Am I bound by written agreement to pay a private seller for items that I no longer want?

UPDATED: Aug 21, 2011

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Am I bound by written agreement to pay a private seller for items that I no longer want?

I signed an agreement to pay a specific amount for a set of items the person I’m subleasing from decided to leave behind (those items are not listed individually in the contract). There are also a number of other items in the home that belong to that person that they are supposed to come back and get. I am just housing them for now. I let the person know I no longer wanted a few of the items, but paid for the rest via a wire transfer. Am I bound by law to pay for the items I no longer want even though I am not “taking” them? They are still in the home with that person’s other belongings.

Asked on August 21, 2011 New York


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If you signed a contract for the items then yes, you are bound by the terms that you agreed to.  If there is nothing that you can rely on to set aside the contract  - fraud, misrepresentation, etc., - then you are stuck with the contract.  Technically here you modified the contract by paying only for some of the items and not all  The law does not allow you to unilaterally do so.  If the other party is okay with modification of the contract as you wish then please make sure that you get that in writing.  Otherwise they have a valid argument against you in court.  Try and renegotiate the contract. Good luck.

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