Connor Group sued for improper utilities billing at Arlington Heights complex

The Ohio investor’s Stonebridge of Arlington heights is accused of improper billing, withholding security deposits

Larry Conner of the The Connor Group and the Arlington Heights rental complex at 600 West Rand Road (Credit: The Connor Group)
Larry Conner of the The Connor Group and the Arlington Heights rental complex at 600 West Rand Road (Credit: The Connor Group)

A national mutifamily investment firm is being sued by a tenant of its Arlington Heights complex who says the company has been illegally charging for utilities and withholding security deposits.

Rohan Goel had been a tenant at Stonebridge of Arlington Heights, a luxury apartment complex at 600 West Rand Road, since 2014. But when he decided not to renew his lease in 2017, Goel discovered building management had mismanaged his deposit and improperly charged for utilities that cover common areas, according to the recently filed lawsuit.

Goel is suing The Connor Group, a Dayton, Ohio-based firm that in 2016 paid $105 million for the 586-unit complex in Arlington Heights.

Stonebridge tenants paid monthly for utilities billed directly to the tenant, but they were also charged by Stonebridge for “master” utilities that covered common areas such as hallways, the parking lot and tennis courts, according to the lawsuit.

The practice was done “to push operating costs onto tenants, padding their bottom line in the process,” the suit claims. Goel’s suit alleges the company charged each tenant nearly $40 a month for garbage removal, which was “more than the actual cost of the service.”

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According to state law, landlords cannot charge for such utilities without saying in writing how they are formulating each individual bill, and they cannot charge a price that is greater then the total owed to the utility company.

The Connor Group is also accused of charging tenants for repairs and others fees that it would deduct from security deposits, according to the lawsuit. The group also did not collect interest on security deposits, a violation of state law, the suit claims.

In Goel’s case, Stonebridge returned his security deposit without any accrued interest. Instead, it had deducted over $500 on his $1,510 deposit for damages it claimed were not real and for late fees on bills that Goel had already paid, the suit alleges.

Stonebridge withheld $154 for unpaid utilities. But when Goel showed in writing that the bill had already been paid, the company never returned his funds, according to the suit.

Goel is seeking class action status for his suit, saying at least 100 other tenants were improperly billed for utilities and had their security deposits unfairly docked.

A spokesperson for the Connor Group did not immediately return a request for comment.

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