Lawsuit accuses Portland landlord of keeping security deposits

A lawsuit filed in Portland accuses a city landlord of violating state law by keeping the security deposits of tenants in two buildings that he recently sold.

The tenants, including low-income and disabled residents, were later given eviction notices by new owners to make way for renovations, and dozens of others also may have been deprived of security deposit refunds, the lawsuit alleges.

The lawsuit against Steve Fowler was filed as a class action Monday in Cumberland County Superior Court. It seeks damages of two times the security deposit amount, as well as attorney fees and additional compensation for one specific tenant and “all similarly situated Maine renters.”

“This is an uncomplicated case of misappropriation, breach of fiduciary duty, conversion and violations of Maine law concerning the illegal retention of security deposits,” the lawsuit states.

Fowler, whose properties are listed under different limited liability companies, is accused of violating state law when he

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