Anonymous asked in Business & FinanceRenting & Real Estate · 1 month ago

Rent to OWN landlord is screwing me!?

I need some type of advice, personal, legal, anything.

8 years ago my mom was forced into a bad situation and was kicked out of her place. Because she had me and my brother she had to find the first place to stay that she could. It ended up being this crappy trailer that was listed as a rent to own.

Here's the thing: The contract is barely a paragraph and it just says, "RENT TO OWN UNTIL IT'S PAID OFF." (generally what it says). We've been here for almost 9 years paying $500 a month. So we've paid almost $54,000 for a crappy run down 1980 looking trailer where the floors are falling through and the heat doesnt even work (never has). It definitely should be ours by now but we're still paying and they said we still have 20,000$ LEFT! They might of taken out another mortage and now were stuck paying! They're trashy people since they lived here before us and is the reason the place is so nasty today.

My moms too scared to just stop paying because were still not financially stable and if we get kicked out we're homeless. Also the contract is a joke. So we don't know what to do. The place is nasty and old and barely livable but we're stuck.

What legally can we do?

21 Answers

  • MOVE.............................

  • car253
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Did you mom get a written contract for the sale.  Probably not.    Tell your mom to get a contract now in writing for the sale.    Try one of those cheap attorney websites for  some legal papers. 

  • 1 month ago

    Legally, nothing. The full rent does NOT go toward the purchase. A proper contract would have stated the exact purchase price and the exact portion of the rent that goes toward the purchase, with a schedule for when the purchase is to be completed.

    This seems to have none of that, which makes it a lousy contract - for your mother, YOU are not legally a party to it, - but not an illegal one. She got suckered.

    She'll never get anything out of this place so its best for her to cut her losses and move.

  • 1 month ago

    Unfortunately, this is a common scam. "Rent to Own" means you are buying a place by paying a monthly fee.  There is no way that trailer is worth what your mom has already paid for it. You have two choices here:  either you can continue to live there at the monthly price you've already agreed to, OR you can take the 'owner' to court to sue for the title to the place. Court will cost you. Renting, or continuing to rent, will cost you what you're already paying. Face it--you're not going to be able to go to court.  

    So you can keep up paying 'rent' for this place. Has your mother ever asked to see what the price was on the place? Has she ever asked the owner for paperwork supporting her 'rent to own' status?   I kind of think no. So what proof do you have that this was the original arrangement? And has she tried to take any legal action at all to get the repairs made until she supposedly 'owns' it? Because the owner IS responsible for those. 

    What I would do is try to find another place to live--and then turn in your notice and cut your losses. You aren't going to get any of your money back--so consider it 'rent'. Ridiculously high rent, sure--but that's what you're doing now and that's probably what the owner will keep doing. If you're financial situation is as bad as you say, then maybe your mom can qualify for low-income housing.  

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  • 1 month ago

    You are asking for legal advice. You aren't going to get that here.  For what my advice is worth "we" can't do anything.  Your mother bought the trailer in a rent to own contract.  You are not a party to the contract, just living there with your mom.  With a rent to own, the amount you pay every month, or what your mom is paying, is not all paid toward the full cost of the trailer.  Only a portion goes toward the purchase.  The rest is rent.  So, you can walk away without penalty, because you have paid rent for living there, OR you can exercise the "own" option and pay the trailer off in full, to own it at that point.  That is how it works.  Your complaint is not with the people who signed the contract with your mom.  Your complaint is with your mom.  She made the decision to buy the trailer on a rent to own.  Nobody put a gun to your mother's head and forced her to buy the trailer.  When you are an adult, move to your own place.  Until then, you "chose" your mother.  And whether they have paid for the trailer in full or took out a mortgage on it is irrelevant.  Further, nobody would give anyone a mortgage on a 1980 looking trailer so figure that they own it outright.  If your mother doesn't want to continue living there, then she can move at the end of her lease.  Until then, she is living the life she made for herself and you are stuck with her until you are an adult.  Since you sound able enough to help, why don't you help look for a nice apartment for the three of you?  Nice - will likely cost your mom more than $500 a month, in the cheapest area and least expensive state in the U.S. so, if your mother is not working full time and getting child support, if she can, then she is the problem and there isn't much you can do about it except to express your concern and disappointment as to how she has handled her life.  Oh - re-reading the above, I don't think she would be able to rent anything else.  With a pathetic income, two kids and an eviction on her record, it is doubtful that any landlord would look at her as a good bet for a tenant.

    Source(s): Certified Paralegal, with 25+ years' experience & with Landlord & Tenant law experience.
  • Judy
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    You don't understand how rent to own works.  You still pay th rent, but also pay some extra every month.  Only the extra, not the rent part of th payment, applies tto th purchase.  At $500 a month, doesn't sound like she was paying much if anything xtra.

  • 1 month ago

    You can leave..  You were RENTING..   Would your mom really have been able to find a rental for $500 a month or less anyways?

    How much LAND is the trailer on?   Tue trailer itself may not have much value.. But if there's 5-10 acres, you may not be getting ripped off.

  • Eva
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    A rent to own contract must state the purchase price, the interest rate, and how the payments are applied. Once your mother signed the contract, she became responsible for the payments and all the repairs unless the contract stated otherwise.  If the owner took out another mortgage, it has nothing to do with the amount your mother has been paying or owes. $500 a month for rent really isn't all that much especially since it's been the same payment for 9 years.  The contract is probably unenforceable if no terms are stated. She should take it to a legal aid lawyer to see if she can just walk away from it.  Chalk up the payments to rent, as that's what she would have been paying anyway. In a rent to own contract, only part of the payments are credited toward the purchase and there is interest involved. That's why she still owes 20k.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    That contract is useless.

    Even if you live there for another $20k worth of months, don't plan on owning anything.

    Your mom is paying $500/month not just to rent the trailer, but also to rent the land it's sitting on.  That's pretty cheap.

    Let's say you pay another 20k and the landlord says the trailer is yours and hands you a notice to vacate.   Can you pay to move it?  Where will you put it?   How much lot rent will you have to pay?

    Or let's say the landlord says the trailer is yours, but the lot rent is now $700/month.   

    Keep living there or don't.   It's up to you.   But as I said, don't plan on owning anything or having a free place to live in another 40 months of paying $500.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    Your living there because you don’t have money for a place.what do you expect with a $500 rent?you get what you pay for.if you want a nicer place find another job to make more money.$500 is way to low and you know that. rent is usually $1k or more.

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