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  1. #1
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    Mar 2012
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    Default Served With Notice of Eviction Despite Oral Lease to Buy

    My question involves an eviction in the state of: Indiana

    This involves a purchase of a home with the lessor transferring title in a year. This was an oral agreement.

    9 months into agreement. Lessee has made all payments (includes prop. taxes, insurance) directly to mortgage company, there is no issue of non-payment. Lessor now wants to reneg on the verbal offer and wants lessee out of the house (for personal reasons only).

    Can lessor "evict" for no reason (at least there are no usual non-payment or destruction of premises issues)? Lessor would not be able to prove any violation of the verbal agreement in court.

    Is there any way lessor can evict?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Oral Lease to Buy in Indiana-Now Getting Eviction Notice

    Absent proof of a contract, yes, lessee can be evicted according to state laws.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Oral Lease to Buy in Indiana-Now Getting Eviction Notice

    Real estate transactions must be written to be valid. An oral agreement to sell/buy real estate property will not be considered a legally binding agreement.[IN Statutes of Fraud IN IC 32-21]

    In the absense of a written lease agreement, your tentency is a month-to-month basis. The LL can give you thirty days notice that the lease will not be re-newed and you must leave the property.

  4. #4
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    Mar 2012
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    Default Re: Oral Lease to Buy in Indiana-Now Getting Eviction Notice

    See, now this is why you should never give up. I do want to thank antrc170 for his/her response, as it gave me a lead. But the answer was only partly correct.

    The Statute of Frauds does not make an oral contract void, only voidable. It has exceptions: part performance, promissory estoppel and parol evidence. In my case, part performance will come in to play. An oral contract can be enforced by a court where the parties engage in part performance of the oral agreement. As long as you have some evidence of the agreement, then part perf. can be a valid defense to the SOF.

    So again, thanks antrc170. Everyone else, keep digging!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Served With Notice of Eviction Despite Oral Lease to Buy

    Quote Quoting CurJa
    View Post
    See, now this is why you should never give up. I do want to thank antrc170 for his/her response, as it gave me a lead. But the answer was only partly correct.
    I'll concur that there's more to the statute of frauds than antrc170's comment suggests.
    Quote Quoting CurJa
    The Statute of Frauds does not make an oral contract void, only voidable.
    True, but it's pretty clear that in seeking to terminate your tenancy the other side is voiding the contract.
    Quote Quoting CurJa
    It has exceptions: part performance, promissory estoppel and parol evidence.
    You left off full performance, and "parol evidence" is not an exception to the statute of frauds. In simple terms, the parol evidence rule holds that oral evidence cannot be used to contradict the terms of a written contract. You are not arguing that there's a written contract, or a contract created or implied by law that needs to be interpreted based upon outside evidence or claims, so that rule is irrelevant to you. Also, Florida has rejected promissory estoppel as a basis to avoid the application of the statute of frauds.
    Quote Quoting CurJa
    In my case, part performance will come in to play. An oral contract can be enforced by a court where the parties engage in part performance of the oral agreement. As long as you have some evidence of the agreement, then part perf. can be a valid defense to the SOF.
    Let's note first that in Florida the rule of part performance relates only to actions for equitable relief, not for money damages. See Collier v. Brooks, 632 So.2d 149 (Fla. 1st DCA 1994). So an action under an oral "lease to buy" claiming partial performance would need to be seeking to require the completion of the contract - a court order for specific performance, enforcing the sale and purchase of the property.

    Collier adds another wrinkle, citing authority that suggest that for part performance to support an action for equitable relief the parties must have intended the oral contract to be completed within the space of a year, with the party seeking enforcement to have acted within that time. I am sympathetic to the arguments presented in the partial concurrence, partial dissent, but I'm not finding (in the limited Florida resources I have) subsequent case law addressing the issue. Assuming that a "lease to own" agreement is proved or admitted, I would expect that the other party will argue that there was no intention that the contract be completed within a one year period such that the statute of limitations continues to apply and that the contract is thus void. Whatever the court makes of that argument, as you would be filing a lawsuit to enforce the contract in equity, you would be asking the court to grant you the opportunity to buy the property at the agreed-upon terms or price.

    I wouldn't urge you to share here the full details of your case or agreement, or the evidence you have as to the terms of your agreement, as I expect that your doing so will render you identifiable. But without that information, at the end of the day, to get a full analysis you'll have to run the details past a real estate lawyer.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    Default Re: Served With Notice of Eviction Despite Oral Lease to Buy

    Thanks, Mr. Knowitall. Good points, but I'm not in Florida. And I did leave many facts out of the scenario. Thanks for your time.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Served With Notice of Eviction Despite Oral Lease to Buy

    I must have come to this thread after reading another one about Florida. Oops.

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