Status of contents after final walk through.

Seller entered house after final walk through and removed
contents, fixtures, and with held keys after closing.

Asked on June 25, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You can sue them if they removed anything that contractually (as per the contract of sale or any addenda to it) that they were supposed to leave (i.e. that you were purchasing with the home) for breach of contract. You would sue for the value of whatever they took.
If they withheld keys for a time but you now have access, you can also sue for any costs you incurred due to their wrongful act of withholding the keys: e.g. locksmith costs to gain entry and rekey; storage, if you had to temporily store belongings elsewhere, because you could not move them in; etc. Again, it would be for breach of contract--they were contractually obligated to turn over the keys and possession at closing.
If still can't get in for some reason, you could bring the legal action on an "emergent" (think "urgent" or "emergency") basis to get a court order that they must give you the keys and let you in.
If you need an order for access, hire an attorney to help you: suing for court orders is generally more complex than suing just for money, and suing on an emergent basis is more complex yet. If you just want monetary compensation, then if the amount is less than the small claims limit, you probably should sue in small claims court, as your own attorney ("pro se") to save on legal fees, since you can't get them to pay for your lawyer (unless the contract of sale says that if you have to sue and win, they will pay for the attorney, etc.).


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.