MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The state Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit alleging a South Carolina company tricked Wisconsin residents into renting uninhabitable properties.
According to the filing Friday, Vision Property Management buys dilapidated residences across the country and has purchased nearly 200 Wisconsin properties. The company then induces people into leasing the properties with the chance of someday being able to purchase them. Tenants get three to four months to rehabilitate the property. If they can’t, VPM evicts them and repeats the cycle.
The lawsuit alleges the rental agreements illegally shift the burden of making the properties habitable to the tenant. The lawsuit seeks a temporary injunction forcing the company to cease renting Wisconsin properties and refund tenants’ rent.
Vision says it has “cooperated fully” in the Wisconsin DOJ’s inquiry and plans to “contest the case vigorously.”