How can we get out of a land contract without having to pay the balance owed on it

We bought a old house in Michigan and
have lived in it for 5 years. It was
sold to us on land contract through a
company. The place is run down and
needs more repairs then we thought it
would need and it has now become a
danger to live there do to the
electrical problems. How can we get out
of our contract without having to pay
the balance of the contract. Can we
just give it back to the company we
bought it from.

Asked on June 3, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, you can't give it back to them and avoid paying the balance unless they agree voluntarily to take it back: there is no right (unless the terms of your contact contain such a right) to return the land and cancel the balance.
Even the fact that the property is dangerous does not give you the right to get out of the contract; nor does the fact that you can't afford to fix the property up. In the eyes of the law, these are your problems, not the company's problems.
You can only terminate the contract with penalty if they are now breaching or violating the contract in some material (signficant or important) way; one party's material breach of a contract allows the othe party to treat the contract as terminated.

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