Attorney General Todd Rokita steps in to protect tenants from Muncie landlord’s alleged misconduct


Attorney General Todd Rokita and his team have successfully secured an agreement from a Muncie real estate company to refund consumers a total of $35,000 and to cease allegedly unfair and deceptive practices.

“Week after week, we devote significant time and energy to protecting Hoosiers who rent their homes,” Attorney General Rokita said. “People living in apartments and other rental properties deserve fair treatment and peace of mind. That’s why we work so hard to hold landlords accountable for following the law.”

An investigation by Attorney General Rokita’s Homeowner Protection Unit determined that Middletown Property Management LLC and Middletown Property Group LLC have been using the unregistered trade name “BSU Rentals” — which could confuse consumers by suggesting an association with Ball State University

Tenants also complained of other alleged violations, including:

  • invasions of their privacy without proper notice;
  • use of a deceptive redecoration fee in place of a security deposit; and
  • repeated failures to deliver units to tenants in a safe, clean and livable condition in compliance with Indiana law.

Under an agreement obtained by Attorney General Rokita’s team, the Middletown companies have committed to do the following:

  • issue credits and refunds to consumers totaling $35,000 as well as a payment to reimburse the Homeowner Protection Unit for $10,000 in investigative costs;
  • cease the use of the BSU Rentals unregistered trade name on all marketing materials;
  • make affirmative changes to all current and future residential leases requiring reasonable notice prior to entry of leased units by these companies or their agents;
  • cease the use of a “redecoration fee,” which had the effect of charging tenants for a preexisting legal duty to deliver leased units in a safe, clean and livable condition;
  • remove “as-is” language from all the companies’ leases and agree to abide by the landlord obligations found in Ind. Code § 32-31-8-5; and
  • participate in compliance monitoring requiring the companies to issue quarterly reports to the Homeowner Protection Unit for a compliance period of two years running from Sept. 1, 2023 to June 1, 2025.

Although the Homeowner Protection Unit’s investigation uncovered issues that needed to be addressed, Attorney General Rokita said, the companies have expressed a commitment to resolve tenants’ concerns going forward.

“I would like to thank these respondents and their counsel, Brent Embry, for their cooperation and professionalism in resolving this dispute,” Attorney General Rokita said. “Our office is going to continue to work tirelessly to ensure that the rental marketplace is free from unfair and deceptive trade practices. At the same time, when businesses commit to do things better, we will always give them the opportunity to make things right.”

Attorney General Rokita also thanked his Homeowner Protection Unit for their diligent work on this case. Investigator Natalie Christie conducted the inquiry into this matter, and Deputy Attorney General Kelsey McKnight provided legal support. Section Chief Chase Haller and Assistant Section Chief Timothy Weber lead the Homeowner Protection Unit.

The mission of the Homeowner Protection Unit is to protect the rights of all individuals involved in the housing market — including tenants, homeowners and aspiring homeowners — by investigating and redressing deceptive acts in connection with mortgage lending and violations of relevant state and federal laws.