What are my rights to enforce a rent-to-own agreement?

I have a rent-to-own agreement with the owner of the property that I’m currently living in. It has no

termination date and it’s been about 2 years since we moved in with the intent to purchase the property. We have never failed to pay rent but now the owner wants the property back and gave me a 30 day rental agreement termination. However, there is no specific date of termination on the rent-to-own agreement signed by both parties. What are the chance that I can still purchase the property? I have a record of my own payment and every single payment made to the property bank.

Asked on April 22, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Arizona

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Contracts, including rent-to-own agreements, are enforceable as per their plain terms; and further, additional terms (like a right to early termination) may NOT be added after the fact. If there is no early termination clause in the agreement, and no expiration date for it either, then so long as you have been making whatever payments are due under the agreement and otherwise complying with the agreement, you can enforce it. You could bring a lawsuit for "specific performance"--for a court order requiring the owner to honor the terms of the agreement--if he will not honor it otherwise.


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