Rent-to-own contract broken – what are our rights?

UPDATED: May 11, 2009

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Rent-to-own contract broken – what are our rights?

We have a rent-to-own contract. The house was put on the market a year before we were told it was, and was purchased out from underneath us. We recieved a letter in the mail evicting us from the premises with in 30 days, and we have a signed year lease till Aug 15th, another two months after the eviction. We were never made aware of an offer on the table, can they kick us out? can we go after them for the money we were putting towards the down payments? can we go after them for emotional and mental stress of having to find a house big enough for our kids and pets?

Asked on May 11, 2009 under Real Estate Law, Wyoming


J.M.A., Member in Good Standing of the Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

Frist question is whether you provided timely notice to your landlord that you were execising your option to buy.  Generally, you need to provide notice that you are execising the option.  If you dont exercise the option in time, the owner can sell the property.  However, the landlord must wait until your lease is up.  If you provided timely notice, then i recommend that you locate a lawyer who can sue the landlord for breach of contract (i.e. the option to buy contract) and file a notices on the land records that the property is the subject of a lawsuit (i.e. a lis pendens).   If you did all the right things here and the owner is simply trying to run you out of the house becasue he may have found a buyer who is going to pay more than you, then you have a good claim.  As for emotional distress and so forth, you may not get compensation for that.  I would see a lawyer asap in the town that the property is located.

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