There are several issues that arise following the vendors vacating a property including: pieces of furniture hiding stained carpets or damaged walls, appliances not working, or vendors removing items that the purchaser has assumed were to be left behind.
It’s important to know what to look for, what is expected, and what happens following the inspection if there are issues.
A common bugbear for purchasers is the cleanliness of the home following settlement. Whilst it is acknowledged that the vendor does have certain obligations, there is no general obligation on the vendors that the house is to be delivered in a clean and tidy state despite that it might be what a proper and decent person would usually do. In an ideal world, the purchaser will complete this inspection a couple of days prior to settlement. It is at this time where they will check that the property has not been damaged by the vendor or tenants moving, as well as various appliances and chattels all being in reasonable working order should they form part of the agreement. This includes items such as: heat pumps, ovens, garage door openers, and anything else included in the agreement for sale and purchase. It is at this time that should any defect or issue be identified that the purchaser is able to request that this be remedied.
Should a defect or issue be found, there is often two ways that this can be dealt with, either requiring the vendor to fix the issue, whether it be a broken window or a heat pump not blowing hot air, or reduce the price in accordance with any defect.
It is important that everybody understands that if a defect or issue is noted at the time of signing the agreement, that conditions to rectify the defect or issue are included in the agreement for sale and purchase. This includes ensuring the property is clean, tidy, and clear of all rubbish, or the oven being cleaned prior to settlement. We have prepared a pre-settlement checklist for when you carry out your pre-settlement inspection. These are general things to check.
1. Vacant Possession - unless the property is being sold tenanted, the vendor is required to give the purchaser vacant possession. This means ensuring that the vendors have actually vacated the property.
2. General condition of the property – Considering the condition of the property when you agreed to purchase it, is the property in the same general condition?
3. Chattels present and working – ensure floor coverings, window coverings, any stove, oven, or any other chattel listed as being part of the purchase is checked as present and working. It should be noted that the chattels are not required to be clean, however they are required to be in working order.
4. Any additional repairs, maintenance, or other agreed terms – should the agreement contain any other further terms for maintenance, repairs, or cleaning be completed prior to settlement, ensure that these works have been completed.
5. No new damage – during the moving process, it’s not uncommon for damage to be caused. You should also check that no new holes in walls or doors have appeared.
Should any issues or problems be discovered during your pre-settlement inspection, it is absolutely paramount that you contact your lawyer to discuss this and obtain the right advice on how to proceed.
Get in contact with us today to discuss purchasing your next home.