State suspends Oak Park real estate broker for failing to turn over rent money

Christine Ferretti
The Detroit News

State regulators have suspended an Oak Park real estate broker firm over claims it neglected properties it managed and failed to turn over thousands in rent money for sites in Detroit and Harper Woods. 

The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs announced Friday it suspended Stellar Properties and Management Group amid complaints that the company had violated agreements with three property owners for four properties. 

The firm's principal broker, Consuelo Blakely, also has been suspended, LARA said. The company's phone line was disconnected on Friday. 

“Our team took swift action to suspend the real estate broker licenses of this individual and their company to protect the health and safety of Michiganders,” said LARA Director Orlene Hawks.

LARA's complaint against Blakely alleges she failed to send rent money to property owners, perform maintenance and provide an accounting of money received and distributed to the four properties.

It is alleged that the firm entered into a management agreement in the summer of 2017 for a property on Prevost in Detroit. In November 2018, a complaint was filed alleging Stellar Properties failed to turn over more than $5,000 in rent money, according to the suspension complaint.

In two other cases, the complaint alleges, the firm obtained close to $9,000 from a Detroit property owner for repairs and maintenance "that were never performed" nor did it account for the money. 

For a fourth site in Harper Woods, the company failed to deposit nearly $8,000 in rent for the 2018 calendar year, make deposits for 2019 or respond to inquiries about the missing funds, the complaint says.

The company also has failed to provide state investigators with an accounting of the funds. 

Blakely, the state's complaint notes, was previously convicted in December 2010 of a felony notary violation in Wayne County on allegations she fraudulently used a notary stamp on eviction paperwork that she filed in district court. 

The Michigan Occupational Code allows for the summary suspension of a license if the department believes there is an imminent threat to the public health, safety, and welfare, LARA wrote. 

The summary suspension was authorized Monday. It is not a final determination that a licensee has violated the occupational code.