Wednesday, October 31, 2012

AUM and Concord are stopped from fleecing residents

PCB closes loophole on water charges
Article at:

Published: Tuesday, October 30, 2012 at 19:34 PM.

PANAMA CITY BEACH — The Panama City Beach Council has closed a loophole on an ordinance that allowed apartment complexes to overcharge residents for city utility services.

A city investigation into individual meter readings at Stone Harbor Apartments on Alf Coleman Road showed some residents were billed $9 to $10 per 1,000 gallons of water used, nearly three times the city rate.

The ordinance, which prevents the resale of city water and sewer services by any third party, was amended at the Oct. 11 council meeting, adding language to prohibit landlords from taking utility cost from vacant units or the common areas and distributing it among tenants.

“They weren’t breaking the law, but they weren’t following what we intended the ordinance to do,” Utilities Director Al Shortt said of the complex, which outsources billing to American Utility Management (AUM). Residents “were essentially paying for stuff that should have been absorbed by the community.”
Shortt said the complex, a Concord Management property, was allowing residents to pick up the bills for vacant units and also for the irrigation water in common areas.

The amended ordinance prohibits landlords from charging any more than the city would have charged the tenant, with the exception of an administrative charge not to exceed $3.

“Having the other tenants pay what is the landlord’s obligation, the landlord is making money,” said City Attorney Doug Sale, who provided clarification at the council meeting.

The amendment to the ordinance was prompted after Councilwoman Josie Strange received complaints from residents at Stone Harbor regarding utility bills.

Although the complex runs off one master meter, AUM sets up individual meters at each unit, allowing city officials to determine that many residents were being overcharged for their usage amount.

The city sent a notice of violation and cease-and-desist order to the complex in August, requesting documentation of the actual cost of operating the utility and also information from the third-party bill processor.

Shortt said Stone Harbor residents should see a reduction in their utility bills during the next billing cycle.

“They’re well aware of what they need to do,” Shortt said of AUM. “Now that the ordinance is in place, it should take care of those issues.”


Misc FYI:  27 pages of letters and email regarding the City taking action against AUM and Concord are at the bottom of this blog site, they would take up to much room to put them on top. The names and email addresses of those who complained about Stone Harbor are redacted.
Direct link:

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

City tells Stone Harbor to 'Cease and Desist'

That's right Stone Harbor residents benefitted from a Notice of Violation and a demand for Stone Harbor to "Cease and Desist" its usurious water billings.

A resident complained to a City Councilman about the high rates for water by American Utility Management. The Councilman then brought the bogus charges to the Cities attention and after looking into it the City Attorney sent the below letter to Stone Harbor Partners Ltd, which is just Concord Management under another corporate shell. 

Note the line that says they must stop: "charging usurious rates which are far out of line with the City's rates set forth in . . . the City's Code".

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Suit coming or not?

Is there a 'class action' suit coming against American Utility Management and Concord Management Ltd over gross overcharges in the water bills at this property?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Posted by Picasa
I have put up this blog site so that the reviews about this Stone Harbor apartment rental site don't just disappear. Here is the site in case you want to go there directly:

The apartment rating site has or at least 'had' a site for North Bridge Apartments in Orlando, this is the 'flagship' and HQ of Concord.  It had quite a lot of negative reviews then last time I looked in a dozen of them were gone with just one in favor and one against.

The Stone Harbor apartments are managed by Concord Management, Ltd from Orlando (Maitland).  They have about 140 sites with 32,000-34,000 units in 7 states and from what I have read they do a crappy job across the board.

So in order that this below information remains online I am just going to paste the information into this site so when people 'google' Stone Harbor they will find this.

Note:  The complex is sometimes called 'Stone Harbour', just trying to be fancy I guess.

Drop by these blog sites for more information on Concord Mis-Management:

2 Local newspaper articles about Stone Harbor can be found at: