How to get out of a personal property sale contract?

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How to get out of a personal property sale contract?

I own a restaurant in a building that I am leasing. The owner of the restaurant that was in the same building previously sold us their equipment on I believe a personal property contract (i don’t have a copy of it with me) The equipment included hood, exhaust fan, grills, refrigerator, water heater, etc) After we’ve been paying on it for almost a year, the owner of the building said that some of the equipment (hood, exhaust fan, water heater) belongs to the building, and is not their right to sell. They are now threatening to take out their equipment.

Asked on July 7, 2011 under Business Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Illegal contracts are unenforceable--no one can legally contract to sell another's property. That means that if the buildng is correct, the contract is void, at least as to those items which were the buildings. If you have already paid for those items, the "seller" would have to return that money to you, since again, the contract is void as to those items, since the "seller" had no right to sell those items. The contract would still likely be enforceable as to the items which were the seller's to sell.

If the seller doesn't return any money you've paid for the building's items, then you would need to bring  legal action (i.e. sue) to get the money back.


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