Inherited Property - Rent to Own in Cook Co. Ill. - Problems

5 Replies

I am posting this for a family member to in hope to get some solid advise as I have received on BP in the past.

"There was a contract between family member(owner) and tenant in 2007 with intent for tenant to purchase the property (SFH). Contract states 5 years and after that tenant would need to seek own financing for purchase payments made will only cover interest and taxes no principal. Five years came and went with no financing and owner never drew up a new contract. Tenant initially filed the original contract with the county so there is a cloud on the deed. The deed has obstructed inherited owner (me) from selling and liquidating the property. Tenant has continued to make payments failed payments and failed to keep up property with violations from the city. Tenant also has people living in the house that are paying rent - single family house. Loss of insurance on the house for non payment. We have no paper trail of past payments but have a letter from tenant to owner stating that "sorry I was late with payments and I want to continue staying in the house." Per the contract we are allowed to give 48-hour notice of Entry for inspection. Last Fall (2017) tenant did deny owner entry, but nothing was done by the owner.

If the tenant does not buy the house I am afraid we won't be able to sell it as the deed is clouded. At this point, we cannot have them evicted so I assume we will have to start foreclosure proceedings.  Tenant is a hostile/confrontational individual."

Any advice will be greatly appreciated!!!

This is a mess.  I'm not a Lawyer, and this is not to be interpreted as legal advice, however, here is what I see has happened:

1 - Faulty Option contract made worse by Owner's actions:  Somehow, even after the contract to buy has come and GONE (my math says 2007 + 5 years doesn't include year 2018), the tenant buyer has been allowed to continue to make (and have accepted...BIG problem) payments on the Buy Contract.  I'm pretty sure that even though the documents says it ends in 2012, by continuing to accept payments, both parties have (by their actions) agreed to an extension...with no end....or...

...For some reason, the agreement stated the Option to Buy happened AFTER 5 years, with no apparent time limit.  This is even worse.

2 - Tenant has made, and the owner has accepted, payments...but very inconsistently:  This sets the precedent that it's OK.  This needs to stop...YESTERDAY!!  A letter must be sent to the tenant stating the Owner's intent to nullify the agreement due to the tenant's breach of contract (not making payments on time)...and hope that the tenants don't have access to even a bad lawyer who would argue "owners said it was OK...(see above)"

My Solution would be 3 steps:

1 - Evict the tenant for late rents.  Make sure you follow the required steps in your local laws regarding this...and DON'T skip, rationalize, or in any way deviate from those steps in any way!!!

2 - Contact a Lawyer:   You need a professional that specializes in Real Estate Law and RE Contracts, and...

3 - Pray.   Hard!!!

Originally posted by @Maegan King :

@Joe Villeneuve I was fearful after hearing all the details from my family member on this property. Too many mistakes were made previous to the inheritance. Thank you for taking the time to respond and advise.

 I'm not a lawyer.  You need to contact one.