A Chelsea landlord and property manger illegally charged tenants for water while taking Section 8 funds from the government and must pay an $80,000 settlement, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Tuesday.

From June 2104 to October 2020, landlord 44 Gerrish, LLC and property manager HallKeen Management demanded monthly water bill payments from three Section 8 tenants, officials said. Property owners and landlords get Section 8 funds, which cover portions of rent and utilities, in exchange for agreeing not to charge for utilities in excess of what is allowed by public housing agencies.

According to Secretary of State records, 44 Gerrish, LLC is managed by The Neighborhood Developers, Inc. After one of the tenants brought a complaint against the the landlord and property manager for making false claims, they admitted to demanding and receiving the payments in violation of housing assistance payment contracts and agreed to the $80,000 settlement, officials said.

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