Can I walk away from a land contract on a house without repercussions?

I haven’t told our landlords yet. I
don’t have any money right now to
pay for answers.

Asked on September 15, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Indiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You can't walk away from any contract without repurcussions unless on of the following applies:
1) There is some contingency or clause in the contract itself allowing you out under certain circumstances, and you fully comply with the requirements or conditions of that provision.
2) The other side breaches (violates) the contract in some material (or important) way (e.g. cannot actually transfer clean title because of liens; cannot sell you what they contracted to, because there is another owner not agreeing to the sale; cannot close on time; etc.): a material breach of contract allows the other, non-breaching party to treat the contract as terminated by the breach.
3) A law is enacted preventing the transaction--e.g. zoning, etc. is changed in some way that you cannot buy or use the land.
4) The object of the sale is effectively destroyed through no fault of yours: e.g. a nearby chemical plant has a toxic leak which spreads to this land and makes it uninhabitable.
5) The seller provably committed fraud, or knowingly lied to you about something important to get you to enter into the transaction: e.g. the land is in a flood plain, but they did not disclose that. Fraud can void a contract.
Other than as the above, you are obligated on the contract.

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