For press inquiries or to schedule an interview with the Attorney General please contact:
503-378-6002 or Jeff.D.Manning@doj.state.or.us
About Ellen F. Rosenblum
Attorney General Hardy Myers Announces Agreement With Florida Rental Locator To Go Out Of Business In Oregon, Give Refunds To All Customers
Attorney General Hardy Myers today announced the filing of a settlement agreement with a Florida-based rental locator service ending its operation in Oregon for allegedly charging consumers for rental information when the housing was either non-existent or no longer available. Named in an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance (AVC) filed in Marion County Circuit Court are Tenant Marketplace, Inc., a Florida corporation, and its officer/director Laurie Gallagher of Maderia Beach, Florida. The AVC admits no law violation.
"Most out-of-state companies know Oregon's fair practice laws and abide by them," Myers explained. "Tenant Marketplace knew its product was mostly non-existent and stale at best but took money for it anyway. There is no room for fraudulent retailers such as these in Oregon's marketplace."
Department of Justice (DOJ) investigators received multiple complaints from both consumers and landlords. Consumers paid the company $149 to locate rental property only to receive out-of-date information. Consumers also found the lists were available free on Craig's List or in The Oregonian newspaper. Landlords discovered their occupied properties appeared on the company's lists as available for rent. Most of the landlords had not given the company permission to list their rentals and most had never heard of the company in the first place.
Under the settlement, the company will provide full refunds within the next 180 days to all Oregon consumers who purchased its rental locator services. The company agreed to pay $10,000 to the DOJ Consumer Protection and Education Fund--$1,000 immediately upon execution of the AVC with $9,000 being suspended as long as the company continues to comply with the agreement.
The company also is permanently prohibited from operating or controlling any rental locator service within Oregon or providing rental locator services in any way to Oregonians.
Consumers wanting more information about this case or consumer protection in general may contact the Attorney General's consumer hotline at (503) 378-4320 (Salem area only), (503) 229-5576 (Portland area only) or toll-free at 1-877-877-9392. DOJ is online at www.doj.state.or.us.
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