KIYC: Evictions from deceased former property manager to cease, company under investigation
NEWARK - There are new developments in a Kane In Your Corner investigation into a property management company in Newark that may have been illegally evicting tenants. The company, Kettler Management, has backed down on at least one eviction, while the New Jersey Real Estate Commission is investigating whether the company is doing business without a license.
Kane In Your Corner exposed problems with the evictions on Monday. An attorney for Kettler Management admitted hundreds of tenants at the Pavilion Apartments in Newark received eviction notices that were supposedly signed by a former property manager even though they were written months after that manager had died. Brian Freeman, a Jersey City landlord-tenant attorney, called the situation “outrageous” and said any evictions signed by the deceased manager would have to be “dismissed on their face.”
Since the report aired, property managers slid a letter under the door of Kyle Screen, one of the tenants interviewed by News 12 New Jersey, telling him that it was dropping the case against him.
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But improper evictions could be just the beginning. A records search by Kane In Your Corner shows Kettler Management could also be managing the property illegally. Under New Jersey law, any company that “collects or attempts to collect rent for the use of real estate” is required to be licensed as a real estate broker. Kettler Management does not appear to be licensed, according to public records.
“The Real Estate Commission is aware of this situation and is looking into it,” says Marshall McKnight, spokesman for the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance. “Appropriate action will be taken once the REC has completed its investigation.”
Courtney Alford, a spokesperson for Kettler Management, told News 12 New Jersey’s Walt Kane “The information you have is incorrect and we have no further comment.” Asked to elaborate on what information the company believed was incorrect, Alford said she was “not authorized” to answer the question.