Orlando, FL asked in Business Law, Contracts, Landlord - Tenant and Real Estate Law for Florida

Q: Can we sue a seller for our home if he breaks a rent to own contract?

My husband and I entered into a rent to own contract 3 years ago. We have followed the contract faithfully, including paying all property taxes for the last 3 years on the home and sending a certified letter of intent to buy before the due date on the contract. The property is owned by a company that was showing inactive online recently, but the person was receiving our rent money yet never replied to our letter, phone calls or even to a lawyer's letter we had sent out. Now we've received a letter saying the company was bought by someone else. We then got an email from the previous person we have been paying rent to, saying it is a scam and not to pay them. When we look online the company is now reinstated and this new person is, in fact, listed as the owner now. We have a lender, and after 3 years of paying the property taxes all we want to do is go ahead and close on the house as was agreed. What can we do when we don't even know who really owns it and no one will answer us?

2 Lawyer Answers
Michael  Mayoral
Michael Mayoral
  • Coral Gables, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: You need to contact an attorney who handles contracts, business litigation, or real estate disputes and present them with all of the agreements and/or contracts concerning the property/sale, as well as the information for the property so that the attorney can research the property's chain of title. You may have grounds to sue for breach of contract and effectively force (specific performance) the owner to sell you the property. This is a matter where the contracts would need to be reviewed before anyone could give you a good opinion on it.

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Tallahassee, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: There seems to be an awful lot of these unhappy situations happening in Florida these days. IMO. the reason of course is money and the excessively greedy desire for more and more money on the part of some who already have enough.

Based on your facts I advise you to hire a very experienced Florida lawyer immediately and pay them to write and send very strong demand letters to everyone and every company you know to be involved, including the owners of the original seller company and whoever is trying to step in between you and the original seller.

DO NOT DELAY. This situation could possibly get out of control soon, something you do not want to have to deal with.

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