Legal Question in Real Estate Law in California

Real Property

Question:

If a property was finally signed in escrow on Friday

August 29, at 4:00pm and 1 hour later the new owner broke in

the property and stold items and said the property was just

signed and I should of been allready out of the property.

How much time do I have to vacate the property after its

signed? What charges could I bring on thier breaken in?

Thank Y

Asked on 3/27/06, 1:51 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Robert F. Cohen Law Office of Robert F. Cohen
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Re: Real Property

I'm not sure what you mean by "finally signed in escrow." I take it you mean that escrow closed, which culminates the recording of the deed with the county of recorder. If escrow closes, then the new owner is the new owner. If you're still in there, then you have the right to properly vacate. Please provide more details.

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3/27/06, 3:07 am
Bryan Whipple Bryan R. R. Whipple, Attorney at Law
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Re: Real Property

First, the right to possession of the property passes from seller to buyer when the deed is delivered, unless otherwise agreed. Upon delivery of the deed the buyer has the right of possession, so "breaking in" probably isn't a criminal act. Prior to having a right of possession, breaking in to remove personal property within would be burglary.

However, removal of the prior owner's personal property inside the house is at least a trespass under these circumstances (technically, a trespass to chattels, not a trespass to land). This is a civil tort, not a crime. If the items taken were kept, damaged or hidden, the taking would probably become the civil tort of conversion.

In addition, the taking of the property with intent permanently to deprive the owner of it would be the crime of larceny, wehether or not the taker had the right to enter the house.

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3/27/06, 12:08 pm

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