FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Olha Rybakoff, Deputy Attorney General
Director, Consumer Protection Unit
Phone: (302) 577-8513
Cell: (302) 218-0001
Date: October 24, 2002
OWNERS OF THE FENWICK PARK APARTMENTS ENTER INTO CONSENT ORDER WITH ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE
Residents of Elsmere Complex to Receive Rebates of Security Deposits and
October rent on Tuesday
(Wilmington, DE): Attorney General Brady announces that, late yesterday, her
Consumer Protection Unit entered into a Stipulation and Consent Order with
the owners of the Fenwick Park Apartment complex to rebate security deposits
and October rent to tenants who were required to evacuate their apartments
earlier this month due to a condemnation order from the Town of Elsmere.
Judge William C. Carpenter, Jr. signed the Stipulation and Consent Order
which affects an estimated 650 displaced tenants.
Checks will be distributed to displaced tenants on:
DATE: TUESDAY, OCTOBER 29th
TIME: 3:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
LOCATION: ELSMERE TOWN HALL, 11 Poplar Ave.
Tenants will be required to show identification when picking up their check.
If tenants are unable to pick up their check on Tuesday, it will be mailed
to the forwarding addresses which have been provided by tenants, the Town of
Elsmere, or the Landlord to the Consumer Protection Unit.
Under the Consent Order, Elsmere Park Club, L.P., Elsmere Associates, LCL
Equities, L.L.C., LCL Management, L.L.C., Elliot Leibowitz, Joel Leibowitz
and Regina O'Neal, (hereinafter collectively "Landlord"), voluntarily agree
to surrender to the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Unit all security
deposits and October, 2002 rent for all displaced tenants who have paid
Landlord such monies, as a good-faith accommodation and without admission of
A total of $153,135.19 representing $95,339.00 in security deposit monies
and $57,796.19 in paid October rent was electronically transferred into a
special state Consumer Protection Fund account. The Landlord also provided
the Consumer Protection Unit with the names and contact information of all
tenants to facilitate prompt distribution of these monies. Attorney General
Brady commented, "I am pleased we were able to get the tenants' monies
returned so quickly. It is important that these residents get the financial
resources they need to re- locate in a timely manner. I appreciate the
assistance of State Treasurer Jack Markell and his office in expediting these
The Attorney General's Consumer Protection Unit is charged with enforcing
the Residential Landlord-Tenant Code. As a result of complaints received
from tenants of the Elsmere complex following the condemnations of their
apartment buildings earlier this month, the Consumer Protection Unit
initiated negotiations with the Landlord to obtain prompt refunds of all
tenant security deposits and October rent monies on a "no-fault" basis -
without regard to the legal liability or determination of fault of either
Marianne Fague, a former tenant at the Fenwick Park apartment complex, said,
"I'm glad this is happening so quickly. I'm happy to be getting my money
back. The Attorney General's office did a tremendous job."
Toni Michel, a tenant activist who was a resident at the Fenwick Park
complex, commented, "I'm so excited. This is very timely. The Attorney
General's office responded very quickly. This will replenish some of the
out-of-pocket expenses we've had to incur."
Tanzania Stanford, another former tenant, said, "This money will help since
I'm still basically homeless, living from friend to friend, but more is
needed to get my family settled. It is a good start."
The Consent Order was entered into for the sole purpose of making cash
immediately available to all displaced tenants - many of whom have very
limited income and are enduring significant hardship because of the
evacuations. The Consent Order does not affect any of the general legal
rights or obligations in place for the displaced tenants, the Landlord or the
Town of Elsmere. Under the Consent Order, the State has separately reserved
its right to continue its investigation into any remaining landlord tenant
issues at the Fenwick Park Apartments, along
with its ability to pursue any further enforcement action that may be
warranted as a result of its investigation.
A copy of the Consent Order is available upon request.