Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Can We Force Seller to Clear Up This Mess?

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Can We Force Seller to Clear Up This Mess?

Article excerpt

Byline: Fiona McNulty OUR LAWYER ANSWERS YOUR QUESTIONS

QMY PARTNER and I have just bought our first house. We moved in and quickly realised it was in a disgusting state. We have been cleaning it for nearly a week. We asked for the furniture to be removed but most of it is still here and we've found a compost bin in the garden overflowing with dog poo. We have asked the seller to remove it but he has refused. What can we do? Please help.

ABEFORE exchange of contracts your solicitor should have received a completed Property Information Form from the seller's solicitor in which the seller should have confirmed that all rubbish would be removed and that the property would be left in a clean and tidy condition on completion.

Generally a contract for the sale of residential property provides for vacant possession on completion, ie the property should be unoccupied and empty of all contents apart from any which the parties have agreed should remain. Instruct the solicitor who acted for you on the purchase to contact the seller's solicitors and request that the seller removes the items left behind forthwith and explain that if they do not do so, you will arrange disposal of the items and will look to their client to pay for the cost, and also for the cost of cleaning. The solicitors will be obliged to pass this correspondence on to their client. If that fails, you could issue a claim in the small claims court against the seller to try to recover your costs -- assuming the costs will be under PS10,000. You will need the seller's new address, which their solicitors should not divulge without their client's permission.

If there were selling agents, see if they are prepared to contact the seller directly to try to resolve the situation.

QMY DAUGHTER is about to go into her second year at university and plans to rent a student house from a private landlord with three other girls. Neither my daughter nor I have ever been involved with renting a property before. …

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