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A rent-to-own air conditioner horror story

As they say in real estate caveat emptor. (Let the buyer beware).

File -- A detail of the air-conditioning system in the bungalow of the Corcyra hotel where the two British children were found dead Thursday, on 28 October 2006.

Dimitra Louvrou/AFP/Getty Images

File -- A detail of the air-conditioning system in the bungalow of the Corcyra hotel where the two British children were found dead Thursday, on 28 October 2006.

Q:  We recently purchased a resale home and in the agreement there was listed under rental items, the central air conditioner (if assumable).  We didn’t think anything of it as we were in a bidding war and we finally, after 18 months of searching, found a wonderful home.  We proceeded to closing and our lawyer presented a rental contract with our closing documents that had been sent over by the vendor’s lawyer showing we were renting the air conditioner (rent to own) for $70 a month.  We enquired why it was so expensive and our lawyer sent us in the direction of the company that had sold the air conditioner to our vendors just last summer.  We were told it was a rental but if we wanted to buy out the unit and contract, it would cost $7000.00.  The normal cost of this size of air conditioner is $3-4000.00.  Now we are stuck with a very expensive air conditioner that we have to either keep paying for or pay them double what it is worth.  This is not fair.

A: As they say, the devil is in the details.  You need to question all aspects of your sales agreement even if you have a realtor who is well-seasoned and knowledgeable.  Rent to own contract for items such as air conditioners and furnaces can be extremely expensive and once you signed on the dotted line, you agreed to take on this debt.

Not right but as they say in real estate caveat emptor. (Let the buyer beware). 

P.S.  Your lawyer couldn’t have helped you with this because by the time she gets to see the contract, you have firmed up your deal.

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