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For Immediate Release

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

Attorney General Gansler Orders Rental Listing Company to Cease Its Illegal Practices
Maryland Rentals Must Pay Restitution and Penalties for Advertising
Fictitious Rental Properties.

BALTIMORE, MD (April 3, 2008) - Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler’s Consumer Protection Division has ordered a Baltimore company, Maryland Rentals, LLC (a/k/a Rental Properties, LLC), formerly located at 5904 Harford Road in Baltimore, and its owner, Wanda Monroe, to cease offering illegal rental referral services. The company and its owner were ordered to pay restitution equal to all fees it charged consumers for its services and to pay the Division $129,000 in civil penalties and costs for pursuing the matter.

Maryland Rentals advertised properties for rent at attractive rents in Baltimore area newspapers. However, when consumers contacted Maryland Rentals to rent the advertised properties, instead of being offered leases, Maryland Rentals sold them a rental listing service. The Division found that consumers who purchased the service were unable to locate rental properties in the areas that Maryland Rentals advertised, or at rents that were as attractive as advertised because the properties did not actually exist. Rather, the listings were created by Maryland Rentals in order to get consumers to pay for the listing service. In addition, consumers who purchased the service were refused refunds. The Division found Maryland Rentals’ advertising to be deceptive and ordered it to stop offering properties for rent that did not exist or that it did not have the actual ability to rent.

“Maryland Rentals preyed on consumers who were having difficulty finding rental properties they could afford and took advantage of their desire to provide better housing for their families,” said Attorney General Gansler. “When a business offers a house for rent, it must have the ability to rent the property at the advertised price.”

   

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