Company Contact: SureDeposit Dan Rudd Tel: 973/992-8440 email@example.com Media Contact: Nina Dietrich, L.L.C. Nina Dietrich Tel: 201/493-8944 firstname.lastname@example.org FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE SUREDEPOSIT PROGRAM RETURNS TO MARYLAND Governor Signs Bill Allowing Landlords to Offer Renters a Choice at Lease Signing: Purchase a Security Deposit Alternative Surety Bond or Pay a Traditional Security Deposit Livingston, NJ, (June 1, 2006) – SureDeposit, the nation’s leading provider of security deposit alternatives for the multifamily industry, has announced that its innovative risk management and marketing program will once again be available in Maryland following Governor Robert Ehrlich’s recent signing of HB 1620. The new law, which was unanimously passed by both the Maryland House of Delegates and State Senate and becomes effective July 1, 2006, allows landlords to offer their apartment residents the option of purchasing a surety bond for a security deposit alternative in lieu of paying all or part of a traditional security deposit. Both options provide for the protection of the landlord. SureDeposit’s reinstatement in Maryland comes after a three-year-long dispute with Maryland’s Attorney General over the company’s offering of surety bonds to Maryland apartment renters. “HB 1620 updates Maryland landlord/tenant law and recognizes that alternatives to security deposits are a beneficial option for both apartment renters and owners,” said SureDeposit Founder and CEO Stuart Litwin. “Since 1996, more than a million renters in 40 states have chosen to pay SureDeposit’s one-time, lower cost surety bond premium at lease signing rather than leaving a larger cash deposit with a landlord for the length of their tenancy, a move which has helped renters retain more than$300 million of additional cash. “At the same time, SureDeposit has also helped the multifamily industry save millions in un-recovered debt resulting from physical damage to a unit or skipped rent, by offering the apartment owner superior protection against financial losses over a traditional security deposit,” Litwin said. -more- Page 2 According to Tom Beaton, vice president of property management for The Dolben Company, which has 11 luxury apartment communities in Maryland, traditional security deposit levels at their properties ranging from $250 to $300 do not adequately protect the company against this kind of financial exposure. “We already offer SureDeposit at our communities in other markets around the country. Our ability now to offer SureDeposit in Maryland means we can still compete for residents by allowing them to move in with less money upfront and without having to sacrifice sound risk management principles,” said Beaton. Educating the Marketplace This bill signing also signals a victory for SureDeposit following its March 2005 settlement with the Maryland Attorney General, which ultimately prevented the company from continuing to offer the program statewide. “From SureDeposit’s inception, we knew we would have to dedicate ourselves to educating the marketplace about security deposit alternatives. It comes with the territory when you blaze new trails,” Litwin explained. “As an extension of that commitment, we have worked diligently to help Maryland lawmakers better understand how the multifamily marketplace has evolved and why the state’s landlord/tenant laws needed to be updated. The Governor’s bill signing and the unanimous approval of both Houses in Maryland affirm our efforts. We are thrilled to once again offer our unique program to the multifamily market in Maryland to address renters’ escalating move-in costs, as well as apartment owners’ growing bad debt picture.” According to Litwin, HB 1620 also makes it crystal clear that landlords and tenants who choose the surety bond alternative are still entitled to all protections afforded to them under current landlord/tenant law. “For example, requirements related to the inspection of an apartment, disclosure of tenants’ rights, and the opportunity to dispute claims, are just a few examples of the types of protection that the new law mandates, that are in the spirit of Maryland’s current security deposit law, and that have always been core tenets of our business,” he said. About SureDeposit SureDeposit’s surety bond guarantees the protection of the property and enhances property owners’ risk management, while dramatically lowering residents’ move-in costs. At lease signing, the resident chooses between paying the traditional security deposit directly to the property owner or a one-time, non-refundable bond premium, which costs a fraction of the traditional security deposit, to SureDeposit. If the resident selects the SureDeposit alternative, the bond covers the lifetime of his residency. Because the program is available nationally, residents can transfer their coverage to different communities within an owner’s portfolio or renew their leases without incurring additional expenses. If any covered damages or lease violations occur, owners file a claim for prompt reimbursement. With more than one million units in nearly 3,300 communities under agreement, SureDeposit is the nation’s leading provider of alternatives to traditional security deposits. SureDeposit is headquartered in Livingston, New Jersey, and has regional offices in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Rhode Island and Texas. Visit SureDeposit online at www.suredeposit.com.
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