The owner of a listing I shot two years ago is claiming that because they remodeled a home, the property rights of the photos of the home when it was in that stage belonged to them... This guy was saying I couldn’t/shouldn’t be able to sell photos from 2 years ago because he owned the property rights at the time when the photos were taken, even though he doesn’t own the property now.
Thats the first time I’ve ever heard anyone assert property rights based on the time frame they owned it. Especially a single family non-celebrity regular type home. There isn’t anything about the home that bears a trademark signature look or style, and it was unfurnished as well.
I'm not an attorney so this is not legal advice:
It seems like an easy way around this disagreement would be to just shoot the property again for the current listing agent.
I have to agree with you that the argument that he has some rights to the photos seems crazy. My guess is that when he signed the listing agreement and his listing agent hired you to shoot the photos, you ended up with all the rights; particularly if you have a licensing agreement with the listing agent (you have a written licensing agreement, don't you?).
However, since you don't have a property release for the original shoot, if you are not going to reshoot the property I would get the advice of an IP attorney.