We signed a 1 year lease/purchase agreement Feb 2012. Aug 20, we found out we are moving due to my husband's employment out of state effective Oct. 1. We notified our landlord that we would fulfill the lease but not the purchase agreement. He said he'd sue us if we didn't. We told him we would go ahead and try to purchase the house then at the end of the lease. He is now suing us for breach of contract. We have continued to pay the lease amount. I understand he believes we have intent to not fulfill the contract. What can we do now? We've tried to be reasonable and work this out. We will not be able to get financing at the end of the lease now. Do we continue to pay the monthly rent or wait until a judgement is ordered? How can we do this living out of state?
After we notified the landlord of our intent to vacate he called or sent text messages daily to tell us we needed to buy the house. He offered to give us an extra $2000 if we purchased the house now. I took a copy of our contract to an attorney to have it looked at (after the landlord threatened lawsuit) and the attorney said it would be up to the transgression of the judge as to how it would be interpreted, but that he didn't think we would be liable to purchase the house based on his interpretation. In all honesty we thought we were signing a lease with option to buy. Our landlord drew up the papers himself and printed them from the internet and we signed them without having them looked at by an attorney. I know this was a mistake. I don't want to be sued. I know we're guilty of breaking a lease but I don't feel like I should fulfill our lease now that he has treated us this way. We haven't broken the lease or any contract yet. Please help.
Commercial Real Estate Attorney
You can not ask an attorney for advice about a written document you signed without showing it to the attorney. I do not expect you to get any advice about this contract otherwise,.
You also do not specify what the landlord is suing for? just for damages? for eviction, for rent?
Assuming the landlord is suing for damages for your refusal to buy the property, then you must continue to pay the rental if you want to live there. If you do not pay the rent, the landlord can separately file suit for eviction.
This is general information and not a binding opinion since we have not seen your contract or the swuit.
This comment does not create an attorney-client relationship. The law and its application by the courts is constantly evolving and changing. This discussion is not to be taken as a definitive guide, and should not be relied upon to determine all fact situations. Each set of facts must be examined separately with the current case and statutory law analyzed and applied accordingly.
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