A rent-to-own operator has been essentially shut down in Wisconsin as its legal battle with the state rages on.
Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel has obtained a temporary injunction against Vision Property Management (VPM), a South Carolina-based rent-to-own company. The injunction also applies to VPM affiliates and essentially prohibits the company from doing business in the state for the duration of the legal battle.
In June, Wisconsin sued VPM, alleging that the company used shady business practices to lure consumers into leasing, renting or purchasing “uninhabitable properties,” violating Wisconsin’s mortgage banking and landlord-tenant laws.
“This injunction will provide relief to consumers impacted by this company’s deceptive business model,” Schimel said. “Companies that deceive Wisconsin consumers are not welcome in our state, and we will continue to pursue the lawsuit against VPM.”
According to Schimel, VPM convinced tenants to lease “run-down” properties with the prospect of one day being able to purchase them.
“VPM requires the tenants to rehabilitate the property in three to four short months, pay all the overdue taxes, which are sometimes years overdue, and resolve any outstanding building code violations with the city,” the Wisconsin AG’s office said. “If the tenants fail to do any of these things, VPM evicts the tenant and repeats the cycle by renting the uninhabitable property to yet another Wisconsin consumer.”
VPM has nearly 200 properties in Wisconsin, according to the state AG’s office. The injunction prohibits the company from entering into new eases, and evicting or threatening to evict tenants. It also requires VPM to permit Wisconsin tenants to terminate their leases without penalty and to seek “pecuniary losses that resulted from VPM’s prohibited acts and practices.”