Wed 6 Jun, 2007 02:01 pm
I am a Home Improvement Contractor.
I have an established contract with a landlord to remodel one of 3 apartments in a building. As a part of that work, I am to remove the kitchen appliances (Fridge, Range, dishwasher) and cabnits and replaced them with new applicance and cabinets that the landlord will provide.
The contract stipulates that the applicances and cabinets being removed come into my possession as partial compensation for the work being done. (i.e. I reduced my cash charge to them with the plan to sell the used appliances and cabinets and pocket the cash. At the same time the landlord doesn't get charged a disposal fee.)
Work was to (and did) commence this past Monday (June 4th). The landlord met me at the apartment and turned the keys over to me. There is one contract that the entire project is covered under it but the kitchen remodel is only a part of the work. Hardwood fllooring and painting will be done in other rooms as well.
The question is this: At what point are the cabinets and appliances legally mine? (there is no date or project benchmark mentioned in the contract.)
At the date work commenced?
The date the applicances/cabinets are uninstalled?
The date they are removed from the property?
The date the total contracted work is fully completed?
I plan on discussing this with the landlord but I don't want to be way off base here and ruffle any feathers. My intention was to uninstall them all, advertise them for sale and store them in the apartment while I am working there until they are sold or, if the work is completed before they sell, remove them to my own storage area and sell them from there.
If they aren't legally mine to sell untill all of the work is completed it throws my plan out the window. Hence the question...
Whether or not legal title passes to you the moment that you enter into the contract, I think you have a legal interest in the cabinets and appliances the moment that the parties enter into the contract.
Since the parties intend for you to remove and sell the cabinets and appliances, I'd say that they undoubtedly belong to you once you remove them. Before that, I'm not sure.