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October 30, 2023

Somerset County, Md. - This week, Maryland Legal Aid (MLA) filed a second lawsuit against Eric Sessoms and Mt Vernon Group, LLC, alleging that they operated another bug-infested, unlivable rental property without a license and also collected rent and evicted a tenant in that unlicensed property, which is illegal under Maryland law. 

The lawsuit also alleges that the Defendants collected an unlawfully large security deposit. Because of the Defendants' actions, MLA's client Bobbie Molina, and her children were forced into homelessness and lived out of her car for several months. 

Additionally, and as a result of the Defendants' actions, Ms. Molina has experienced anxiety, depression, panic attacks, and headaches, among other symptoms of emotional distress with physical manifestations. 

MLA's complaint asserts that Mr. Sessoms and Mt Vernon Group violated the Maryland Consumer Protection Act and the Maryland Fair Debt Collection Act and failed to disclose to Ms. Molina that the Mt. Vernon Group did not have a license to rent the property. 

Ms. Molina's story is tragically similar to those of two other women who have also turned to MLA for help fighting Mt Vernon and Mr. Sessoms. In fact, Mt Vernon Group, LLC owns roughly 40 rental properties in Somerset, Worcester, and Wicomico Counties. Mt Vernon LLC and Sessoms are knowingly operating unlicensed, unlivable properties to this day. 

Supervising Attorney for Maryland Legal Aid's Lower Eastern Shore Office Jamie Miliman, a leader of MLA's statewide housing work who is spearheading this series of cases, said, "MLA warns tenants in Somerset County and across Maryland to be wary of illegal and predatory tactics by landlords, particularly those families who are struggling to find affordable housing. 

Though the landlords have an obligation to ensure their properties are up to code prior to renting them out, it is important to do your own research to make sure the property you are renting is licensed and has been inspected to ensure it is safe and complies with all relevant housing codes. 

However, no matter what a renter knows, it is never okay for landlords to operate these kinds of decrepit houses, particularly without a license. And that's why we are suing."