Although rent-to-own contracts provide an opportunity for homeownership for those who cannot qualify for traditional methods, sometimes they go wrong. Tenants might face unfair terms, unexpected costs or even eviction threats.
Understanding your rights as a tenant with a rent-to-own contract in North Carolina can help you protect yourself.
Understand your agreement
Protecting your rights starts with thoroughly understanding your rent-to-own contract. Review the terms, including the purchase price, timeline and any tenant obligations. Make sure you comply with the terms, including meeting payment dates and maintaining the property.
Be mindful of unfair terms
Some agreements might include unfair or unreasonable terms. You should address any hidden fees, escalating rent payments or unreasonable conditions for purchasing the property.
Keep detailed records
Maintain copies of all communications with the property owner, including copies of rent payments as well as any disputes that arise. The more documentation you have, the easier it is to support your case if it goes to court.
Know your eviction rights
As a rent-to-own tenant, the state provides some protections against eviction. Your landlord must follow the state’s regulations for proper notification, provide you with an opportunity to resolve the default and receive a court judgment to evict you. You have the right to appear in court to fight the eviction as well.
Approximately 66% of properties in North Carolina are owner-occupied. A rent-to-own contract can provide you the opportunity to become part of that percentage. Understand your rights when it comes to fair treatment and enforcing your contract to help you improve your chances of successful ownership.