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For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Raquel Guillory, 410-576-6357
rguillory@oag.state.md.us

Attorney General Charges Maryland Rentals with
False Advertising

Rental Listing Company Allegedly Advertised Properties That Did Not Exis
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BALTIMORE, MD (July 30, 2007) - Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler announced today that the Consumer Protection Division has charged Maryland Rentals, LLC, located at 1 East Chase Street in Baltimore, and the company’s owner, Wanda Monroe, with unfair and deceptive trade practices in connection with its sale of rental listing services to consumers.

It is alleged that Maryland Rentals advertised housing for rent at attractive prices in Baltimore newspapers. However, when consumers contacted Maryland Rentals to rent the advertised properties, the company sold them a rental listing service that cost between $100 and $150. According to the charges filed by the Division, the properties advertised by Maryland Rentals did not actually exist. Instead, they were fictitious descriptions of housing created by the company and its owner to entice consumers to purchase their rental listing service.

This is the third action brought by the Division in the past three years against companies that falsely advertised housing to consumers in order to sell them bogus rental listing services. In February 2005, the Division shut down Rentco Publishing, LLC, for operating a similar scheme. Earlier this year, the Division charged U.S. Rental Network with engaging in similar practices.

The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division has filed a Statement of Charges seeking restitution for consumers harmed by the business’s practices as well as the Division’s investigation costs and a civil penalty. A public hearing on the charges is scheduled for Tuesday, October 23, 2007 at 9:00 a.m. at the Office of Administrative Hearings, 11101 Gilroy Road in Hunt Valley. Consumers may contact the Consumer Protection Division at (410) 576-6569 if they have additional questions.

   

Attorney General of Maryland 1 (888) 743-0023 toll-free / TDD: (410) 576-6372
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