If I purchased a house 9 months ago and the seller is now trying to take a lawn mower that was left at the property, do I have a right to keep it?

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If I purchased a house 9 months ago and the seller is now trying to take a lawn mower that was left at the property, do I have a right to keep it?

Nothing in the closing documents mentioned any property left at the house. The seller is now threatening a theft charge. However, they left a mower and did not ask or mentioned anything in the closing documents in regards to the mower.

Asked on November 1, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

The lawnmower is still theirs: you do not receive or take possession or acquire any of the seller's personal property unless it was listed in the contract of sale as something you obtained. That they left it behind does not automatically mean they abandoned it to you. If you don't return it, they could try to press charges, which the police may or may not take seriously; but even if the police did not want to get involved in this matter, they could at a minimum sue you for the mower's value.


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