Elderly property investor sues former rental manager for allegedly overcharging on maintenance

By Kyle Barnett | Aug 13, 2013

GRETNA – An elderly woman who owns several properties is suing a rental property manager in charge of leasing after he allegedly charged her for maintenance that was not done.

Elizabeth Dewitt Penter, Lake Villa Flats LLC, Carrollton Townhouses LLC and 900-904 Veterans LLC filed suit against Hart Property Management Inc. and George Lillich Jr. in the 24th Judicial District Court on June 10.

Penter claims she is the sole member of Villa Flats LLC, Carrollton Townhouses LLC and 900-904 Veterans LLC and through them and on her own is the owner of nine properties that were managed by Lillich and his company Hart Property Management Inc. The plaintiff alleges that she and her husband owned rental property and that the defendant leased the properties and collected all deposits and rents as well as being responsible for property maintenance.

Penter asserts that after her husband died in 2006 Lillich refused to provide her monthly accounting records for the properties and that he also began charging a significant amount in maintenance expenses through Hart Property Management Inc. as well as fees for commission to agents who were leasing the units. The plaintiff claims that the services the defendant said were being completed could not be substantiated.

In December 2012, Penter alleges that Lillich provided her $1,444.09 for nine moths rent collect on two properties, but that the check bounced when she tried to cash it. The plaintiff asserts that at the same time the check cashed the defendant had already collected rent for all nine units for October through December and that the check bouncing was a clear sign that the defendant was not properly managing her finances.

Penter claims after the checked bounced she terminated her contract with Hart Property Management Inc. and George Lillich Jr. and requested a full accounting from years 2011 and 2012. The plaintiff asserts that the defendant did provide an accounting record that was not itemized and was full of what she claims are inflated charges.

The defendant is accused of breach of contract, billing at inflated rates, not performing services billed for and not forwarding a security deposit at the end of the contract.

The plaintiff seeks a thorough accounting of all services provide on each property from 2006 through 2012 and compensation for financial losses suffered due to the defendant.

Penter is represented by attorney S.C. Garcia III of Covington.

The case has been assigned to Division D Judge Scott U. Schlegel.

Case no. 727-797.

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