PORTLAND, TX – On today’s Troubleshooters, a Portland couple asks for help with the company they bought their house from.
Or, at least they ‘thought’ they were buying it.
Come to find out they’ve been renting, even though they claim they’ve been paying taxes and insurance.
Oh, and the person who owns the house, Portland businessman Fred Rich.
The house is on Sutherland in Portland.
Steve and Diana Olivares moved in July 1st of 2016.
They understood they were buying it from Coastal Properties, one of Fred Rich’s real estate businesses.
"Pay for 6 months and automatically you get rolled over where we send you your deed under your name. They never sent me nothing," Olivares said.
A jury just found Rich liable for damages in a civil trial just weeks ago for pretty much the same claims.
Olivares claims Rich’s daughter Faith wrote down these amounts that include taxes and insurance as part of his $1300.00 monthly payment.
"Mortgage or rental payments? No. Mortgage payments. They told you that? Yes."
Olivares told the Troubleshooters he also put $2000.00 down.
So $1300.00 a month for a damaged roof.
Several exposed light fixtures.
Exposed and burned ceiling beams.
The floor, which Olivares says he replaced throughout the house, is wet throughout the house.
Some of the damage, he says, is from Hurricane Harvey.
But he says he’s paid for all the repairs. Not Rich.
But is this place safe? Is it even liveable?
"Since you moved in here July 1st of 2016, the AC has never worked. Never." Never worked? "Never once. Nor has the heater worked ? No."
Coastal Properties sent Olivares this notice to vacate by tomorrow.
On January 24th both sides went to court.
Judge Karen Diaz ruled the Olivares did not have to move out.
Rich is appealing.
We went to his office on Lang Road to speak with him about the Olivares’.
We were told he wasn’t in.
No one from the office has returned our call.
Olivares admits he’s 3 months behind on his payments.
Says he was out of work, but he’s got a new job, and is willing to work out a payment plan.
He also told us Rich has offered him $1900.00 to just walk away from the house.
But Olivares says he’s put too much into it to walk away.
He’ll take Rich to court instead.
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