Wisconsin Lease to Own Agreement

The Wisconsin Lease to Own Agreement, also known by the name “Lease with Option to Purchase,” is a standard lease with the added feature that the tenants start the lease with the intention of purchasing the rental (at the lease’s expiration). The caveat to the contract is that the tenants do not have to purchase – it’s an option afforded to them if they so choose.

Although similar in structure to a normal lease, the form differs in several reasons:

  1. The form contains an entire section dedicated to purchasing (cost of the property, down payment, closing, the property title, etc.).
  2. The tenants pay an increase in monthly rent called “option money,” a portion of which goes towards building a down payment to the property.

Is a Lease to Own Right for Me?

Homeowners may benefit from leasing their home as a “rent to own” if 1) their property hasn’t moved on the market and 2) they have a place to live (that isn’t their home for sale). Although introducing a renter may make some unnerved, so long the contract is formulated with terms and conditions to protect against liability and the tenant(s) are chosen very carefully (hint: use a rental application), there isn’t much to worry about.

Useful Resources

Landlord-Tenant Laws: Chapter 704 (§§ 704.01 to 704.95)

Useful Legal Documents: Chicago Title Real Estate Library


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