How do we cancel a contract for deed?

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How do we cancel a contract for deed?

The renter has not paid real estate taxes and is behind on rent payments. I called the recorder of deeds office. They told me the renter would have to sign quick claim deed back to us for amount he has paid us. She didn’t give me any time to ask questions. What if he refuses to sign? Why would he need to sign quick claim deed? He doesn’t own any part of the property.

Asked on December 7, 2015 under Real Estate Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

While your question does not provide all the details of the transaction, it appears that there is a contract under which if the prospective buyer pays rent and taxes for some period of time, he will get the title to the home, but that he is currently in breach or default of his obligations. If that is the case, then his material (or important) breach should enable you to treat the contract as terminated. If you do this--tell him that he's in default and has no more right to buy or live there--it's likely that he'll sue you to try to force you to keep the contract in effect and/or seek compesation; even though, based on what you write, he will most likely not succeed due to his own breach, it's unfortunately impossible to keep people from filing lawsuits, even bad ones, and forcing you to deal with them. That being the case, you may wish to get out ahead of the matter by filing a suit first, seeking judicial confirmation of your rights. The simplest way is, if he was to pay rent under the agreement but has failed to do so, to bring an eviction action for unpaid rent and/or breach of lease. Another alternative is to bring an action for a declaratory judgment (court determination) that the contract has been terminated due to his breach and that he has no rights in or to the property.
The situation you describe is more complex than the standard landlord-tenant issue, so you are advised to retain an attorney to help you; the lawyer can hear all the facts in detail and review the documentation, then file the appropriate action for you.


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