INDIANAPOLIS — Citizens Energy Group and Attorney General Todd Rokita, along with the city of Indianapolis, are suing the owners of three apartment complex over issues that led to past due bills worth more than $1.3 million.
The following apartments are named in the lawsuit:
- Berkley Commons Apartments at 8201 Madison Avenue
- Capital Place Apartments at 4100 Continental Court
- The Woods at Oak Crossing at 3120 Nobscot Drive
Berkley Commons’ owner Berkley Commons IN LLC owes Citizens $344,217 according to court documents.
The owner of Capital Place and Woods at Oak Crossing, JPC Affordable Housing Foundation, has past due bills totaling $956,792.
Court documents showed multiple accounts linked to the three properties with past due accounts ranging from as little as $8.55 to as much as $386,568.88.
According to the Indiana Business Journal, Berkley Commons and JPC Affordable Housing share an address in New Jersey based on tax and business filings — showing a connection between all three apartment properties.
Both Berkley Commons and Capital Place apartments had their water services turned off temporarily in February by Citizens over unpaid bills. The City of Indianapolis paid off a large portion of the unpaid bills.
Back in February, the water shutoff prompted at least one state representative to urge the Indiana Attorney General to investigate JPC Affordable Housing for possible misuses of state, local and federal funding. The apartments accept Section 8 housing vouchers from the Indianapolis Housing Agency.
Citizens says the Berkley Commons and JPC Affordable Housing stopped payment on bills around spring of 2021. Court filings show Citizens attempted to collect on the bills repeatedly and kept up with monthly invoices.
The energy company considers the unpaid bills a breach of contract.
In addition to repayment of the past due utility bills, Citizens is requesting creation of a constructive trust over each of the defendants’ funds being collected from tenants for water, sewer, and natural gas utility services.
“We are hopeful this legal action against Berkley Commons LLC and JPC Affordable Housing will result in the repayment of past-due bills and payment of future bills, so residents of the apartment complexes have continued access to utility service without our remaining customers having to bear the cost of the apartment owners’ unpaid utility bills,” said Jeffrey Harrison, President & CEO of Citizens.
Attorney Genearal Todd Rokita’s suit was filed in conjuction with the City’s and Citizens.
“Despite some fairly weak laws in Indiana for state government involvement in this area, we continue our efforts to protect tenants who are being unfairly treated and who are being subject to downright dangerous conditions,” said Attorney General Rokita.
Tenants who have experienced problems during the course of their lease are encouraged to file a consumer complaint at www.indianaconsumer.com.