If we just bought a home but the sellers left some belongings and are now asking form them, is it rightfully ours?

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If we just bought a home but the sellers left some belongings and are now asking form them, is it rightfully ours?

My fiance and I just bought a home 9 days ago and the previous owners left the house some furniture and a mess. During closing we agreed to have them clean out the basement and attick and hold $1000 in escrow. Now they are demanding that we give them the furniture they left behind even though it was not agreed upon during closing. What is the legality in this situation? Do they have the right to the furniture or do we since we bought the home with the furniture in it.

Asked on June 28, 2017 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If they left this furniture there for a period of months, then you could attempt to claim "abandonment" and keep the items. However, since only a matter of days have gone by and your purchase and sale agreement presumably did not include the seller's furniture, then you will have to let them have it.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You only bought the furniture IF the contract of sale stated that you were purchasing these items (i.e. that they were included in the sale) and/or that anything left behind would be deemed "abandoned" and you could dispose of it as you see fit (which would include keeping it). Otherwise, the fact that someone leaves something at your home does *not* give you ownership of those items: they still own their furniture, etc. and you have to return it to them.


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