Can a buyer place a renter in the home before closing

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can a buyer place a renter in the home before closing

We signed a contract with the buyer but his lawyer is telling us that
there is a hold up in the courts over the title. Meanwhile, I just
discovered that someone is already living in the home. Is it legal for
him to do that?

Asked on April 9, 2017 under Real Estate Law, South Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

No, it is NOT legal: until closing, he does not own the home or have any right to use or possession of it, including having someone else rent it or live in it. You can and should file an "ejectment" action to remove this alleged renter (assuming that if you ask him to leave, he does not do so)--you don't want to even implicitly ratify his presence by leaving him there; you also don't want a person with no legal obligation to you, no security deposit in your possession, and whom you did not vet or screen to be in your home, potentially damaging it, using it as a place to commit crimes, etc. You should also demand the cost of the ejectment action from the buyer.

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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