Residential Property Manager Cited For Commingling Tenant Deposits

Attorney General Spitzer today announced a settlement with a Western New York residential property management company that illegally commingled tenant security deposits.

The Kissling Interests, LLC - the owner and manager of various properties throughout the city of Buffalo - settled allegations that it violated state laws requiring tenant security deposits to be placed in individual interest bearing bank accounts. The Attorney General's office determined that the security deposits of over 400 tenants were illegally commingled with corporate accounts.

"Security deposits are the rightful property of the tenants and may not be used to augment the bank accounts of landlords," Spitzer said.

In settling the case, The Kissling Interests agreed to set up proper escrow accounts totaling nearly $200,000, which represents the total of the tenants' deposits, plus interest owed on these monies. The firm also agreed to use its best efforts to open accounts at the highest interest rate available in the area.

The residential units affected by this settlement include: Gates Circle Apartments at 1290 and 1310 Delaware Avenue (152); 173-175 North Street (133); the Colonial Apartments at 399-405 Delaware Avenue (36); 2096-2108 Delaware Avenue (31); 209-213 Summer Street (31); the Aldor Apartments at 131 Allen Street (17); 25 Summer Street (10); and 479 Delaware Avenue (9).

The Kissling Interests also paid the state $30,000 in civil penalties and costs.

This case was handled by Assistant Attorney General Dennis Rosen and Senior Investigator Peter Eiss of the Buffalo Regional Office.