How to Structure a Lease-to-Own Agreement in Florida

By Ireland Wolfe
Lease-to-own contracts are helpful to buyers with credit problems.

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A lease-to-own agreement can be beneficial to both buyer and seller. Some landlords will use lease-to-own contracts if they want to allow tenants to buy a rental property. Different types of clauses can be added into a lease agreement which will give the renter an option to buy. The renter is under no legal obligation though. In Florida, lease-to-own agreements are popular and should be structured similar to a rental lease with a clause added for an option to buy.

Decide on acceptable terms for your lease-to-own agreement. You will need to determine a down payment and the length of the contract. Many contracts are for two years with the option to buy any time after a year. Agree on a final sales price on the property. Decide on monthly rent and "rent credits" -- how much of the rent will be applied toward the purchase of the house.

Type a rental lease similar to a standard rental lease. Add a separate section for the purchase option. Florida law is very specific about what must be included in rent-to-own lease agreements.

Include the name and address of the tenants, your name and address, and the address of the rental property. Provide a description of the property and state whether the house is new or has been previously rented. Clearly state the amount of monthly rent and when it is due each month.

Add the initial amount the tenant has to pay under the purchase option section. Include any down payment that will be applied to the purchase of the property and specify how total security deposit is to be credited. The agreement needs to state that the down payment is non-refundable if the tenant declines to buy the house. The final price that your tenants will owe to purchase the house should be included in the agreement. Be sure to subtract rental credits, down payment and security deposit from the purchase price.

State who is responsible for damages to the property and which party will maintain service on the house while it is being leased. As in any rental agreement, add any additional clauses such as pet policy, lawn service or utility costs.

Sign and date the agreement. Make sure all tenants over 18 living in the property sign and date the agreement as well. Provide tenants with copies of the signed lease by mail or deliver in person. Keep a copy for your records.

About the Author

Ireland Wolfe has been writing professionally since 2009, contributing to Toonari Post, Africana Online and Winzer Insurance. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in psychology and Master of Arts in mental health counseling. She is also a licensed mental health counselor, registered nutritionist and yoga teacher.

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