nichol’s mother was at this time now on hospice care with the facility.
“She was happy here. She had her bird feeders and would sit on the porch and watch the birds. The room she is going to now is on a second floor with just a little window. That is how she is ending her life,” a tearful Nichols said.
Staff from other facilities, as well as Jackson Oaks, were on hand Sunday to try and make emergency arrangements to have the final residents moved into their new accommodation. Others had been moved to temporary facilities that were able to take care of medical needs pending permanent relocation. The few remaining staff members were on hand but residents were told by them that the doors would be locked at 3 p.m. and nobody would be available after that.
Kristen Henshaw, of Loganville, who had already moved her mother out but was on hand with a moving company Sunday, said by 3 p.m. everybody who was still there in the lobby was crying. She had undertaken to do a sweep of the facility to make sure everybody was out and to see is something could be done about the colony of feral cats that residents had adopted. The residents would feed the cats and some had little cat houses outside their front doors for them.
“I contacted Paradox Spay and Neuter, who used to work with the Cat Project. I’ve asked them for help or to point me in the right direction. It also appears that all of the remaining residents will be out by this afternoon,” Henshaw said Sunday. “Mulberry Grove is moving three of them, two that I know of are going to Jackson Oaks, and another one going I think to Great Oaks. Then there’s my Mom, who is being taken care of as well. I’m still going to do a sweep once my movers are gone. Otherwise, if appears everyone is being moved today.”
Nobody is sure what is happening to the facility but assume, since the notice given was only 30 days, that the property is being sold. Under the Georgia code, residents have to be given 60 days to move out unless the property has been sold. Since a 30-day notice initially was given, residents believe that the property has or is being sold. According to Walton County Tax Records, the property was built in 1998 and has been owned by HP Monroe, LLC (Hollander Properties) since 2012. It was purchased at that time for $3,745,000. The property is located at 175 Highway 78 between Monroe and Athens.
A group has been formed on Facebook of tenant families who have been impacted by the sudden shutdown of Hollander Senior Living and Monroe to air their grievances and to obtain legal representation to find out what options they may have going forward.
Attempts to contact the owner, Elliott Hollander, have not been successful at this time. When the staff was still on the premises they had referred any comment to Hollander himself, but did not give out his phone number. His Facebook page has now been deactivated but contact has been attempted through his investment company, Hollander Properties, LLC. (The story will be updated if we are able to make contact with Hollander) In addition to the Monroe facility, Hollander has other medical, nursing and assisted living investments in and around the metro Atlanta area and Georgia as well as in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Tennessee.
In the letter informing tenants and their families of the shutdown, Hollander cited the impact of COVID-19 as the reason for the shutdown.
“It is with heavy heart that I’m writing to inform you that due to financial hardships created by the COVID-19 pandemic, Hollander Senior Living of Monroe will be permanently closing at 5 p.m. on April 30, 2022. Until that time, we will continue providing services as usual. Our company is committed to helping facilitate relocation of our residents and employment references for our staff, upon request.”
The letter also stated that anything left in the facility at that time will be removed for a disposal fee of $500. Some of the residents did not manage to get everything out in the 24 hours they were given to get everything out before the doors were locked on Sunday. It is unclear at this time when they will be able to recover those items.