AG Henry Reaches Settlement with State College Landlord over Security Deposit Fees; Restitution Available to Impacted Student Tenants

January 12, 2024 | Topic: Consumers

HARRISBURG — Attorney General Michelle Henry announced that her office obtained a settlement with State College-based landlord, Greek Housing Services, Inc., for charging student tenants an unlawful administrative fee against their security deposits.

The settlement prohibits Greek Housing Services from charging the administrative fee against security deposits and requires the landlord to return security deposits in a timely manner.

Additionally, Greek Housing Services will pay $10,000 in restitution to be disbursed to eligible, impacted previous tenants.

“Students are often under financial restraints, and they do not expect their landlord to increase that burden by charging unlawful fees,” Attorney General Henry said. “This landlord took advantage of students by requiring that tenants waive rights to which they were lawfully entitled, then proceeded to charge illegal fees.”

Tenants who resided in properties owned or managed by Greek Housing Services between 2017 and 2021, and believe they were charged an administrative fee, should submit a complaint with the Office of Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection online at Complaints must be filed before March 18, 2024.

Greek Housing Services, which owns two properties and manages a third, rented to fraternity and sorority houses in State College and charged student tenants an administrative fee after each semester in an amount up to $67.50, beginning around 2017. These fees were charged as “Office Time” to the students’ security deposit, which is in violation of the Landlord Tenant Act and the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law. Additionally, Greek Housing Services was not providing students with detailed information about the actual damages charged against the students’ security deposit to justify the charges, and required students to waive statutorily protected rights guaranteed under the Landlord/Tenant Act.

Under the settlement, Greek Housing Services agreed to immediately cease charging administrative fees against tenants’ security deposits, provide tenants with detailed invoices of the alleged damages at the end of the each semester, return security deposits to tenants within the required thirty days, and stop requiring tenants to waive statutorily protected rights concerning security deposits.

The settlement was filed in the Centre County Court of Common Pleas by Senior Deputy Attorney General Paul D. Edger.

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