These types of agreements provide low-income homeowners or those who are unable to qualify for a mortgage with the ability to purchase their own home. However, since the seller retains the title of the home until all payments have been made, some predatory sellers may use rent-to-own agreements to take advantage of buyers, especially if they fail to disclose issues related to property maintenance or building code compliance.
Changes to Illinois Law Regarding Installment Contracts
On January 1, 2018, a new state law went into effect that is intended to provide buyers with protections in an installment sales contract (often referred to as an Installment Contract for Sale of Real Estate, Articles of Agreement for Deed, or Installment Agreement for Deed). The Illinois Installment Sales Contract Act applies to sellers who sell three or more residential real estate properties in a single year, and it does not apply to agricultural property that is larger than four acres. The law contains the following new provisions:
- A seller must record a contract with the county recorder of deeds within 10 days of the sale of the property. If the contract is not recorded, the buyer can rescind the contract, and the seller must provide them with a refund of all payments made.
- A contract must contain a statement in large, bold type that informs the buyer of their right to obtain a home inspection and/or appraisal from a third party before signing the contract.
- If a building on the property has been condemned, the contract must contain a statement in large, bold type informing the seller of this fact.
- A contract must include a statement of what repairs the buyer is responsible for making to the property. The seller is responsible for making any repairs not included in this statement.
- If a buyer defaults on any payments, they have 90 days to make payments and cure the default before the seller can bring any action against them. If a buyer cannot cure the default, the seller must refund them any money they spent to perform repairs on the property.
- If a buyer defaults after paying at least 20% of the property’s purchase price, the seller must follow foreclosure procedures in order to evict the buyer from the property.
Contact an Inverness Real Estate Attorney
If you are planning to use an installment contract to buy or sell a home, an experienced attorney can review your contract to ensure that your rights are protected and that the correct legal procedures are followed. To schedule a personalized consultation, contact a Mount Prospect real estate lawyer at 847-934-6000.