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Post date: April 16 2015

A.G. Schneiderman Announces Cease And Desist Letter Sent To Property Management Company For Allegedly Charging Servicemembers Illegal Fees

Operating Near Fort Drum, Company Accused Of Charging Fees In Violation Of Servicemember Civil Relief Act

WATERTOWN—Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced that his office has issued a cease and desist letter to LeRay 300, LLC, a Virginia-based company owned by Jeffrey S. Lewis, also of Virginia. The business operates as a rental property company near Fort Drum under the name of Woodcliff Community. The letter orders Woodcliff Community to immediately cease charging service members illegal fees in violation of the Servicemember Civil Relief Act and collecting undisclosed, non-refundable "reservation deposits" in violation of New York State law, among other allegations. The rental property, located in Calcium, New York, is approximately one mile from the main gate at Fort Drum and advertises itself as the "finest neighborhood serving the Fort Drum community."

"Protecting New Yorkers from unscrupulous landlords concerned only with their bottom line, particularly when the tenants are the brave men and women of our nation's military, is a top priority for my office," said Attorney General Schneiderman. "My office will continue to stand with tenants across New York State to ensure landlords follow the law.”

The Servicemember Civil Relief Act is a vital federal law that provides rights and protections to active duty and recently separated members of the military and their families in order to ensure they are able to devote their time and energy to their military duties. Among the protections provided is the ability to terminate a residential lease without penalty prior to the end of the lease term under certain circumstances, including deployment or a permanent change of station. Attorney General Schneiderman's ongoing investigation has resulted in allegations that Woodcliff Community frequently assesses various move-out penalties when soldiers assert their right to terminate their lease early pursuant to the Servicemember Civil Relief Act.

Consumers who have unresolved complaints with LeRay 300, LLC, Woodcliff Community or any other business are urged to contact Attorney General Schneiderman's Regional Office in Watertown at 315-523-6080.

This case is being handled by Assistant Attorney General In Charge Deanna R. Nelson and Assistant Attorney General Alicia M. Lendon, both of the Watertown Regional Office. The Watertown Regional Office is part of the Division of Regional Affairs led by Executive Deputy Attorney General for Regional Affairs Martin J. Mack.