I recently received an "offer" for a prime domain which offer, conveyed by a broker, eventually proved to NOT be a cash offer but an offer to pay over time. I'd call this a lease or lease-purchase offer. I'd call this owner financing. I'd call this several other names. I did not call it a deal AND was slightly miffed by a broker conveying the offer of a certain sum of many only to have the actual offer disclosed afterwards.
In my book IF a person or company is "credit worthy" - someone I should trust to pay their bills - then I expect that person or entity to be able to either raise capital or secure financing elsewhere. I prefer not to be in the financing business.
Leasing carries risks. Non-performance is one. Bankruptcy is another. Litigation another, as in "No, I didn't default!" or "I cured the default" and several other versions.
What does one do during a period of default? Are nameservers re-pointed during times when payment is overdue? It's possible to spell out contingencies in contracts. Can you anticipate all contingencies? Probably most if you've been around for awhile.
Another issue is the ability of an aggrieved domain lessee to do damage to a domain (website) during their "leasehold / tenancy". Imagine a homeowner who is having difficulty coming to grips with their mortgage being foreclosed (after making payments for several years) who expresses their displeasure by damaging the property or letting it fall into disrepair. Could an aggrieved domain lessee provoke a search engine penalty? What is the lessor kept the domain in their name during the lease? How easy will it be for the domain owner (the lessor) to disclaim credit for what was done . . when they "own the address"?
Here's a recent little article about the "pitfalls of domain leasing", based upon a presentation as "Names Con", currently running in Las Vegas: [namescon.com
Here's a little bit of bankruptcy law complexity about executory (contracts in the process of being fulfilled) and leases to consider: [bernsteinlaw.com
] In my 30+ years of practicing law I've seen situations where companies or individuals ran to bankruptcy to buy time, failed to put together a suitable plan, get kicked out of bankruptcy . . and after a short period of time . . file again, supposedly in good faith. All during that time the person or entity "milked" the assets of the "bankruptcy estate" for all they could . . and then, finally, "went bankrupt" as in didn't pay anyone. One of my favorite scenarios was where the "debtor in possession" (of a leased property) continued to collect rents . . and not pay anyone.
Food for thought.
If you have ever leased or lease-purchased a domain I'd like to read about your experience.
[edited by: Webwork at 4:54 pm (utc) on Jan 31, 2017]