HARRISBURG — Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced a settlement agreement with Continental Real Estate Management, a State College based property manager, following a review of the property manager’s security deposit practices by the Office of Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.
The Bureau of Consumer Protection’s investigation revealed that Continental deducted a 15% “Administrative Fee” from tenants’ security deposits upon termination of leases. The Bureau alleged that the charging of this fee was impermissible under Landlord Tenant Act and in violation of the Consumer Protection Law. On average, tenants were charged nearly $80.00 in “Administrative Fees” per lease.
Due to the Attorney General’s action, the State College property manager has since ceased this practice and will issue refunds to consumers. Under the terms of the settlement, the company paid $30,000 in consumer restitution. Consumers must file a complaint with the Bureau of Consumer Protection within 60 days or May 31, 2019 to be eligible for restitution.
“This property management company gets an A for cooperating with my Office and responsibly agreeing to change its business practices and provide restitution to consumers,” said Attorney General Josh Shapiro. “College students are trying to secure their future, dealing with rising costs and navigating living on their own for the first time—these unfair leasing practices were an additional burden. This company should be a model of how Pennsylvania companies can work with my Office to correct violations and protect consumers.”
The Attorney General urges anyone who believes they may qualify restitution to file a complaint with the Office’s Bureau of Consumer Protection by calling 1-800-441-2555, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or online at www.attorneygeneral.gov.
The settlement was filed in the Centre County Court of Common Pleas by Senior Deputy Attorney General Amy L. Schulman.
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