The Attorney General has announced a lawsuit in what he says is another case of Joplin residents being ripped off in the wake of the May 22nd tornado. Chris Koster’s office accuses landlord David Box, Junior of unlawfully increasing rent for his tenants at the Northside Apartments and the Classic Townhouses.
13 renters contacted Koster’s office saying they received notices about the rent hike after the tornado. One said his would increase from $475 per month to $595 per month; a 25 percent jump. Two other renters were notified of increases from $475 per month to $550 per month, or 16 percent. The notices said renters had three days to contact Box or their units could be leased to someone else.
Koster is asking the Jasper County Circuit Court to issue a permanent injunction against Box, require him to pay restitution to consumers who were harmed and to pay civil penalties and court costs.
The lawsuit also alleges the names under which the defendent conducted business were not registered with the Missouri Secretary of State as required by law.
Earlier this week, Koster’s office pursued a restraining order against a towing company that towed Joplin residents’ vehicles without permission, or after lying and telling owners their insurance company had asked for the tow.