Indiana AG’s office reaches agreement with Muncie real estate company over misconduct
MUNCIE, Ind. (WIBC) — Indiana’s attorney general has made a deal with a Muncie real estate company that’s agreed to clean up its act.
Middletown Property Management and Middletown Property Group are accused of using an unregistered trade name, BSU Rentals, to violate tenant’s rights, according to a press release from the office of Attorney General Todd Rokita.
BSU Rentals is accused of invading tenants’ privacy, using deceptive ‘redecoration’ fees, failing to provide clean, safe units, and using a name that could be confused with Ball State University.
“Week after week, we devote significant time and energy to protecting Hoosiers who rent their homes,” Rokita said in Monday’s press release. “People living in apartments and other rental properties deserve fair treatment and peace of mind. That’s why we work so hard to hold landlords accountable for following the law.”
Middletown has agreed to refund tenants $35,000, Rokita says.
The company is also required to do the following:
- Issue credits and refunds to consumers totaling $35,000 as well as a payment to reimburse the Homeowner Protection Unit for $10,000 in investigative costs.
- Cease the use of the BSU Rentals unregistered trade name on all marketing materials.
- Make affirmative changes to all current and future residential leases requiring reasonable notice prior to entry of leased units by these companies or their agents.
- Cease the use of a “redecoration fee,” which had the effect of charging tenants for a preexisting legal duty to deliver leased units in a safe, clean and livable condition
- Remove “as-is” language from all the companies’ leases and agree to abide by the landlord obligations found in Ind. Code § 32-31-8-5
- Participate in compliance monitoring requiring the companies to issue quarterly reports to the Homeowner Protection Unit for two years running from Sept. 1, 2023, to June 1, 2025.
The investigation and agreement was completed by the Attorney General’s Homeowner Protection Unit. Anyone living at a Middletown property should report any future issues, says Rokita.