WILMINGTON (Legal Newsline) — The Delaware Department of Justice's Consumer Protection Unit has reached a settlement with two apartment complex owners and a property management company who are accused of advertising amenities and services not included in their apartments including "free heat and hot water."
According to the Delaware Attorney General's Office, the owners of Hidden Creek Commons, the former owner of Autumn Park Apartments and the Metropolitan Management Group, provided tenants with dwellings that had no HVAC services, and faulty appliances and plumbing. The apartment complexes, which falsely advertised "free heat and hot water, AC, fully equipped kitchens and 24-hour emergency repair" also faced several code violations and did not respond to maintenance requests, the Attorney General's Office said.
“This case was a priority of former Attorney General Matt Denn because tenants were living in conditions that were unacceptable,” Delaware Attorney General Kathy Jennings said in a statement. “I am proud of the work that DOJ has done to send the message that such misleading conduct should not be tolerated.”
According to Jennings' office, the defendants will pay a $400,000 civil penalty that will go toward paying affected tenants. The defendants also are prohibited from renting apartments throughout the state with the same types of issues, and will provide training to staff on state laws and tenant's rights.