Do I own the contents of house after closing?

UPDATED: May 8, 2012

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: May 8, 2012Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Do I own the contents of house after closing?

I just closed on a house yesterday. During our walk-through we noticed the prior owner damaged some wood floor panels from a moisture source. About 5 panels of the wood floor now show buckling. We contacted him and asked that he pay for the damage that occurred after contract but before the walk-through. He respectfully declined to pay anything. Additionally, he left an expensive collection of wine in the wine cooler and some odds and ends around the house. Now he would like to come and collect the wine. Is the wine now mine since I closed?

Asked on May 8, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

No, the wine is not yours--when you close on a home, it transfers ownership of the home and its land only. It does not have any effect of ownership of personal property, except to the extent such was specifically included as part of the sale (refer to the contract of sale for any inclusions), even if such was left behind. IF the seller abandons said property, then you could keep; but the mere fact that it was left behind does not establish abandonment. In the absence of some indication of abandonment (e.g. an email saying "you can keep the wine"), you must provide the seller  with notice that he left property behind and an opportunity (at least 30 days) to recover it, before you could possibly conclude it has been abandoned.

If the seller damaged the home after the contract but prior to closing, you could sue him for the repair cost; he is supposed to turn the home over to you in the shape it was in when the contract was finalized, as adjusted by any repairs, etc. the seller agreed to, such as after the home inspection.

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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption