Property management company leaves renters in limbo

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PHOENIX -- A YouTube video Jaqlyn Collier posted online details a problem she's having with her property management company, Primary Residential Management, also known as PRM.

Since moving into her Phoenix apartment, Jaqlyn says she's always had rent automatically withdrawn from her bank account and sent to PRM.

But in January, PRM unexpectedly shut down before Jaqlyn could cancel those automatic payments.
As a result, she said one final $875 rent check was automatically sent -- and cashed -- by PRM.
But that money, she said, should've gone to the new owner, not PRM, so she had to pay her rent again, to the new owner.

“You know, I wasn't prepared to have two months worth of rent taken out of my account,” she said. “So, you know, the last couple of months, I've just been trying to make that up.”

Jaqlyn said she tried contacting PRM to get her $875 back, but couldn't get in touch with anyone so she made that video, then emailed 3 On Your Side.

“We just thought okay, well, no one's listening to us and I want people to hear me out. So, we just decided to do a fun video to kind of lighten the mood a little bit and to hopefully catch some people's attention, and it worked,” Jaqlyn said.

3 On Your Side got involved and discovered right around the time PRM shut down, a cease and desist order was issued against the company by the Arizona Department of Real Estate.

The cease and desist followed a state audit which revealed a major shortfall in PRM’s broker trust account, a shortfall that amounted to nearly $800,000.

County records show PRM manages at least 673 different properties, and Janet Lucchesi with the Arizona Tenants Association said she's received complaints from dozens of tenants living at those properties.

“They're wanting to know who to pay their rent to. They're wanting to know if they have lost all of their security deposit moneys that were collected by Primary Residential Management,” Lucchesi said.

The Arizona Corporation Commission lists Mark Maddocks as PRM’s manager and that audit shows Kevin Ross is the broker.

We tried contacting them, but our calls were not returned.

A 3 On Your Side crew went to recent addresses for Maddocks and Ross, but were told they had moved.

So where is all that money, including Jaqlyn's $875?

“I just want the money back. I really do. Just as simple as that,” Jaqlyn said.

The Arizona Department of Real Estates says PRM’s case has been referred to the criminal division of the Arizona Attorney General’s Office for possible prosecution.

In the meantime, Lucchesi said tenants wondering where to send their rent checks should contact the owner of their property by looking it up on the Maricopa County Assessor’s website.