AG Files Suit Against Philadelphia Area Property Managers who Neglected Tenants, Retaliated Against Those who Complained

July 13, 2023

HARRISBURG — Attorney General Michelle Henry announced that a lawsuit has been filed against Philadelphia area property management company, SBG Management Services, Inc., for multiple violations, including failure to maintain safe housing and retaliating against tenants who filed complaints with the Office of Attorney General.

The Office of Attorney General filed suit this week against SBG and its owner and principal Philip Pulley.

Tenants living in SBG properties — including Lindley Towers and Cresheim Valley Apartments in Philadelphia — allegedly experienced repeated, serious problems, including deteriorating interior and exterior surfaces, rodent and cockroach infestations, broken and unsecured doors and locks, excessive leaks and water damage, and exposure to raw sewage and mold. Last year, many tenants at Lindley Towers were present in their homes when the façade of the building collapsed.

The suit seeks restitution for consumers and restrictions on SBG from renewing lease agreements and collecting rent until all required licenses and certifications are in good standing.

“This management company neglected the safety and basic human needs of their tenants, then thought they could intimidate those who spoke up by imposing unfair retaliatory fees,” Attorney General Henry said. “My office will not tolerate landlords who fail to maintain properties and put Pennsylvanians at risk.”

The lawsuit alleges that SBG, among other things: failed to maintain their rental properties in a safe and suitable condition; made misrepresentations regarding repairs and maintenance; entered into leases and collected rent without required rental licenses and lead-safe certifications; imposed unfair retaliatory fees upon tenants who filed complaints with the Office of Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection; and engaged in illegal self-help eviction practices.

Tenants brought issues to the attention of SBG Management, but the problems were not fixed in a timely manner, if at all — even when requests involved urgent, dangerous conditions.

The defendants’ years-long, systematic failure to reasonably maintain their rental properties ultimately came to a head in September 2022, when the roof and exterior façade of Lindley Towers partially collapsed while tenants were present in the building, leading to the building being declared “unsafe” and tenants being forced to relocate from their homes.

One Cresheim Valley Apartments tenant said, “There continues to be constant fear from current tenants that if they utilize their tenant rights, there will be significant consequences from SBG Management, which includes non-renewal of leases, threats of eviction, and substantial rent increases.”

In addition to SBG Management Services, Inc. and Pulley, the lawsuit names a number of corporate co-defendants for which Pulley serves as sole shareholder and principal. Related parties 2nd Chance Initiative, LLC, and Paul Early are also named as defendants in the lawsuit.

Any consumers who have had similar experiences with SBG Management or the other defendants should file a complaint online with the Bureau of Consumer Protection or contact the Bureau at 1-800-441-2555.

The complaint requests the court order that the defendants:

  • Are permanently prevented from any practices that violate the Consumer Protection Law;
  • Are forbidden from entering into or renewing leases, collecting rent, or recovering possession of leased premises unless and until the defendants have all required licenses and certifications for their properties;
  • Pay restitution to all consumers who have suffered losses as a result of the defendants’ conduct; and
  • Pay civil penalties of $1,000 for each violation of the Consumer Protection Law and $3,000 for each violation involving a consumer age 60 or older.

The lawsuit was filed in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas.

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