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A Residential Rent to Own Agreement is a document used for a potential buyer of a property to enter into a rental lease agreement with the landlord with the intention of buying the property at the end of the lease.
A Rent to Own Agreement is very similar to a standard Residential Lease Agreement, and includes much of the same information, such as due dates, property descriptions, and the length of the lease term. However, the Rent to Own Agreement also explains that the tenant will have an exclusive option to purchase the property and includes information about that arrangement. Though it arranges for the potential sale of the property at the termination of the lease, the parties to a Rent to Own Agreement are first and foremost a landlord and a tenant.
There are advantages for both the landlord and the tenant in using a Rent to Own Agreement. The main advantage for the landlord is a quick influx of cash flow through long-term and steady guaranteed rent payments. Especially if a property has been difficult to sell in the past, this is often a more feasible way to sell a struggling property. Finally, rents received, in combination with extra fees paid in exchange for the option to purchase, are often considerably above the market average value of the property. For the tenant, if they are working on their credit or don't have enough money for a down payment upfront, a Rent to Own Agreement gives them time to improve their credit score, pay off outstanding debts, and make incremental payments towards a down payment. Further, since the sale price of the property is agreed on ahead of time, the potential buyer is protected from the home price rising and some equity will be earned by the time the lease has ended and they are ready to purchase.
Having a written lease is always important for both landlords and tenants to reduce the likelihood of misunderstandings or disagreements between the tenant and the landlord regarding the rental arrangement. All of the parties' expectations and obligations are laid out and plain to see. Having a written agreement is particularly important for Rent to Own situations, as scams are a legitimate concern, and having a paper trail documenting the understanding between the parties leaves them both protected in case one of the parties tries to back out later on down the road.
How to use this document
This document includes all of the information necessary to create a thorough and comprehensive Rent to Own Agreement. This Agreement can be created by either the landlord or the tenant but its terms must be agreed to and signed by both parties. The document includes various options to tailor the Agreement to meet the parties' needs.
The Agreement allows the Parties to specify the following important details that will guide their landlord/tenant relationship and potential buyer/seller relationship:
After inputting the required information, the Agreement is printed out and signed by both Parties, and then kept on file by both Parties for the duration of the Agreement as well as for a reasonable period of time thereafter.
As with Residential Lease Agreements, Rent to Own Agreements are primarily controlled by the laws of each individual state. The laws governing the lease and the sale of the property depend on the state where the property is located. The Environmental Protection Agency, which is part of the federal government, dictates the disclosure of lead-based paint warnings in all rentals in all states. Distinct from that, however, required disclosures and lease terms will be based on the laws of the state, and sometimes county, where the property is located.
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