Class action lawsuit alleges Sage Management charged illegal fees

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Tenants at Sage Management apartments and townhouses in Baltimore filed a class action lawsuit Friday against the property management company for allegedly charging illegal late fees, according to a compliant filed in the city’s Circuit Court.

The 29-page lawsuit — which is open to current and former tenants since January 2004 — claims the company routinely charges tenants who are late on their rent a 5 percent penalty along with agent, court and eviction fees that trap the families in a cycle of debt.

"I have met dozens and dozens of Sage Management tenants from East Baltimore and West Baltimore; what they have in common is they come to us very confused," said Zafar Shah, a staff attorney with Public Justice Center, which filed the lawsuit.

"There is a hopelessness that the cycle is not going to stop. … This is a way to stop the bleeding."

Right to Housing Alliance also is helping in the effort to challenge Sage’s alleged practices.

Sage Management declined to comment about the lawsuit. According to its website, the company owns nine complexes and specializes in affordable housing for families with Section 8 vouchers.

"We are committed to providing a safe, pleasant and healthy environment for all our clients," the website says. "Our company strives to tackle maintenance issues as quickly and as professionally as possible, always considering the tenants needs, safety and privacy."

The lawsuit, which…

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