Can someone sell property that they don’t own?

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Can someone sell property that they don’t own?

I entered into an agreement to purchase a mobile home. I recently found out that the seller does not own the home. What can I do?

Asked on July 12, 2011 under General Practice, Georgia

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

If the seller is not the owner or the agent of the owner acting on the owner's behalf with the owner's consent, then that person cannot sell property he/ she does not own.

You can sue the seller for fraud.  Fraud is the misrepresentation of a material fact made with knowledge of its falsity and with the intent to induce reliance upon which you justifiably relied to your detriment.  If you have made any payments pursuant to the purchase agreement, your damages (the amount you are seeking to recover in your lawsuit) would include those payments.

The seller falsely claimed to be the owner to induce you to sign the agreement to purchase the mobile home. You justifiably relied on the seller's intentional misrepresentation to your detriment.

The agreement you signed to purchase the mobile home is void because it is fraudulent.  If the seller tries to sue you to enforce the agreement, your argument is that the agreement is void because it is fraudulent since seller was not the owner of the mobile home and therefore did not have the authority to sell the mobile home.

Related article: Fraud


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