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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High-Tech Millennial Lifestyle Inspires Micro Apartment Boom …

Since the 1980s, cities around the country have been contracting serious cases of Silicon Valley envy. Everyone, it seemed, was looking for the magic formula to create their own high-tech incubators with educated, upwardly mobile work forces that would drive their cities to modernize and grow.

“You always heard about cities vying to become the second Silicon Valley and I thought, ‘What a joke,'” said Glenn Kelman, the chief executive of Redfin, the real estate firm. “Well, now that is happening. The future happened first in San Francisco, but it is happening everywhere.”

From Seattle to Portland, and from Denver to Austin, new tech hubs are prospering. Many of them are filling up with emigres from the Bay Area who simply couldn’t afford to work in tech there any longer.

But it’s not just the workers themselves who are spreading their wings. The lifestyle trends pioneered by a new generation of

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Big out-of-town money buys up Portland rentals

Judith and Cliff Allen have owned the modest Marcus Apartments in Portland’s Irvington neighborhood since 1979. They personally know their 10 tenants, many of whom have lived there long-term and pay rents that these days are below the market rate. The building is 50 years old, but the renters like having hands-on landlords, said the Allens, who live in Clackamas County.

The couple now wants to build another 12-unit structure on the parking lot in front of the building. The surprising thing, said Brian Emerick, former chair of Portland’s Historic Landmarks Commission, is that they didn’t just knock down the old building and put up something bigger and fancier – and a lot more expensive.

“Almost no developer would have saved the existing building,” Emerick said. “They would have just knocked it down” and maximized the lot’s value.

But the Allens don’t want to throw their longtime tenants out of their apartments. It

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Why Maine’s Portland, like its Oregon namesake, is seeing an influx

A few years ago, Gwynne Rivers was a born-and-raised New Yorker who’d never owned a car nor given a thought to shoveling her front walkway. But after a divorce and some financial turbulence, “I felt like things were getting complicated,” she said.

A friend who’d also grown up in Manhattan suggested Rivers join him in Portland — the one in Maine.

“I followed my heart and took a little bit of a leap of faith,” Rivers told MarketWatch. In return, she found a vibrant community with a more impressive “foodie” scene than New York’s, she said, plus great coffee shops, excellent schools and “fresh open country air for kids.”

Portland, Oregon, has spawned a hipster television show proclaiming it “the place where young people go to retire” and a slew of national media coverage of its appeal to priced-out Californians and lifestyle-oriented migrants. But across the country, a

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