What to do if I just closed on the purchase of a house and the previous owner who is now refusing to move out?.

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What to do if I just closed on the purchase of a house and the previous owner who is now refusing to move out?.

I just closed on the purchase of a house. The previous owner who was living in the house is now refusing to move out. What can I do legally to get him out as quickly as possible?

Asked on May 29, 2012 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You would bring an "ejectment" action, which is an action to determine the rights to possession of property. You have to use the courts--you cannot lock him out on your own, but first need a court determination in your favor, after which court officers (e.g. constables or sheriff's deputies) will perform the lock out. If you are going to sue him to get him out, you should also consider suing for monetary compensation: e.g. to recover the pro rata share of utilities, insurance, taxes, etc. for the period he is unlawfully occupying. Rather than doing this yourself, you are strongly advised to retain an attorney to help you. Good luck.


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