What happens when a buyer takes possession of a home before the date stated in contract?

UPDATED: Jul 18, 2017

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What happens when a buyer takes possession of a home before the date stated in contract?

I was the seller of a condo recently. My contract said I had until the

Asked on July 18, 2017 under Real Estate Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

It is probably a breach (without seeing the exact contract, I cannot opine 100%, since contracts are governed by their exact terms or language). But were you "damaged" in any way by this, apart from a possible feeling of violation? That is, were any of your belongings damaged or destroyed? Were you forced to pay for a hotel to stay out instead? Etc. The law only provides compensation for the actual losses or costs you suffer (civil, or non-criminal law, is primarily about making losses good, not vindicating rights or punishing misdeeds), so if you did not suffer any significant losses or harm, this comes under the category of "no harm, no foul": they were wrong, but nothing came of it.
If you did suffer some significant loss or cost (like having valuables damaged), you could sue to recover compensation.

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