The Attorney General’s Office on behalf of the Department of Financial Institutions and the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, obtained a temporary injunction against Vision Property Management (VPM), a South Carolina-based property management company and its many affiliates. In June, the state filed a lawsuit against VPM alleging that the company used misleading and deceiving business practices to induce Wisconsin consumers to lease, rent, or purchase uninhabitable properties in violation of Wisconsin landlord-tenant and mortgage banking laws.
“This injunction will provide relief to consumers impacted by this company’s deceptive business model,” said Attorney General Schimel. “Companies that deceive Wisconsin consumers are not welcome in our state and we will continue to pursue the lawsuit against VPM.”
The state obtained a court order requiring that, for the duration of this litigation, VPM, which has nearly 200 properties in Wisconsin, cease from entering into new Wisconsin eases, cease threatening to evict or evicting Wisconsin tenants, permit Wisconsin tenants to terminate their leases with VPM without penalty, and allow current Wisconsin tenants to seek pecuniary losses that resulted from VPM’s prohibited acts and practices.
The case is based on VPM’s business model, which induces tenants into leasing run-down properties, with the prospect of someday 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. 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.