HOUSE sellers that leave their properties dirty should face forking out up to £10,000 in compensation to the buyers, claims a leading law firm.
Including “clean and tidy” clauses in contracts would mean that buyers could sue sellers if a property wasn’t handed over in a fit state.
Getty – Contributor Sellers could be sued for leaving behind unwanted furniture
These types of clauses already feature in rental agreements, but now Gorvins’ solicitors feels they should be added to completion contracts too to protect buyers when they move in.
Items left behind by sellers that aren’t included in the contracts, such as broken furniture or bags of rubbish, can “cost buyers a lot of money” to get rid of.
Animal faeces, an urn, rotten food in the fridge and even a dog tied up outside are just some of the things left behind for buyers to pick up the pieces of in their new homes on moving day, the law firm warned.
In one case seen by the company, new homeowners arrived only to find the seller on the sofa eating dinner in pyjamas because they thought they had “a week or so” to move out after completing.
Getty – Contributor Sellers that leave properties in a state should face paying compensation of up to £10,000, a law firm has warned
Kerry Sharples, deputy head of residential property conveyancing at the firm, said that including the clause would see a sum of money held until after completion.
It will only handed over to the buyer after it’s clear that all of the sellers possessions have been removed from the property.
If the seller refuses to take them away or pay for their removal, buyers would then be able to take them to a small claims court where they could be awarded up to £10,000 compensation.
“Many people assume that simply moving out of your property on completion, with your furniture and personal possessions is adequate and see no problem with leaving rubbish in the shed,” said Kerry.
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“Having a clean and tidy retention clause would help enormously. But in the absence of such a clause on your contract it’s advisable to re-visit the property just before you agree exchange of contracts, you should make sure that your conveyancer has confirmed that the property, including its outbuildings and loft spaces, will be vacant and
“Just beware that not everyone’s definition of “clean” will be the same.”
Sometimes, house buyers ask the sellers to leave bits of furniture behind, like first-time buyer Tom Zarb, 25, from Leicester.
He bought his £210,000 home probate which means the previous owner had died, but he paid the family £50 to leave behind furniture to help him out with the cost of moving.
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