Lexington, NC asked in Foreclosure and Real Estate Law for North Carolina

Q: Are the rent to own programs a scam or a rip off? We might half to go that way with our credit score.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Anthony M. Avery
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A: Land Contracts are Leases with an Option To Purchase. You as a renter own nothing except temporary possession and a possible option to purchase. With no Deed ownership you are subject to a Unlawful Detainer Action at any time. It usually happens just before you are supposed to buy the property and get a Deed. You will get evicted while your suit to enforce the contract is pending. Land is transferred by Deed, not by Lease.

Lynn Ellen Coleman
Lynn Ellen Coleman
  • Foreclosure Defense Lawyer
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: I suggest you see a nonprofit housing counselor or nonprofit credit counseling agency before you sign any contracts for rent to own. They can explain what's involved, and advise you on how to improve your credit so that you can do a traditional home purchase. Rent to own is perfectly legal, but you have to be careful and be sure to understand what additional costs are involved and how to protect yourself. In your area, Financial Pathways of the Piedmont (financialpaths.org) is a reputable agency who provides these services. Good luck.

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