Lease Purchase: What will buyer's lender allow?

Real Estate Agent with Reece & Nichols

A few years ago, I had a buyer who entered into a lease with an option to purchase.  She paid a small option fee upfront and was paying $300/month above market rent that was intended to go toward her down payment.  However, when she tried to exercise the option, her lender would not count the option fee or the monthly amount as down payment. 

I am now trying to help another client with a lease option.  What is the best way to structure the deal to make sure the buyer gets credit for the option fee and accrued monthly payments?  What will the buyer's lender allow when it comes time to exercise the option and get financing?

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