State announces lawsuit action against Milwaukee landlord
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul announced Tuesday, Nov. 16, that the state Department of Justice has filed civil enforcement action against Yousseff 'Joe' Berrada and Berrada Properties Management, Inc., following an investigation by the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.
The 57-page criminal complaint, filed on November 15, alleges that Berrada and Berrada Properties Management, Inc. are responsible for a number of landlord-tenant infractions, including alleged illegal provisions made to standard rental agreements, failure to make repairs, and forcing tenants to pay legal fees. The complaint also says that employees allegedly entered tenant's property without proper notice and that tenants were charged late rent fees inconsistent with their rental agreement.
"There are three things that we're seeking in this case," explained AG Kaul. "One is injunctive relief, or a court order that would require Berrada Properties Management to make sure that its practices are consistent with Wisconsin law. We're also seeking restitution for the renters who have been impacted by the practices that we've alleged are unlawful, and we're seeking forfeitures under Wisconsin law."
AG Kaul could not provide a specific number of tenants impacted by the alleged illegal practices but did suggest that it's a lot, with hopes that more people will come forward.
"The allegations that this involves are, among other things, standard rental agreements that have been used so the number of violations alleged is numerous," said Attorney General Kaul. "If anybody has information involving Berrada Properties Management, Youssef Berrada, or any other landlords who are violating laws, we encourage them to contact DATCP and make a report."
Those looking to file a complaint with DATCP can do so HERE.
Joe Goldberger, legal counsel for Berrada Properties, Inc., responded to a request for comment regarding the lawsuit saying:
"We are aware of the complaint filed yesterday by the State of Wisconsin. Berrada Properties Management, Inc. vehemently denies any assertion of wrongdoing and will vigorously defend its interests. We remain committed to providing high quality housing to serve our tenants in and around the Milwaukee area. We will make no additional comments concerning the pending litigation at this time."
If you would like to read the full criminal complaint you can do so HERE.