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Rokita: Willow Brook Apartments lawsuit already getting results

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Attorney General Todd Rokita on Thursday said an apartment management company he sued already appears to be catching up on maintenance.

The attorney general sued Willow Brook Gardens LLC and Beztak Management Co. earlier this month after residents of the Willow Brook Apartments complained of management taking months to fix critical maintenance issues, marking maintenance requests as complete when they were not, and not addressing health department citations at the apartments. Rokita’s filing also accuses Beztak of not being licensed to manage real estate in Indiana.

The lawsuit accuses Beztak of violating the state’s Home Loan Practices Act due to the licensing issue and the Deceptive Consumer Sales Act because of the health and maintenance issues. Rokita is asking the courts to order the defendants to pay restitution to the tenants and get a license or stop doing business in Indiana.

Rokita said a tenant wrote him that within a day of the lawsuit becoming public, management arrived at the tenant’s apartment to fix the maintenance issues they had reported.

“That doesn’t excuse what’s happened before and their behavior before, and we’re going to hold them accountable, but it’s a good sign that, the day after we got on them, changes are already happening,” he said.

In a brief statement to News 8, a Beztak spokesperson said company officials can’t comment on the specifics of the lawsuit, but they dispute the allegation the company is not licensed to operate in Indiana. The spokesperson says the company is working with the attorney general’s office to investigate the allegations and resolve any issues.

Rokita said the limitations of Indiana’s landlord-tenant laws mean he has to rely on other parts of consumer law for cases such as this one. He said lawmakers came close to passing fixes this session, but did not do so. Rokita said he plans to work with lawmakers again this year to update the state’s laws concerning housing and nonprofits.