Do we have recourse? What type of attorney?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Do we have recourse? What type of attorney?

Hello We have been renting a home since Sept. 2015 lease
contract and option to purchase the home within a period of
time. That time has expired. HOWEVER, we have made many
improvements to the home, with the approval of the owner,
and feel we should be compensated for those improvements
should they decide to put the house on the market. I was
wondering if we could put a lien on the property and/or sue
the owners for unjust enrichment? Or is there another
option? Not sure if we need a real estate attorney or, since
we are basically renters/contractors, a small business
lawyer. Thank you.

Asked on April 29, 2019 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, you have no right to sue the owner, put a lien on the home, or otherwise seek compensation. Even if the owner approved the renovations, you were not obligated to do them--you voluntarily spent your money and/or time doing this. You did it for your own reasons and benefit. The law does not let you use your voluntary actions to force others to pay you. In the future, do not make improvements to anything you do not in fact own.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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