Apartments for rent

Apartments for rent Destination Austin apartment rental agency faces $20M lawsuit over alleged fraud

Austin apartment rental agency faces $20M lawsuit over alleged fraud



AUSTIN, Texas — A rental agency accused of misappropriating rent for apartments in a wealthy Austin neighborhood is facing more than $20 million in a lawsuit that alleges the firm “engaged in fraudulently obtaining and unlawfully withholding” the rent it paid to some renters, the Austin American-Statesman reported.

In a lawsuit filed Tuesday, the lawsuit alleges that Cedarhurst Rental Partners, which has offices in Austin, made unauthorized payments to several renters, including one who had not paid rent for five years.

The suit seeks unspecified damages.

A spokesperson for Cedarhurst declined to comment on the suit.

The Austin American Statesman first reported the suit, which alleges Cedarhurst violated the terms of its rental agreement with a former tenant in February.

The alleged rent-stealing by Cedarhurst was discovered in July, according to the lawsuit.

In the complaint, the former tenant, who asked not to be identified, says he had paid $1,600 for a Cedarhurst-owned apartment in Austin’s Austin district, but that Cedarshire never paid the money, saying he would have had to move out if Cedarhurst didn’t comply with its terms.

The former tenant claims Cedarhurst “had to conceal its illegal and fraudulent conduct” by failing to report the money received, according the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Austin.

Cedarhurst said in a statement to the Statesman that it was “saddened and saddened” to learn of the alleged misuse of its services, adding that it would cooperate fully with the federal investigation.

The lawsuit, the latest in a string of lawsuits alleging fraudulent practices at Cedarhurst and other rental agencies, comes as Austin faces a major shortage of rental apartments, particularly in the suburbs surrounding downtown.

Austin has the third-highest vacancy rate in the nation, according in January to the Real Estate Institute of Greater Austin.

The U.F.O. released data in January that found Austin’s vacancy rate for the first nine months of this year was 4.5 per cent.

A similar analysis in January found the average rental vacancy in Austin to be 3.6 per cent in 2016.

Austin Mayor Steve Adler has blamed rent inflation for the city’s affordability crisis, while Cedarhurst has also been accused of using rent-controlled units to boost revenue.

The firm’s president, Chris Smith, told the Statesmen that the firm has been working with the city for years to make improvements in Austin housing.

He said he hopes the lawsuit will help to improve Cedarhurst’s reputation and that he believes Cedarhurst is doing everything possible to improve its services.

Smith said Cedarhurst believes it is in compliance with Austin’s terms and conditions of its contracts with its tenants.

The company says it has paid more than 2.5 million rental apartments since 2006, but declined to provide data on how many of those apartments were Cedarhurst apartments.

The Texas Attorney General’s Office is looking into the allegations.

TopBack to Top