Atlanta Couple Evicted After Signing Rent-To-Own Home Agreement

Atlanta Couple Evicted After Signing Rent-To-Own Home Agreement

A family thought their dreams of owning a home had come true—until they were evicted.

An Atlanta couple thought they were on the path to homeownership when they signed a lease-purchase (or rent-to-own) agreement. Instead, Insider reported that the newly married couple was forced to uproot their family after receiving an eviction notice following two late payments.

Erica Hines-Denson told Insider that Home Partners of America would not let her access her payment portal because she missed one payment. Her second missed payment resulted in an eviction notice. The dream of homeownership through the lease-purchase agreement had faded. Hines-Denson and her husband, Elquinton Denson, moved their family out of the home. Insider also noted the company refused to return the couple’s security deposit.

The outlet reported that the company is one of many promising alternatives to a traditional mortgage. Some aspiring homeowners have lost more than they have gained. According to Insider, Home Partners of America has more eviction filings than the total of all properties sold.

The lease-purchase agreement was introduced to Hines-Denson when lenders rejected her for a mortgage. Hines-Denson said, “This was our way to own a home finally,” Insider reported. “It was like we found a loophole.”

Home Partners of America bought the home for the couple. According to Insider, the couple agreed to rent the house from the company. Hines-Denson and her husband were told they could buy the home from the company after five years.

A spokesperson for the company said to Insider, “Home Partners has created a path to homeownership for tens of thousands of people who may not otherwise have had one.”

Discerning how to avoid pitfalls on the path to homeownership can be challenging. In June 2023, Black Enterprise offered useful tips to make homeownership and investing in real estate attainable. New Orleans realtor Wendy Wiltz told BE speaking to someone with experience in the field is a good bet. Wiltz encouraged talking to a realtor, “The earlier this is done, the sooner you’ll become familiar with the process and can get answers to your questions.” “Don’t assume what you don’t know. Get the facts. Most Realtors offer buyer and seller consultations completely free and can help guide you in the right direction.” 

Reach out and seek resources. Your dream of owning a home can be achieved—even after a few bumps.