Leigh Lesniak received a bill for nearly 250 dollars last month to replace the carpet in an apartment she moved out of almost a year ago. She doesn’t know why the university charged her or why it waited so long to do it.
“We got a letter in the mail to my parents house saying that I owed charges and it amounted to between 250 and 300 dollars,” Lesniak said.
Shocked, Lesniak called the university to get answers.
“I called Elon and I asked them why I had the charges and they told me it was for damage to my oaks carpet and I didn’t think there was any damage to the carpet when I moved out.”
That took her to the Residence Life office and Oaks Area Director JT Bowie. Bowie reviewed the case but refused to waive the charges.
Now Lesniak was stuck with a bill for carpet she says was actually damaged by the university.
She says the only damage to her carpet was caused by two separate leaks in her kitchen.
Lesniak can’t dispute the charges, though, because she did express checkout.
“An express check-out is where the student can come pick up an envelope from the office and then entrust me and my office staff to go back through their apartment later on,” Bowie explained.
Doing express check-out prevents students from disputing any charges residence life decides to apply.
Bowie says the convenience comes with a risk.
“If they do choose to do the express check-out,” said Bowie, “that’s a risk that they’re taking.”
Regardless of what she agreed to, Lesniak is still unhappy.
“This is just such a bad impression that the university is making on the new alums.”
University officials were unable to give us specific information about Lesniak’s case because of privacy laws protecting education records. Phoenix14 is working with Lesniak and the school to obtain that information and will bring you a follow-up with the results as soon as they happen.