ALBANY, N.Y. - New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's war on the college loan industry recently spread to a landlord who is accused of not returning security deposits to college students.
Cuomo also said Winter Palace Associates of Parsippany charged illegal fees for carpet cleaning. The company settled the charges Thursday and will pay reimbursement, a fine and court costs -- more than $22,000.
"The Attorney General's Office has put an end to many of the corrupt practices in the college loan industry and we will make sure it does all it can do make sure students are not taken advantage of by unscrupulous landlords," said Russell Ippolito, Assistant Attorney General In-Charge of the Buffalo Regional Office.
"This real estate company was targeting students with unfair charges and contract language. With this settlement, we are protecting students from being preyed upon."
The company owns Brigham Road Apartments, Campus Edge Townhouses and Temple Street Townhouses near SUNY Fredonia. Several complaints were received by Cuomo's office alleging Winter Palace was delinquent and problematic in returning security deposits.
Winter Palace will pay $2,625 in restitution, $15,000 in fines and $5,000 in court costs. It will also place all security deposits in an interest-bearing trust from now on and revive its lease language.
Cuomo has been the leader in what turned into a nationwide investigation into the student loan industry.