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Law Clinic Looks At Rent-To-Own Agreements In West Virginia

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) – West Virginia University’s law school is trying to raise awareness about rent-to-own housing scams following last summer’s flooding.

The school’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Law Clinic is creating a series of educational materials about the potential dangers of some purchase options at the end of leases. The university says the clinic is attempting to answer common questions faced by families in bad property leases.

The materials are to be distributed to residents as part of Greenbrier County’s long-term recovery efforts.

Clinic Director Priya Baskaran says rent-to-own agreements are marketed to families who don’t qualify for traditional home loans and lack the protection of home purchase agreements. Traditional landlord duties such as repairs become the renter’s responsibility.

The June 23 floods killed 23 people statewide and damaged homes, businesses, schools and infrastructure.