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For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Shanetta J. Paskel, 410-576-7939
spaskel@oag.state.md.us

Attorney General Gansler Settles with Property Management Company
JPI Apartment Management Agrees to Stop Charging Certain Fees


Baltimore, MD (October 16, 2008)- Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler today announced that his Consumer Protection Division has reached a settlement with JPI Apartment Management Company (“JPI”). JPI consists of the following companies: Texas-based JPI Management Services, LP; Hampton Manor Limited Partnership; Jefferson at Adelphia Springs, LP; Jefferson Park Hampshire, LP; and Jefferson at Inigo, LLC. JPI Apartment Management manages apartment complexes located in Baltimore County, Howard County, Anne Arundel County, Montgomery County and Prince George’s County.

The Attorney General’s Office alleged that JPI violated the Maryland Security Deposit Law by collecting security deposits from prospective tenants with their rental applications, and then refusing to refund the security deposit to the prospective tenant if the tenant was offered a rental unit but declined to sign a lease. The Attorney General’s Office also alleged that JPI violated Maryland’s Security Deposit Law by deducting liquidated damages from security deposits, failing to provide consumers who paid security deposits with receipts that contained all of the information required by law, and collecting security deposits from consumers in excess of the statutory limit of two months rent. The Office further alleged that JPI violated the Maryland Application Fee Law by charging application fees that exceeded the statutory limit on such fees and by failing to include a statutory notice informing consumers of their rights when they signed rental applications as required by law.

“Tenants who apply to rent apartments cannot be forced to give up deposits if they choose to rent elsewhere,” said Attorney General Gansler. “In addition, it is important that tenants be given notice of their rights when completing a lease application and that property managers provide this notice. I am pleased that consumers will be receiving refunds and that this property manager has agreed to change its practices.”

JPI denied that it violated any laws, but the company agreed to stop requiring prospective tenants to forfeit deposits if they do not sign leases, to stop deducting liquidated damages from security deposits and to otherwise comply with Maryland’s Security Deposit Law. JPI further agreed to stop charging tenants application fees that exceed $25, unless its actual costs processing the applications exceed that amount, and to fully disclose tenants’ rights in its lease applications. JPI agreed to pay restitution to consumers equal to the amounts in excess of $25 that it charged consumers in connection with their applications, to pay the amounts it deducted from security deposits for liquidated damages, and to pay the amounts it collected from consumers for security deposits in excess of the statutory limit. JPI also agreed to pay the Attorney General’s Office $30,000 for its investigation costs and a $50,000 civil penalty.

The settlement concerns JPI’s practices at the following apartment complexes:

  • Waterloo Apartments, 690 N. Calvert Street, Baltimore, MD
  • Hampton Manor, 232 St. David Court, #104, Cockeysville, MD
  • Poplar Glen, 11670 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, MD
  • Sherwood Crossing, 6731 Old Waterloo Road, Elkridge, MD
  • Grosvenor Tower, 10301 Grosvenor Place, Bethesda, MD
  • Jefferson at Inigo, 5405 Tuckerman Lane, Bethesda, MD
  • Red Run, 4300 Flint Hill Drive, Owings Mills, MD
  • Riverstone at Owings Mills, 4700 Riverstone Drive, Owings Mills, MD
  • Marley Run Apartments, 8017 Ashberry Lane, Pasadena, MD
  • Courts of Avalon, 9000 Iron Horse Lane, Pikesville, MD
  • Estates Apartments, 1601 Hutzler Lane, Pikesville, MD
  • Huntington at King Farm, 801 Elmcroft Blvd., Rockville
  • Versailles, 111 Versailles Circle, Towson, MD

Consumers eligible for restitution under the settlement will be contacted by the Consumer Protection Division.

   

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