Wisconsin DOJ Files Lawsuit Against Deceptive Property Management Company and its Many Affiliates
MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ), on behalf of the Department of Financial Institutions and the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, filed a lawsuit against Vision Property Management (VPM), a South Carolina-based property management company. The complaint alleges that VPM 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.
“Companies in Wisconsin whose business model relies on deceiving consumers have no place in our state,” said Attorney General Schimel. “DOJ works hard to keep the public safe whether that is in the area of consumer protection or the fight against opiates and drug abuse. Today’s complaint should come as no surprise as VPM has come under scrutiny in Maryland and Pennsylvania, and has been the subject of investigative reporting in The New York Times.”
The complaint alleges that VPM purchases dilapidated, often foreclosed upon, residential properties nationwide, nearly 200 of which have been in Wisconsin. VPM then induces tenants into leasing these 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 months, pay all the overdue taxes, and resolve any outstanding building code violations associated with the property. If the tenant fails 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 rented properties with sewage in the basement, black mold, insect infestation, and multiple code violations.
The State filed its complaint and motion for temporary injunction against VPM on Friday, June 2, 2017, in Milwaukee County Circuit Court. Wisconsin Assistant Attorney General Lara Sutherlin and Wisconsin DOJ Consumer Protection Unit Investigator Camellia Howe are leading the state’s lawsuit against VPM. If you have further information about this company, please contact an investigator at (608) 266-8063.
Relevant court filings can be found here.