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justmejennie

Rent-to-own tenant in TN, broke contract- we need to sell property

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My husband and I currently live in Florida, and are relocating to another state due to a promotion in his company. We also own property in Tennessee. One of the properties we signed a rent-to own contract with a tenant about 2.5 years ago. This was done through an attorney. He was suppose to pay $850 dollars a month for 15 years, and then would own the home. However, 4 months into the contract, he contacted us explaining he ran into a financial hardship. We didnt want the house sitting empty, so agreed to his offer of $500.00 a month, renting now on a month to month basis. His $500.00 a month payments do not even cover our mortgage payment on that house. We are in the process of an adoption of 4 special needs children, and with the move ahead of us, we know we will never get a new mortgage where we are being relocated, when we have 3 homes and three mortgages already. We have to sell the homes. We asked the tenant if he wanted to purchase the home at the discounted rate we already offered him, multiple times. He continues to dodge the question when we say he needs to look into mortgage companies or we will have to list the property.

Yesterday, he hung up on my husband when we approached him again, then sent this text:

Tenant---- I dont have to buy it right now, nor do I have to sell it. We are under contract. you have been accepting payments of $500.00 a month on it. If you want to buy me out, Fine! I am around this everyday, I know how it works.

us----You voided and broke the contract when you stopped paying the amount agreed upon in the contract You told me, when you asked if you could pay less that you knew it broke the contract.

Tenant---- Ill talk with my lawyer, I wont be pushed around. I got a lot of money tied up in a house that was falling apart. I will not loose it.

First of all, there was nothing wrong with the house at all, except it was too small and needed a new bathtub. My issue is, though I told my husband a verbal agreement was not the way to go, we have been accepting the $500.00 for over 2 years. Can we evict? I actually need to move myself and children into this home while we prepare to sell our florida house, then list that Tennessee house, in order to be able to buy where we are relocating to.

Can someone please help me? Thanks for reading.

Jennie

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Stop taking legal advice from your enemy. Hire a lawyer in TN and determine your rights and obligations.

Seems to me, though, that you re-wrote the contract (orally anyway) to reduce the rent-to-own agreement to $500 per month. He could be right and you could be stuck with him.

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