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Family sells house; new owners are angry that 'items are missing.' AITA?

Family sells house; new owners are angry that 'items are missing.' AITA?

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When these ex-homeowners upset the people that bought their house, they ask Reddit:

"AITA: Sold our house, new owners angry items are missing?"

We sold our house in early December 2023. The house has an in-ground pool and it was closed for the winter months prior to the sale. To hold all the pool equipment, we had two large deck boxes near the pool.

These held things that most every pool owner needs: a vacuum hose/head, skimmer baskets/jets, chlorine containers, a submersible pump for the winter cover, a summer solar cover, and most importantly the filter unit. Everything was very neatly organized/stored for winter.

Closing day comes and the buyers do their walkthrough. We get a call from our realtor that there are still items left outside by the pool that need to be removed. We asked what items and they said the deck boxes.

We said that the boxes contain the pool equipment which is why we left them behind. Well, the new owners wanted them removed. We asked if they just wanted the physical boxes removed and to instead leave the equipment in the garage but they said they wanted it all gone.

We had them send a request in writing (through email to both realtors, our lawyer, and to us) specifically and clearly stating what they wanted removed from the property. We replied that what they wanted removed was the pool equipment and they replied stating it had to be removed or no sale.

So we agreed and removed it. Our new house doesn’t have a pool so I either sold or gave-away most of it, including the filter.

Last week we got an email from the new owners/their realtor asking where the pool equipment was. We were super confused and forwarded them the email chain where they told us to get rid of it.

They apparently didn’t realize the boxes contained the pool equipment and thought we were leaving behind things like floats/toys. We replied that we had stated multiple times that the boxes contained "the pool equipment" but they still wanted it removed.

They asked for reimbursement because now they have to buy equipment and we said no; we did exactly what they wanted and that this is no longer our concern. Our lawyer says we are in the clear.

AITA? They looked to be first-time homeowners (likely never owned a pool) but we were really really clear on what was in those boxes.

Let's see what readers thought.

snoopets873 writes:

NTA I’m baffled that their real estate agent didn’t advise them on the need for the items in there but maybe they didn’t read your email so didn’t realize they were mediating an effort to throw away necessary equipment?

But that’s not relevant, it’s just my curiosity working overtime on how they missed this between a presumably adult buyer and a real estate agent.

But no, it isn’t your fault even by a “be nice to the people around you” standard, because you not only got confirmation that they wanted you to do it, you tried to stop them and also, it wasn’t unreasonable to think that they might have had a reason for it like having a new set already from a gift or them feeling uncomfortable with used equipment.

It’s not the same as if they insisted you do something nuts like scuttle the water line or else the sale is off or some other nonsense like that.

kaway24 writes:

Absolutely NTA. You received a request, provided all relevant additional information and context, and were still instructed (borderline threatened) to remove the boxes including all the equipment.

You did. The fact that the new owners appear not to have actually read your responses is absolutely not your fault. Asking for compensation is just pure grift on their part.

Good call getting the request in writing, else I suspect they'd try and threaten legal action unless you paid them. NTA.

behyeho writes:

You gave them precisely what they wanted. You complied bc you wanted the sale to happen. You have a paper trail that absolves you. You are practically untouchable. Its too bad the buyers didnt know wtf they even wanted when making their demands. Now they can pay for new equipment. NTA.

kaway29 writes:

Absolutely NTA. You received a request, provided all relevant additional information and context, and were still instructed (borderline threatened) to remove the boxes including all the equipment.

You did. The fact that the new owners appear not to have actually read your responses is absolutely not your fault. Asking for compensation is just pure grift on their part.

Good call getting the request in writing, else I suspect they'd try and threaten legal action unless you paid them. NTA.

crashd7 writes:

NTA. Since when does pool equipment = pool toys and floats? Did you just say "pool equipment", or did you also mention what items were? Not that it's going to change my mind. To me, anyway, "pool equipment" means necessary maintenance tools, not the fun things for a pool.

hiphopchick1982 writes:

NTA, not by a long shot. You specified equipment (in writing!!!!!!) and they wanted it removed! That is totally on them!!!!

Reminds me of the crazy trains that owned my brother's house, they came back a MONTH after selling the house and were removing the rose bushes while my SIL was working from home.

My brother had to abruptly leave work an hour away to come home and they had to get the cops involved. And that happened after they arrived for the closing final walk through and found the sellers were still there packing!!!!!

They wound up staying at SIL's mom's house for two weeks so they could get the house ready to move in, get an exterminator, get it deep cleaned, etc. Their two seniir dogs did not adapt well to moving and both got fleas to boot!

Looks like OP is NTA. Any thoughts on this dilemma?

Sources: Reddit
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