Ask an Attorney
Can our landlord be liable for any damages in this scenario?
She has encouraged us to buy her house in the past for 400K. We told her due to my credit score and foreclosure
on my home, I could not qualify (even though buying would be about 60% cheaper than renting from her). She offered again in writing and verbally within the last week.
Last Aug 2015 she gave us two weeks notice and raised the new lease
starting Sep 1 2015 by 600, from 2195 to 2795. (is that short term notice legal, and is there any limit on price increase, as she only owns 1 house in Hayward?)
2nd Question: We notified her recently that we were looking to buy a mobile home and re-confirmed that we could find someone to take over our lease, which expires Aug 31, 2017. She agreed. We asked to meet with her in person to discuss the details of what she would expect in new lessees as far as credit score, money made per month, etc.
At the meeting, on May 26 2016, she discouraged us from buying a mobile home, and said we could buy this house for 450K at ‘end of lease, or when you have enough funds’, and was trying to prevent us from making a mistake of buying a mobile home. She also offered to add granite countertops and new floors in the kitchen if we would stay, as we were her ‘favorite tenants’. We thanked her for the offer, but let her know that at our age we felt buying a mobile home would greatly reduce our monthly living expense, and relieve my wife of much stress. We didn’t think we could qualify for a 30 yr mortgage and did not like the idea of living where a bank might be able to foreclose on us again. She also said, to allow us time to find a mobile home at end of the lease, she would keep the rate we are paying now the same and go on a month to month if we wanted to do that (as we told her that timing the housing market, finding and buying a mobile home at the end of our lease would make things extremely difficult. She seemed very willing to help. She also agree to give us a good recommendation to the mobile home park, and asked me if I would write the letter for her.
On May 31 she sent me an email and again said she had done research on the mobile home park, the rent being over $1000, and that the land is not ours. Then she said “at the end of the lease, or when you have enough funds, my offer to you is 450K to buy my house which is very nice, I don’t get why you are still taking the risk to breach the contract
” (meaning I would be responsible if the new lessee’s failed to pay on time).
3rd Part: Thinking and analyzing her offer, the cost of borrowing $200K (250 down), plus property tax, I could see that it was only a few hundred dollars more to buy the house than the mobile home costs, and at 15 years it was break even, and at 30 years, me or my kids would have a house paid for, whereas the mobile home space rent would be $2650 and the house would be property tax only.
The mobile home we had bid on previously (a rare size / config), came back on the market the next week due to someone not qualifying / meeting mobile home park requirements. As a result of Kelly’s offer, we passed on making an offer on the mobile home, which was due June 2 2016.
On June 3rd when I contacted Kelly by email and text, she backed out of her offer.
Are any of her verbal offers enforceable?
selling us her home?
installing granite and new floors?
going month to month at same rate at end of lease?
any damages to us for the emotional stress of letting go an opportunity due to her strong pressure to buy her home instead?