Legal Question in Real Estate Law in Wisconsin
The party buying our house asked for access to fix some windows...then after finding they couldn't get financing did $1600 of work and also tore out carpets and did not replace. Now they want us to pay for this. We didn't ask or want it.
1 Answer from Attorneys
This issue would normally be dealt with in your purchase contract. If it was not, and the buyer still decided to proceed with the repairs to a house they did not own, the buyer had to know that this was a highly risky move. You would therefore have a reasonable argument that they chose to gamble the cost of these repairs as a bet upon the success of the transaction, and that they lost this bet when they could not close. On the other hand, if the buyers sued you for the cost of the repairs, they could argue "unjust enrichment" to you by the repairs, claiming that they should therefore be reimbursed for any increase in the value of the property caused by the repairs. Damages due to incomplete work such as tearing out the carpet, would be a "setoff" or counterclaim which might assist you to reduce the amount that yu would owe them if they prevailed in this argument. Please be aware that my responses to you in the public web forum do not make me your attorney and that I am not representing you or taking any action on your case. These answers are intended for public educational use only. Regardless of this, however, you are still welcome to contact me during business hours at my in Racine if you still have questions.