Rent To Own

RentalHouses | Rent to Own

Rent to Own, Lease Purchase & Lease Option Homes

Rent-to-own homes provide buyers-tenants and sellers-landlords additional options during questionable times for the market or the individual parties. The general agreement allows for a potential buyer, who may not have the capital to buy the house out-right or the credit to get a loan, to pay a deposit up-front, traditional rent and a rent premium and live in desired home immediately. has hundreds of rent-to-own homes available, as well as regular homes for rent nationwide.

The deposit on a rent-to-own is usually between one and five percent of the property price. The traditional rent goes straight to the seller-landlord, as in any other rental agreement. The rent premium acts as a further deposit toward the purchase of the house. Most rent-to-own contracts are fairly short term – one to three years is the usual length – and the price of the property is usually established at the contract signing. However, other details of the arrangement depend on which type of rent-to-own agreement you enter.

Lease Option

A lease option allows the buyer-tenant to work towards the purchase of the house without an obligation to buy. This arrangement provides the buyer-tenant 12 to 36 months to save money or raise a credit score that is slightly below the needed one. A lease option also reduces the potential buyer’s anxiety about making the long-term and all-inclusive commitment of purchasing a home and provides him or her time to further consider the pros, cons and responsibilities of home ownership. At the same time, a lease option agreement gives the seller-landlord more security than with a traditional renter. The tenant can ultimately decide not to by the home, but he or she usually forfeits the original deposit and the rent premiums paid every month.

Lease Purchase

Unlike a lease option, in a lease purchase the buyer-tenant agrees to buy the house in the initial contract and is obligated to follow through with the purchase at the end of the lease term. A lease purchase provides the seller-landlord the most security outside of an out-right sale, as it contractually guarantees the eventual purchase of the property by the buyer-tenant. However, both parties should be cautious if the agreement is hinged on a significant savings or credit score improvement, as a failure to accomplish either may result in a continued inability for the tenant to purchase the home, leaving both buyer and seller in a lurch. If the tenant ultimately decides NOT to buy the house, he or she faces the potential consequences of a broken contract in addition to losing the deposit and rent premiums. The seller, then, also faces legal expenses in pursuing the broken contract.

The path to a successful rent-to-own – for both buyers-tenants and sellers-landlords – requires a solid and detailed contract and a thorough game plan. If potential buyers engage in a lease option or purchase in an effort to improve their credit over the lease period, they should make sure they do in fact raise their credit scores and will be granted loans for the mortgage. Otherwise, premiums and deposits will be surrendered, and they may end up in a worse position than in the beginning. Likewise, sellers-landlords should enter rent-to-own arrangements acknowledging that they are usually long-term solutions and not avenues for immediate capital. For security and planning, both parties should establish a property price at the beginning of the agreement – or decide to go with the market price at the time of the purchase – and write the price into the contract.

Sellers, landlords and property managers who have available rent-to-own homes can list their property on’s searchable database. Simply add your rent-to-own homes and provide the information, listing price and option amount on the listing form. Searchers can also get information on lease options and purchases through our regular homepage searches by narrowing their search to houses with lease option or purchase agreements.