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Marsha411JD
Marsha411JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 19771
Experience:  Licensed Atty, 29 yrs exp in the practice of law.
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I closed on a house Wednesday and had till Thursday to

Customer Question

I closed on a house Wednesday and had till Thursday to vacate. My husband's serious health problem re-surfaced and he had to be excused from helping. The movers stood us up twice. Saturday, I had just about everything out when the new owner and the real estate agent started yelling at me that I was trespassing and they began throwing my stuff out in the pouring rain onto the driveway. I went back today and took pictures. You can see that this is all I had left, but a $2500 Stowe Davis desk, $200 pair of lamps, a container of my paperwork (car loan agreements, etec.) has all the contents ruined from not being covered up. Was this legal? The new owners are not moving in for another week, and when the realtor arrived, he asked me if I had given keys to the new owner. I said, yes but we still had keys. He said he wasn't worried about it because the new owner was having the locks changed. I learned that he'd sent the new owner to Home Depot to get new locks and replaced them after I left. I called my realtor today to see if I could get my things and they said no. I'd be trespassing. I assume they would have had me arrested. I did go over and take a few pictures, but no one was there (which is why they said I couldn't come or would be trespassing). Here is a TechSmith Jing Picture of what I saw today (at least they covered it up):
http://screencast.com/t/uak7bQYLeaq
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 1 year ago.

Hello,

Thank you or the information and your question. Although you were in violation of the contract by having your things in the house after your possession period, the new homeowner and agent were wrongful in forceably removing your things. They had a couple of legal options. One was to call the police and see if they could supervise the removal of your property, and the other was to file a petition with the court to evict you. In other words, they could not use self help even though you were holding over in breach of the contract.

Therefore, you can file suit in small claims court for any actual damages to your personal property and you could, if you choose, call the police if they will not allow you to recover the remaining property. The police might not assist, but it is worth a try. Otherwise, you either hire an attorney to contact them or file suit for the value of those items they will not let you retrieve in addition to any damaged items.

Please feel free to ask for clarification if needed. If none is needed, then if you could take a moment to leave a positive rating in the box above, I will receive credit for assisting you today. Thank you