The day I moved into my new home the keys were missing to the detached garage. The Vendor’s Solicitor has now produced the key and I have found the garage is full of rubbish left by the previous owner. I will need to hire a skip to dispose of it all. Can I send the previous owner the bill for this?
Sadly, this is far too common an occurrence. It is my firm’s standard procedure to raise a specific preliminary enquiry in the conveyancing process to establish that all keys will be made available to all doors and, indeed, windows for this very purpose. Far too often garages are left without a key, but full of rubbish.
If the query had been raised then any missing keys would have to be replaced and most importantly the Buyer would have the opportunity to inspect all parts of the property prior to exchange of contracts thus ensuring that there are no such surprises in store for you on completion.
Another important question to raise in the preliminary stages is to obtain the Vendor’s confirmation that all rubbish will be removed from all parts of the property. In such circumstances should you find the garage full of rubbish following completion it would be entirely correct for you to look to your Seller to reimburse you for the costs of disposing of all rubbish left by the Seller.
It is essential you ensure that you inspect all parts of the property prior to exchange of contracts and that you establish keys are available for all doors and windows. If the Seller intends to leave items at the property then ensure that these are of value and benefit to you rather than your being left with the privilege of disposing of their rubbish.