A question from one of Matt’s readers-
Matt, we are new members of CIREIA (www.cireia.org). I read your q&a regarding landlords now being required to maintain heat/air etc… even when a lease option is in place. Our question relates to this in that we have a property that needs rehabbed. We have potential buyers who want terms. We were considering doing a 6 month lease with option so they would have time to make the necessary repairs so they can finance the house. I am now concerned that we would be required to fix all the plumbing, electrical, hvac and so on if we go through with the LTO. What are our options? Am I right that if we sell on contract and they default that we would have to foreclose instead of evict? Same with seller financing?
You got it. You understand the law very well. If you are a landlord, you have to honor the statute that requires you provide certain features of housing. I have included that statute in this earlier blog: http://www.askmattonline.com/uncategorized/indianas-implied-warranty-of-habitability/
If you sell by land contract, you risk long delays and unfavorable treatment through the foreclosure and possibly bankruptcy processes.
If you’d like to discuss the matter in detail, please call me for a private consultation.
Good Morning! I met you at the Cooperative Training Conference held @ Indiana Farm Bureau building on February 25, 2010. You gave a “GREAT” Presentation. You are so on your game! Thank you!
My answer is limited to Indiana law. A “lease-option” is nothing more than a lease agreement and a separate option agreement. You’ll find two separate forms to use. The forms you need are pretty common.
If this is an Ohio transaction, I’ll have to refer you to Ohio counsel.