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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 4 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.