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Cohen v. Kranz

Court of Appeals of New York
189 N.E.2d 473 (1963)


Sarah Cohen (plaintiff) contracted to purchase a home owned by the Kranzes (defendants), putting down $4,000 at the signing of the contract. A closing date of December 15 was established. On November 30, Cohen’s attorney sent a letter to the Kranzes asserting that title to the property was unmarketable because of unspecified faults with the premises. He demanded that the Kranzes pay Cohen or risk legal proceedings. On December 15, Cohen’s attorney demanded return of Cohen’s down payment. The Kranzes refused. Neither party proceeded with the requirements to close. Cohen filed suit against the Kranzes for return of her deposit and the cost of the title search. The Kranzes countersued for breach of contract. They then sold the property at a lower price to a different buyer. Not until the lawsuit was filed were the specific objections to the Kranzes’ title disclosed: the swimming pool lacked a certificate of occupancy, and a fence extended beyond the front property line. The trial court found in favor of Cohen, and the Kranzes appealed. The New York Appellate Division reversed the trial court judgment, and Cohen appealed.

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