Do I have any rights to protect my family and I if we are in the process of buying a doublewide trailer?

We have been here over a year paying the owner $500 a month. I’ve had to pull out of pocket every dollar to fix house because I can’t get financed for any work on the house without proper paperwork from her. I’ve given her a total $5,000 to date and spent over $8,000 to make house livable. I keep asking for it but the subject always changes to something like,

Asked on April 22, 2017 under Real Estate Law, South Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Why are you improving a house that you do *not* yet own? You are spending money on someone else's property, and if the sale doesn't go through for some reason, she will keep the improvements you put into the home. 
The above is a general answer. For your specific rights you have to check the terms of any agreements you have signed with her (e.g. contract of sale, a lease, a rent-to-own agreement, etc.). Those agreements will set out your specific rights. If you do not have copies of such agreements but believe that she is violating her obligation(s) under them from your recollection or understanding of their terms, you could file a "breach of contract" lawsuit against her. In such a lawsuit, there will be legal mechanisms, called "discovery" (e.g. document production requests; written interrogatories or questions) which you can use to get copies of the documents. If it turns you that she she is violating these agreements, you could get a court order requiring her to comply with them and/or giving you monetary compensation.


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