The day we moved into our new house the sellers clearly damaged the banisters and front door during the course of removing their furniture from the property. Can I insist that they pay for the damage?
Any wilful damage caused to a property between exchange and completion will be the responsibility of the seller. However, it is often difficult to prove that this damage is recent, or indeed that it has been caused in the process of the seller removing his furniture from the property.
A dispute can arise if the seller claims that this damage existed at the time of your initial viewing of the property or, more particularly, at the date on which you exchanged contracts and committed yourself to the purchase.
You may well have to call upon the assistance and co-operation of the Selling Agent who may be able to confirm that the damage was recent as he is likely to have conducted previous viewings and be aware of any recent damage.
Ultimately it is your word against your seller’s and you are relying upon your seller being honest. You would be advised to photograph the damage and ask the seller to compensate you for the cost of repairing it.