We are getting ready to close a residential transaction in which the seller will remain in the property for 30 days after closing under the terms of a Seller's Temporary Residential Lease (TAR 1910, TREC 15-3) attached to the contract. Is the buyer entitled to a set of keys to the property at the time of closing?
Yes. At closing, the buyer becomes the owner of the property and is entitled to all of the rights of ownership, which include the keys to the property. However, the buyer's right to occupy the property is subject to the seller's right to occupy the property in accordance with the temporary lease.
The temporary lease states that the landlord/buyer/owner may enter the property at reasonable times to inspect the property. Possession of keys to the property may be necessary for the buyer to exercise that right without interference by the seller, as long as the entry is at reasonable times. Thus, the language of the TREC contracts, custom and practice, rights of ownership, and a landlord's duties and rights under Chapter 92 of the Property Code all indicate that the landlord/new owner is entitled to maintain keys to the property.