ALLEGHENY COUNTY, Pa. — A ruling this week in Allegheny County Court against Vision Property Management LLC and other defendants ordered that 285 Pennsylvania homes owned by the company must immediately be deeded to customers that signed a "lease with option to purchase" or "agreement for deed" contracts, Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced.
The customers are those who are currently living in or most recently occupied the affected homes, Shapiro said.
His office "will continue to seek restitution for consumers who had a contract with Vision, but are no longer occupying the homes," Shapiro added.
“Pennsylvanians who were taken advantage of by Vision Property Management and its affiliates’ deceptive “rent to own” schemes will finally be homeowners," Shapiro said in a press release. "My office will work tirelessly to implement the Court’s order as quickly as possible and seek fair compensation for anyone who was ripped off and forced to leave their home.
“Companies like Vision — you are on notice. My office will investigate and prosecute businesses who use predatory tactics to take advantage of consumers.”
The Commonwealth filed a complaint in October 2019 against Vision Property Management and its affiliates for operating a “rent to own” scheme that has affected more than 650 Pennsylvania residents.
The suit alleges that Vision utilizes misleading sales tactics to lure consumers into entering “rent to own” agreements on foreclosed houses that are in serious disrepair.
Without the consumers’ knowledge, the agreements provided no ownership rights, consumers faced immediate ejection if they fell behind on payments, and provisions in Vision’s agreements making the consumers responsible for expensive repairs required to make the homes habitable are unlawful, Shapiro said.
While most of Vision’s contracts were “rent to own,” Vision also utilized an “Agreement for Deed” and other contract formats that are also targeted in the lawsuit, according to Shapiro.
The court's ruling further ordered that all consumer contracts associated with such homes will be terminated, deemed satisfied, and paid in full, Shapiro said.
This order was issued in response to a Motion for Sanctions filed by the Commonwealth due to the defendants’ repeated failures to comply with Orders of the Court.
Vision and the other defendants have filed an appeal, Shapiro said.