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Rent-back period in purchase contract

Mountain View, CA |

We recently bought a house in California. After a 2-month rent back period, seller left behind many items that were not included in the sale. The purchase contract mentions:

Fixtures, fittings and/or personal property that are not included in the sale and all debris shall be removed by Seller prior to the date Seller Delivers possession of the Property to Buyer. The Property shall be delivered to Buyer in no less than "broom clean" condition.

After a month of vacating, seller wants some of the items he left behind.

Can I refuse on the basis of the above clause? Can I charge storage 1 month storage fee? I don't see anything in the contract that mentions tenant or landlord. An addendum only mentions 'Seller to rent back property for 60 days after close of escrow'.

Attorney Answers 2


It appears the seller gave up the property.

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Though I do not disagree with Mr. Andriotis, you have several choices:
1) Return the item(s)
2) Do not return the item(s)
3) Return the item(s) and charge a storage fee

What you do may or may not have an implication it that you MAY get sued. Depending on what your tolerance for going to court is, it MAY be best to just return them. Now, if the property was left in a MUCH worse condition that "broom clean" you clearly have a breach of contract issue at hand. Not only COULD you refuse to return the items, you could also sue for the value of cleaning the place.

As I said, it depends on your tolerance for a lawsuit and how angry you really are. If in doubt, contact a local attorney to assist you further.

Adam Jaffe Law Office of Adam Jay Jaffe 124 Lomas Santa Fe Dr, #204 Solana Beach, CA 92075 (619) 810-7964 This posting is provided for “information purposes” only and should not be relied upon as "legal advice". Nothing transmitted from this posting constitutes the establishment of an attorney-client relationship. Applicability of the legal principles discussed here may differ substantially in individual situations or in different states.

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