Mission Landowner Denies Refund of Down Payment to Evicted Tenant

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MISSION – A Rio Grande Valley man is being evicted from his home and wants part of its down payment back.

Armando Mendoza thought he found the perfect rent-to-own home for his family.

"We thought it was a good deal at first. He said for us to give him a $2,000 deposit and then if we wanted, we could rent to own," says Mendoza.

A couple months later, Mendoza agreed to the rent-to-own deal. He says he signed an earnest money contract.

He made a payment of $2,500 down toward a total down payment of $10,000 due on the 28th of this month. Mendoza tells us he was never late on rent and was ready to complete his down payment.

So he was surprised when he received an eviction notice Tuesday.

It states the lease was violated because the property was damaged. He asked the property owners what the problem was.

"They showed us. It was writing on the wall, and it was my kids and I end up telling them not to do that. So, it can get painted," he adds.

Mendoza says the property owner wants his family out in the next two weeks. Now Mendoza wants his $2,500 down payment back.

"The only thing I want is my $2,500 from this. The earnest money. So I can move out. That's what we want to do. We don't want a fight or nothing. We just want that money so we can have and give us time to move out," he says.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS reached out to the property owner Baltazar J. Fuentes. A relative of Fuentes says Mendoza's family graffiti-ed the walls of the workshop on the property and removed a tree from the yard.

She adds Mendoza has dogs in the yard and housing animals were not part of the agreement. The relative notes the earnest money contract clearly states that no alterations will be made to the property.

They believe the damage Mendoza's family has done is an alteration to the property and reaffirm Mendoza will not be getting his payment back.

Mendoza tells us he hopes to develop an arrangement with the owner to finance his move in two weeks.

Count on CHANNEL 5 NEWS to follow up with him to see if an arrangement is made.

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