Legal Question in Real Estate Law in Alabama

State of Alabama - I purchased a home via a state tax auction. The home was sold by the state past the 3 year right of redemption so I have a real deed (not just a tax deed) to the property. Nobody has lived in the home for at least the past two years (I live nearby and have been watching the place) but a lot of their belongings are still in the house.

I went into the house right after purchasing it and it is disgusting and currently unlivable. There is dog poo at least an inch thick from one to the other end of the house. A neighbor told me that the previous owner left a dog pinned in the house for about six months to keep anyone from breaking in and that they only fed the dog through a broken window and let it just drink from the toilet. A little irony here is that I've tracked down the previous owner and she works at a local vetinary clinic.

Anyway, my question is what can I legally do with the previous owners stuff that's in the house now? There's some furniture which will have to be taken to a dump due to the dog, a large piano and rooms full of just "stuff" (pictures, dishes, clothes, toys, etc).

When I first bought the place, I removed a storm window to get in the place and left the front door unlocked. I went by a week later and the window was put back on the front door locked again. I assume that the lady doesn't know that she's lost the place yet.

Can I just stick a note on the door stating to stay out of the place and to contact me within 30 days to get the stuff or it will be discarded or do I HAVE to contact her to come get the stuff?

Any help is greatly appreciated!

Asked on 6/08/11, 9:14 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Edward Tracy Southern Legal Group, P.C.

When you purchased this home it should have stated that all contents of the home were included in the sell. Was there any verbiage that all/some contents in the property were not included in the sell of the home?

I have never heard of a purchase taking place and at the time of the sale that all contents remaining in the home not being included. Generally you purchase a home and its contents that remain at the time of the sale are the property of the purchaser unless otherwise stated. This goes for light fixtures and anything else that remains.

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Answered on 6/10/11, 1:54 pm

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