In a rent-to-own situation who is responsible for making repairs?

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In a rent-to-own situation who is responsible for making repairs?

My husband and I are renting to own a mobile home and approximately .7 acres of land. We have put up a board fence around the property that we are purchasing but we are on a farm and there are several cows around. The people that we are purchasing from are the ones that own the cows. Lately several boards of the fence have been broken by the cows trying to come into our yard, and when we make our payment if we have purchased any boards to replace the broken ones we will turn in the receipt. The landowners are saying that they are not responsible for replacing the boards, are they?

Asked on October 19, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Virginia

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

May I ask: do you have a contract for the rent to own situation? Does it address the placement of the fence and repairs to the property while you are renting? If not, does the contract treat the property as if you are the owners and make it your responsibility to maintain, pay the water bills and taxes, etc. or doyou still have "renters" rights and limitations?  If you are the de facto owners then I would say that you have rights as owners: to sue your neighbors for repair of your fence that their cows knocked down.  But really one would need to read the contract for the property to determine if this is the way to go.  Seek legal help in your area.  Good luck.  


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