sellers rights?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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sellers rights?

I sold my house to my cousin. We had agreed that he could move his stuff in before closing and I could leave my stuff in the dining room and the shop until my house was ready to move into. Now he is demanding I move my stuff out We closed a week ago. What are my rights?

Asked on August 21, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Alabama


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If you have a written contract or agreement letting you keep your belongings there for a defined period of time, and which agreement was entered into as part of the agreement to sell the house to him, you can enforce it. Otherwise, if there was just his oral (non-written) promise that he'd let you keep things there but there was no actual contract, that promise is not enforceable: the courts don't enforce non-contractual promises, and people can go back on or renege on their non-contractual promies. So if it was a non-contractual promise, he has the right to say enough is enough and you have to remove your belongings. 
Also, sellers have no right to temporarily leave anything behind:  when you close, it becomes the buyer's house and you have no more right to store anything there. (Unless again, you had a contract letting you do so.)
It doesn't matter that it is a "process": it's his house, and you can't keep things there unless he lets you. He can get a court order requiring you to remove them or letting him throw them out; you should move them to a self-storage unit until your new home is ready.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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