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W.Va. Attorney General Morrisey files suit against state’s largest residential housing business

Release from W.Va. Attorney General:
MORGANTOWN, W.Va.  —West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey filed a lawsuit alleging the state’s largest residential landlord charged its tenants numerous fees in violation of the state’s consumer protection law.

Metro Property Management, largely catering to college students in Morgantown and campus communities throughout West Virginia, stands accused of charging tenants a non-refundable fee, in addition to the standard damage deposit, to prepare the residence for its next tenant.

The lawsuit contends a landlord must deliver a suitable living environment and any attempt to pass that obligation to the tenant violates the state’s Consumer Credit and Protection Act.

“Landlords cannot willfully violate state law to boost their own profits,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “The vast majority of landlords comply with state law, however this lawsuit demonstrates my commitment to protect consumers and hold those other landlords accountable.”

The lawsuit, filed in Kanawha Circuit Court against parent corporation Biafora’s Incorporated, also targets Metro’s alleged convenience and processing fees of $5 to $30, returned check and late fees of $50, an abandonment fee of $200, a hourly fee of $100 for those vacating past deadline and $25 for every item left behind.

The Attorney General seeks a court order demanding Metro Property refund all affected consumers, return all money collected from the unlawful fees and zero balance any outstanding related accounts, while notifying credit bureaus to delete information about those accounts from the consumers’ credit record.

The lawsuit also seeks a $5,000 civil penalty for each violation of the state’s Consumer Credit and Protection Act.

Read the civil complaint at: http://bit.ly/2iobsWt.

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