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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

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Cathy Bixby

Bad Biz Finder Forms Class Action Lawsuit Against Landlord, UDR, on Behalf of CA Tenants

June 3, 2009 — badbizfinder |

On behalf of California tenants past and present, Bad Biz Finder, a Fremont, California-based consumer advocate announced today that it is forming a federal class action law suit against UDR, Inc., a real estate investment trust (REIT) that owns, acquires, renovates, develops and manages apartment communities nationwide.

The company was formed in 1972 as a Virginia corporation and in June of 2003 altered its state of incorporation to Maryland. Defendant UDR’s subsidiaries include two operating partnerships, Heritage Communities, L.P., a Delaware Limited Partnership and United Dominion Realty, L.P., also a Delaware Limited Partnership.

UDR is a publicly-traded Maryland corporation (Corporate Number D07353964 formed on May 2, 2003) (NYSE:UDR) with its principal place of business and agent for service of process located at 300 East Lombard Street, Baltimore, Maryland, 21202. UDR, Inc.’s corporate headquarters are located at 1745 Shea Center Drive, Suite 200, Highlands Ranch, Colorado, 80129.

Bad Biz Finder will facilitate Notice to UDR Shareholders of a pending class action lawsuit as required by the Securities & Exchange Commission.
The preliminary causes of action will be UDR’s longstanding practice of:

1. Illegal collection of early lease termination liquidated damage fees (amounting to 2.25 times base rent) motivating a higher than industry-standard eviction rate to facilitate a “double rent” revenue stream on vacated and quickly reletted apartments.

2. Illegal withholding of security deposits via unconscionable and oppressive hidden fees and penalties not apparent, nor defined at the time of lease execution, nor within the standard of acceptable normal wear and tear as prescribed by law.

3. Illegal and intentional misrepresentation, concealment and omission of proper legal name of “Landlord/Owner” on Lease contracts and illegal and intentional misrepresentation, concealment and omission of proper agent for service of process of “Landlord/Owner” in order to obtain and sustain a legal advantage over tenants resulting in a extremely low probability of tenant-based litigation. This also amounts to a violation of the tenant’s civil right to expeditiously bring a grievance to a court of competent jurisdiction.

4. Illegal profit-earning as a publicly-traded non-utility business via its Ratio Utility Billing System (RUBS) in violation of the Public Utilities Commission Act forbidding said profit. UDR is liable for deferring common area property utilities, utilities to vacant units and units under repair to tenants without a logistical need with the motivation of defraying property costs to tenants. In addition, UDR sustains another double revenue stream by not only charging its tenants to source the energy and water being supplied to the onsite public laundry rooms but by also charging them to use the coin-operated machines. Finally, UDR’s Lease requires that tenants deem the RUBS formula as fair and equitable even though it is solely comprised of calculated variables outside the control and knowledge base of its tenants.

5. Illegal deferral of liability via “hold harmless” clauses creating a “perception of justifiable negligence” in UDR’s failure to maintain habitable premises with regard to vector control, water quality, construction defects, as well as tenant and guest safety standards for security against unit and vehicle intrusion, sexual offenders, theft, and violence.

6. Illegal collection of late fees in excess of the standard of law which must be set at an annualized and noncompounded 10% interest rate.

7. Illegal and intentional misrepresentation, concealment and omission of material facts in Lease agreements with the express purpose to defraud tenants in order to create a cause of action for unlawful detainer to perpetuate the collection of early lease termination liquidated damage fees.

If you were or are a California tenant that has:

1. Signed and paid rent under a UDR Lease that does not state on the face of the Lease, the legal fictitious business name of “Landlord/Owner” as set forth with the Secretary of State;

OR

2. Signed and paid upon a Lease that does not contain the name, address and telephone number of the person or company to which you should serve legal documents (known as “the agent for service of process”);

OR

3. Paid 2.25 times their rent to vacate their apartment prior to Lease termination under the following Lease clause:

“Paragraph 37(a) Liquidated Damages for Landlord’s Lost Rent and Additional Reletting Costs. In the event this Lease is terminated early due to Resident’s breach, Resident shall pay Landlord the sum of $_______ (which represents 2-1/4 times the monthly rent due hereunder) as liquidated damages to cover Landlord’s resulting lost rent and additional reletting costs. In accordance with California Civil Code section 1671, Resident and Landlord agree that it is impractical and impossible to determine what Landlord’s actual lost rent and additional reletting costs will be if the Lease is terminated, because it cannot be predicted when during the Lease term resident may breach, what the rental market conditions will be at that time, and how long the Premises may stay vacant despite Landlord’s good faith efforts to relet the same. Resident and Landlord agree that the sum above is fair and reasonable, regardless of when the Lease is terminated. This limited liquidated damages sum covers Landlord’s lost rent and reletting costs ONLY.”

OR

4. Paid in excess of 1/3650th of their base rent for a late fee (divide their base rent by 3650 to come up with a daily rate and multiply it by 30). For example, if their rent is $1,700, their daily rate would be $.47 per day or $14.10 for a 30-day period;

OR

5. Paid utilities under a RUBS utility calculation as follows:

“Total monthly utility cost for the community (minus an allowance for common area use if applicable [which is not applicable in the present case]) divided by the number of persons residing at the community times the number of persons residing in the Premises using the applicable ratio multiplier [1 person = 1; 2 persons = 1.6; 3 persons = 2.2; 4 persons = 2.6; 5 persons = 3; each additional person, add..4 to the multiplier.]”;

OR

6. Tenant or a guest of theirs was injured, harmed, or violated on Premises and UDR deflected the liability back to you by pointing to the “hold harmless” clause in their Lease;

OR

7. Tenant relied upon any of the above intentional misrepresentations, concealments, or omissions as true and correct statements of fact and were harmed as a result of their reliance ….

Then tenant may qualify to participate in the Class Action Lawsuit.

Please email us the following information:

1. The exact dates of tenancy with UDR;

2. The full names of all parties that signed the Lease as a tenant (as they were at the time the Lease was executed);

3. The name, address and telephone number of the UDR property where tenant resided;

4. Tenant’s current address, email and telephone number if no longer a UDR tenant;

5. The name of the UDR agent that executed the Lease on behalf of UDR.

Even though this is a California-based class action lawsuit, we will initiate the action in federal court for the following reasons:

1. The amount in controversy will exceed $5,000,000;

2. All members of the class to be certified will be citizens of a state different from the defendant, UDR.

3. Even if we initiated the action in a California state court, UDR would more than likely fight to move it to a federal court

Their Lease agreement is a “California Version 2007” Lease and California law controls.

This case will be based on a common injury sustained as a result of the action taken by UDR pursuant to its policies that apply to all California tenants as set forth in you “CA Version” Lease.

Because of the fact that the issues are the same for all California tenants, there is a much better chance that they can overcome any objection by UDR to try the cases individually.

Bad Biz Finder
http://badbizfinder.wordpresss.com
badbizfinder@aol.com

Chris

It is about time something like this went nationwide. I really think it should be even stricter. I know a lot of people think that people can make decisions for themselves, but in reality this is not true. There is a foreclosure across the street from me, so I decided to check the land records. The people refinanced about every two years. The last one came about a year ago for $187,000 at 10.25% which refinanced a loan that was from two years earlier. The max APR was 17.25%, with no love on the downside if rates (as they did) went down. The house was foreclosed, and now is on the market for $94,500 and the listing states that it will be a cash sale. I would love to see the appraisal on that listing.

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