Don’t think rent-to-own landlords hold all the cards (and sometimes it seems like they do), because they really don’t. While oftentimes rent-to-own contracts will benefit those rent-to-own landlords, a certain flexibility and sovereignty still resides with the prospective tenant, and the major danger is such tenant just might forget about the fact that as a home renter with many resources available, you have certain rights.
Think about it: you’re still a home renter, even though you’ll be purchasing later on. That means you won’t have to worry about certain repairs to the house. Furthermore, your rent payments will be attributed to your credit report as many case managers for H.O.P.E. to Own will state. This means those rent-to-own landlords — who are often nothing more than other homeowners looking for some extra income out of the home they want to move out of — are responsible for everything from the broken sink to a bad furnace and everything in between. Make note of that.
Additionally, many of the questions rent-to-own tenants will ask involve a lot of legal ramifications. Here’s a big one for you: even if you’re planning on owning, does the rent-to-own landlord still own the property while you’re making your rent payments? The answer is simple: yes. After all, by contract, you abide by the date when the down payment is offered and the lease is signed over to you. Until that day, you’re still renting for that rent-to-own home.
This does also mean that rent-to-own landlord can evict you if you’re not making those rent payments on time. So here’s a little advice for you: be punctual. Don’t slack off. Treat it like a landlord-tenant partnership, and you’ll do just fine.
Sometimes the line gets blurred, though, and that’s where we, the rent-to-own consultants, come in. We’ll guide you to make sure you’re sticking to the role and observing your rights. Rent-to-own contracts can be tricky if you don’t know what you’re doing.