Couple Swindled By Landlord’s Dirty Trick

In the hopes of alerting and warning others, a Pennsylvania couple shares a horrific tale of their landlord.

The Endsleys’ suspicion that a father-and-son landlord combination takes advantage of low-income tenants led Todd and Linda to get into a rent-to-own agreement with them. Linda, who has had four heart attacks, is 61 years old, and Todd is a disabled veteran. Both of them have health problems.

The pair put down $5,250 when they started their rent-to-own agreement in October 2020. They had been mislead about the property’s genuine details, but they only found out three days after they settled there.

Todd said the electricity was a safety concern as the power was off when they inspected the home. A pipe had burst. The state of the kitchen was far from ideal. As soon as they attempted to use them, the cabinets came apart. Todd looked into his other properties on the county tax site and found them in terrible shape.

Joseph Johns and Joseph Johns Jr., who were landlords in Pennsylvania, have been charged by the state’s attorney general with various offenses, including failing to maintain their properties, intimidating their tenants, and illegally charging renters interest and late fees on rent-to-own contracts. More than fifty residences in Fayette and Greene counties are believed to have been impacted.

The AG, Michelle Henry, said these landlords specifically focus on low-income tenants and impose illegal fees and terms while also demanding that consumers make cash payments in person, often in a harassing manner.

After looking at the amount of evictions listed in magistrate dockets, Todd realized that things might get tough for him and Linda.

Minnesota real estate agent Marisa Simonetti claims that rent-to-own schemes prey on the elderly and the self-employed, two groups that may not be eligible for loans from conventional financial institutions.

To avoid confusion, the buyer should be well-informed on the purchase price, monthly payment, down payment, buyout price, term length, and who is responsible for ongoing maintenance. Plus, everything needs to be documented.

The primary goal of well-intentioned people is to attain stability. Renters on a tight budget might think their landlord is on their side, but that’s usually not the case.

Low-income tenants frequently encounter exploitation because they lack access to legal counsel or representation before signing contracts. A lot of people think the landlord is being kind. Not at all.

Beware, the contracts substantially favor the property owner.