A refund may be coming soon to tenants of a pair of Muncie-area real estate companies.
MiddleTown Property Management and MiddleTown Property Group have agreed to pay $35,000 to renters after the Indiana Attorney General’s Homeowner Protection Unit found the two groups misled renters by using the unregistered name BSU Rentals.
That name could suggest an affiliation with Ball State University, which the companies do not have, and confuse consumers, officials with the Attorney General’s Office said.
The Homeowner Protection Unit also heard complaints from tenants that the MiddleTown companies failed to provide safe, clean and livable apartments compliant with state law. They also reported that the companies invaded renters’ privacy without providing proper notice and charged a “deceptive” redecoration fee in the place of a security deposit.
As a result of the investigation, the MiddleTown companies will no longer use BSU Rentals and have agreed to issue refunds totaling $35,000. They will also pay $10,000 for the Homeowner Protection Unit’s investigative costs, no longer charge a redecoration fee and comply with a quarterly reporting requirement over the next two years.
In a news release, Attorney General Todd Rokita said representatives with the MiddleTown companies have expressed a willingness to resolve renters’ concerns.
“Our office is going to continue to work tirelessly to ensure that the rental marketplace is free from unfair and deceptive trade practices,” Rokita said. “At the same time, when businesses commit to do things better, we will always give them the opportunity to make things right.”