Houston, TX asked in Civil Litigation, Construction Law, Contracts and Landlord - Tenant for Texas

Q: Seller enters into verbal contract with buyer for two distressed houses. Years later Seller says you were renting!

The home seller in this case specializes in buying extremely distressed properties, hiring cheap labor to fix them up, then offers them to people with poor credit at high interest. One of the contractors who worked on a lot of the houses entered into verbal agreement to buy two houses on two properties. Buyer made all payments on time for 4 years and made huge improvements to both houses as any home owner would. The buyer continued working for the seller on other houses. A disagreement about the money owed on work done on another project occurs. The seller now tells the buyer, who is also his contract laborer, you were never buying. You are a renter. Get out. The buyer and his wife are poorly educated. They are handy men by trade. At times in the past, seller would 'pay for work' by applying amounts due toward house payments. Undocumented of course. Buyer still made the normal monthly payment. The house payments, jumped from 700 a month for the last four years to 2300 over night.

1 Lawyer Answer
John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
  • Construction Law Lawyer
  • Frisco, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: Contracts for the purchase of real property are required to be in writing. There is no such thing as a verbal contract to buy a house.

You can verbally rent a house on a month-to-month lease.

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