Realtors believe that lease-options or lease-purchases can't be done, but the reality is that Realtors cannot write up a contract for either of these. Only an attorney can write a contract that does not intend to close within 180 days of execution.
As to deliberately hidden defects, DTPA (Deceptive Trade Practices Act) does provide for treble damages in a purchase agreement. An agreement for lease with an option to purchase is something you will have to consult an attorney to see if it applies.
You can find prices and market trends on this handy website. Just put in the desired neighborhood and a report will be emailed to you.
Sounds like you didn't have professional representation. See http://www.trulia.com/blog/ellen_doc_stephens_realtors/2010/
The Texas Legislature virtually outlawed Lease Purchase agreements precisely because of situations like yours. See http://www.hancockmcgill.com/h&m%20article%20contracts%2 for a brief discussion. There are some remedies, including a suit under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Law, which has real teeth. You should contact a Board-certified Real Estate Attorney immediately and see what remedies are available to you. If nothing else, you should file a complaint with the proper authorities to stop that guy from doing it again.
Doc Stephens, REALTORÂ®
Mark http http://:www.markneighbor.com
Best confer with an attorney IF you don't have an executed lease it's the "he said she said" I doubt court can render an opinion unless you have an executed agreement. Never tender any money to anyone UNLESS you have all particulars involved regarding the money .
If you need to move use a Realtor, I would be happy to discuss your issues I work with many in DFW area search for house to rent.
There are some property owners who take advantage of tenants that are not represented by a Realtor IF there are issues from past perhaps you and former tenants can approach the Attorney General Office who may review the case and file action against him GOOD LUCK
Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Loan Officer, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
First, you may not want to hear this but it's the only valid response anyone can give you.....CONSULT WITH AN ATTORNEY! Your situation is too complicated for a simple answer. This IS NOT the place to try and get legal advice for a clearly complex legal matter. Don't wait any longer...consult with a real estate attorney immediately.
please see my blog for instructions how how a rent to own or lease purchase is supposed to work.