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December 23, 2016

Former West Chester University students may be owed money in settlement

Eligible consumers are encouraged to file complaints

Higher Education Courts
tuition West Chester University Smallbones /Wikimedia Commons

Tuition at state-owned universities in Pennsylvania, like West Chester University, above, will not increase for the 2019-20 academic year.

Former West Chester University students who lived in one of two housing complexes between 2007 and 2012 may be owed money as part of a settlement.

According to a statement from the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office, students who, at that time, lived in the West Chester Commons and College Arms apartment complexes, then owned by Walters Pennsylvania 1, Inc., were made to pay a $200 fee in their leases labeled as either a "turnover fee" or an "operational fee," neither of which were in compliance with the Landlord Tenant Act.

The settlement, filed in the Chester County Court of Common Pleas, notes that during the 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 lease terms, the fee for each resident in the contract was labeled as a “turnover fee” and in the 2009-2010 and 2011-12 leases it was relabeled as an “operational fee.”  

The Landlord Tenant Act does not allow the collection of fees other than a security deposit, according to the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office.

Under the settlement, both companies will be required to pay restitution to all eligible former contract holders as well as a $27,500 fine to the state to fund, in part, future investigations into consumer fraud.

Eligible consumers are encouraged to file complaints prior to Feb. 3. Those wishing to file a complaint with the Bureau of Consumer Protection are encouraged to visit or call 1-800-441-2555.

Read the full statement here.