mfoolad7, Home Buyer in Brooklyn, NY

Can buyer hold me responsible because tenant didn't pay him a deposit after close of escrow?

Asked by mfoolad7, Brooklyn, NY Tue Apr 9, 2013

Just sold my house to an investor buyer who allowed my tenant to stay in the property. She is moving out at the end of this month, and because of this, once she got her deposit back from the property management company I was using, she refused to turn over a new deposit to the buyer. He is now saying that if there is any damage to the house after she leaves, I will owe him the deposit amount. How is this possible?! In the selling contract there was no addendum about a tenant, etc. And if the tenant refuses to pay him a deposit, how can the former owner be held responsible for that? He purchased the home as is...according to him, I am responsible for the condition of the house indefinitely after the close of escrow? I am moving out of state in three weeks and trying to put this behind me. Help!

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Kathryn Lilly, Agent, New York, NY
Tue Apr 9, 2013
There is normally a clause in most contracts of sale that any security deposits held by the landlord (or agent on Landlords behalf) be turned over to the new landlord along with copies of leases etc. at the closing.
Consult the attorney that represented you in the sale, your attorney should have checked all the settlement costs and provided you with a closing statement showing where all the monies went.
But I have never heard of a management company returning a security deposit to a tenant still in occupancy, why did the management company do that? Did you authorize that? You may have a claim against your managing agent. But the buyers attorney should have also checked the settlement statement at the closing table as well.
I wish you well with your move.
Kathryn Lilly, Broker
Realty on the Greene, LLC
1 vote
Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Tue Apr 9, 2013
Consult with your attorney, he/she can better advise as to options....
1 vote
Mitchell Fel…, Agent, Brooklyn, NY
Wed Apr 10, 2013
Dear mfoolad7:

I assume you had an attorney prepare the legal contract of sale for you when you sold the house and represent you at the closing table. This is a legal matter and you should refer it to your attorney. You should tell the buyer that it has nothing to do with you and to direct any further questions to your attorney. Also, call your attorney and tell him or her what is happening right away. That is your best bet for the time being.

I am not an attorney and cannot give out legal advice, but in my experience as a real estate broker I would be inclined to think that unless there was something written into the contract of sale regarding this issue, the buyer does not have a valid claim against you. If I can be of further assistance, please contact me direct. Good luck!

Mitchell S. Feldman
Associate Broker/ Director of Sales
Madison Estates & Properties, Inc.
Office: (718) 645-1665/ Cell: (917) 805-0783
0 votes
Gail Gladsto…, Agent, 11743, NY
Tue Apr 9, 2013
You csn confirm with an attorney, but it sounds absurd that he I'd even thinking of holding you responsible.

I would not agree to take calls from him going forward.
0 votes
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