Hello. I'll try to keep this as brief as possible, but it's such a crazy situation!
I had a foreclosure in August of 2012. It transferred title on August 15 of that year. So I'm able to get a new FHA mortgage after that date. I also have a lot of money for a down payment waiting in a money market account. I've brought my mid score up to 695, I have $56 monthly in debt payments, I have a lender lined up, I have a great real-estate agent, everything should be rosy.
I moved into a rental house in May of 2012. The owner was looking for a lease-option at that time, but I didn't have the lump sum yet (mind you, I was staring down the barrel of a foreclosure.) I made clear to him that I would certainly like to purchase the house eventually and that I did have a payout coming in a few years. My husband and I paid the rent on time every month, and took care of the house as if it were our own. The payout came in April of this year, and I got hold of the landlord and tried to work something out.
Hi suggestion was that I give him $60k, pay 7.5% interest on the balance (which was $20k over market), pay all taxes and HOA's, and he wouldn't record the deed (so nothing in our names, no interest tax deduction, nada.) Ummmm, NO. That is what is called a very expensive lease option. With crazy high rents and fees. He got very abusive when we told him that deal would not work for us, so we just found a short-term lease in an apartment and moved out on May 31, when our lease expired. We spent the last week cleaning everything in that house, and took 140 pictures and 8 videos to document the condition of the house.
He has refused to return ANY of our deposit. He lists vague figures for things like tree removal ($1100, when he was there the last day we were with one buddy cutting up an ailing aspen tree and leaving the lengths on the sidewalk for the trash guys.) Aspens don't like the altittude in Denver, they like the mountains, so they typically don't last much more than 20 years. House was built in 1992. He is charging us for carpet replacement, when we saw the pictures from when he bought the property in 2004 and the carpet predates that. He has refused multiple requests for proof of the carpet's age. He wants $500 for repair of a cracked window. We are good friends with our former next-door neighbor, who was also friends with the tenants before us, and he got the inspection report from the new buyers...cracked window was still on the inspection report for the purchase. We have a statement from the former tenants as well, who describe how he lies and refuses to do any maintenance to the property, and wanted to withold their deposit as well (they were here from another country in an official capacity, and had to get the embassy involved.) He wants $500 to "bring the yard back up to standards" when we left it mowed, edged and green, and now it is dead and has two-foot-high weeds. The list goes on. It's a little terrifying to deal with this guy.
Now he is threatening to sue us. I don't think he has any kind of a case, and we're meeting with an attorney in two hours to see what we need to do. I'm just worried that if it comes down to it, having an open case will derail my plans to get a mortgage. Not sure if this is the right place to post this. Thankfully, it looks like not a lot of people have this particular issue! We're paying through the nose for this short-term lease and we really, really have to get this mortgage deal done. It doesn't help that the landlord keeps blowing up my email with messages like "IF YOU HAVE A JUDGEMENT SETTLED ON YOUR REPORT YOUR CREDIT SCORE CAN DROP 100 POINTS!!!"
Anyway, thanks for reading this whole sad tale. Any input or advice would be truly welcomed! I may update after I talk to the attorney.