Attorney General Settles with Property Management
Associated Estates Realty Corporation Agrees to Stop Charging Certain
General Douglas F. Gansler today announced that his Consumer
has reached a settlement with an Ohio-based
property Management Company that owns and manages apartment complexes
in Maryland. The Division alleged that the company, Associated
Estates Realty Corporation, 1 AEC Parkway, Richmond Heights, OH
44143 ("AERC"), violated the Maryland landlord/tenant
statute by charging consumers improper cleaning fees and by improperly
deducting fees from tenants’ security deposits if they moved
out of their apartments before the expiration of their leases.
The Division also alleged AERC violated the statute by charging
prospective tenants applications fees that were higher then the
fees permitted by the statute and by using rental applications
that did not include statutory mandated disclosures explaining
the prospective tenant’s rights and liabilities if they sign
the application. AERC denied that it had violated the law, but
agreed to change its practices and to pay restitution to tenants.
settlement, AERC agreed to stop requiring tenants who terminated
early to pay termination fees and to stop
deducting termination fees from tenants’ security deposits.
AERC also agreed to stop charging tenants cleaning fees, application
fees that exceed $25 or its actual costs processing the applications,
and to fully disclose tenants’ rights in its lease applications.
AERC has agreed to pay restitution to consumers equal to the amounts
in excess of $25 that it charged consumers in connection with their
applications to lease that were not previously refunded to the
consumer or credited to the consumer as either a security deposit
or rent. AERC also agreed to pay restitution equal to the termination
fees it deducted from consumers’ security deposits, as well
as the cleaning fees it charged consumers. Finally, AERC agreed
to pay the Division $30,000 for its investigation costs and a $75,000
“The fees property managers charge their tenants must comply with Maryland
law,” said Attorney General Gansler. “I am pleased that consumers
will be receiving refunds and that this property manager has agreed to change
concerns AERC’s practices at the following
four apartment complexes:
Sheffield Forest, 3525 Sheffield Manor Terrace, Silver Spring,
Hampton Point, 3340 Hampton Point Drive, Silver Spring, MD 20904-4839;
Annen Woods, 1 Harness Court, Apartment T4, Pikesville, MD 21208-6711; and
Reflections, 12020 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, MD 21044-2778.
Consumers eligible for restitution under the settlement will
be contacted by the Consumer Protection Division.