I am having difficulties with something I've been trying to find an answer to on my own.

Person A purchased a house from person B. Person B had never lived in the house prior to person A purchasing it.

Person A found an expensive object inside the house.

Who has the best claim of possession to that object?

Is it that after selling, person B no longer has any rights towards the property, and so the item can be claimed by person A?


1 Answer 1


It depends

If the object is a fixture (something permanently attached to the land) or identified as being transferred with the land in the contract, it belongs to the buyer (A).

Otherwise, it belongs to the seller (B).

Unless it’s treasure.

  • It isnt clear that the treasure aspect changes the ownership question. The article states the finder must offer sale of the treasure to a museam or similar. This implies the finder owns it since you cant typically sell things you dont own. Surely if I find already owned treasure I cant be forced to sell it against the owner's will.
    – Matt
    May 9, 2021 at 23:23
  • @Matt treasure is, by definition, unowned.
    – Dale M
    May 10, 2021 at 2:07
  • That isnt clear from the wording I referred to at your link. You cant sell something you own. Therefore "finders keepers" seems to be in effect for treasure, with a caveat or two. Also, if you allow for a category of items which are owned be neither A nor B your answer doesnt address those items that are owned by nether A nor B and are not treasure.
    – Matt
    May 10, 2021 at 2:14

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