If i have a 2 yr lease and the owner defaults and we put a bid on the property and he doesn't except it and submits someone else offer, can i

Asked by Canuhearme, Blythe, CA Sat Apr 23, 2011

sue him for breach of contract and for the money we've invested into the home on repairs done to the home? Since we were to buy the property after the two yr lease was up

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Don Tepper’s answer
Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Sun Apr 24, 2011
I'm not a lawyer, so this isn't legal advice. For that you should see a lawyer. However . . .

A straight 2 year lease: Your contract is the lease. It entitles you to live there. Nothing more. Long story short: You're out of luck.

A lease-option or rent-to own: I'm guessing this may have been it since you say ""Since we were to buy the property after the two year lease was up," then you look to the option. What does the option say? And for what reason is the owner defaulting? But first: Is the option in writing? If not--if it was just an oral agreement that you'd buy--then that's not enforceable. You're out of luck.

So, if it's in writing: If the owner went into foreclosure: You're out of luck. You're not protected.

If you have it in writing and if the owner has changed his mind and has decided to sell the property to someone else, then you have something to work with. See a lawyer for ways to block the sale to another party. However, you'd be in a better position--and it's too late now to do this--to file a notice at the courthouse to cloud the title. It'd be like a lien--it would attach to the title and would serve as a red flag for anyone else considering buying. If you had a lawyer going into the agreement--and the lawyer knew what he/she was doing--that might have been suggested to you.

As for the money you've invested in the home on repairs--what does your lease say? It probably doesn't protect you. Often, lease-options are structured so that while you may have the ability to do some repairs or improvements (with or without the owner's permission), those improvements stay with the house. And that's almost always the way it's written in leases.

So: See a lawyer. A lot will depend on: (1) whether there was a written option or agreement to purchase; and (2) if so, what that agreement said.

Hope that helps.
1 vote
Salvador Her…, Agent, Palm Desert, CA
Tue Oct 15, 2013
Yes this is the right answer . today we have to consult a layer , because one your stare one case , is point to go back .
0 votes
Dp2, , Virginia
Mon Apr 25, 2011
Please don't mistake the following as any form of legal advice.

If you had a lease-option/purchase, and recorded the option, P&S, or a Memorandum of Agreement, then it would be difficult for that buyer and seller to work around you.

You might want to reach out to that potential buyer to see if s/he might be interested in working with you. if not, then you might want to consult with an attorney.
0 votes
Sue Kalakosky, Agent, Blythe, CA
Mon Apr 25, 2011
Realtors are not attorneys. We can not give legal advise. Sounds like you need an atty. Good luck.
0 votes
Harold Sharpe, Agent, Menifee, CA
Sun Apr 24, 2011
Can U Hear Me,
There is a huge reason the owner did not accept your offer.
The property is probably a short sale.
A short sale can not be sold to anyone the owner knows at all.

Harold Sharpe - Broker
So Cal Homes Realty
(951) 821-8211
California Department of Real Estate Broker License # 01312992
0 votes
Maria Morton, Agent, Kansas City, MO
Sat Apr 23, 2011
Canubearne, it sounds like you entered into a contract with an investor who was trying to sell you a house with a lease purchase option. This is a risky proposition when the investor is not well funded or experienced. When you say that the owner defaults, do you mean that he is behind in his mortgage payment and the bank has threatened foreclosure or has the bank already started foreclosure proceedings? If the bank now owns the house, you will need to deal with them to buy it.

Of do you mean that the owner defaulted on his contract with you?

You will need to consult an attorney to determine if you can bring suit against this person. If you know any real estate agents locally, ask them who is a good real estate attorney for this type of situation. Good luck.
0 votes
Cindy Vedder, Agent, Irvine, CA
Sat Apr 23, 2011

There are some missing facts. Is it a straight lease? Did the two year purchase option come in the form of a "lease purchase" agreement? Is there money on contract for the "option" to purchase and was there a definite $ amount contributed to the purchase out of your monthly lease payments? Typically in a lease purchase transaction the buyer is made responsible for all the repairs during the course of the lease.

What you may have is damages as a result of a failure to meet contract obligations on the lease purchase. You may also have damages for other related issues, but there is not enough information here and certainly I would not advise you legally - you should consult an attorney.

My biggest question here is the "owner defaults" "he doesn't accept" yet submits someone else's offer.
Is the owner and the person submitting the offer the same person? Is the owner a realtor/broker? Or is the seller represented in a short sale by an agent because the seller is losing his property? Tell us a little more so we can best help you.

Good luck with this. You need more questions asked.
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