My mother and I made a verbal agreement and hand shake about 10 years ago that I would pay a monthly rent to own amount to wards the property I reside in that is in her boyfriends name. Now, almost 10 years later my mother and her boyfriend are in a tough place with cash and decided to tell me I could pay a large lump sum for the property (far in excess to what is owed) or leave and has now put a notice to vacate on my front door. There are no paper agreements written and I have written a check initially for the down payment nearly 10 years ago along with some monthly checks (and a lot of the payments were cash). Do I have any legal options? What are my rights in this situation?
Unless you are willing to invest a crap ton of money in legal fees fighting over this issue, knowing its a "snowballs chance" type case, your best bet is to get packing and find a new place to live. If there was a legitimate RTO arrangement, it should have been in writing and signed by the BF, not your mother, as she has no ability to agree to sell someone else's house.
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A rent to own agreement must be in writing to be enforceable per the statute of frauds if it takes longer than 1 year to perform (which this is 10). Without proof of payments with a lot in cash, you have little evidence of the agreement. Further, your mother likely had no right to offer to sell her boyfriend's property to you regardless of the agreement if shes not on title.
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