‘Vacant Possesion’? It’s an obligation!

These blog posts are like buses….

So, why on earth is there a blog post about vacant possession?

Well, this is the story of the lovely Ms Bates who moved last Friday, or at least should have moved last Friday, however they only managed half of the job……

When you sell your home you sign a contract to actually sell the house, and within this contract the price is set, the day is set, and alongside many other things, the time is set. A small fact often overlooked, partly because it seems to us that the vast majority of estate agents and solicitors cannot actually be bothered to explain to their client the legal obligations upon them.

Your contract is from you. It is your set of obligations and you agree to provide vacant possession by the time set within that contract.

More often than not this time is set at 13:00.

Back to one of our most lovely customers ever – Ms Bates.

In typically happy fashion,we had Ms Bates moved from her home circa half twelve, and then went across to the new house.

Funds were on their way, and also in typical (slow) fashion Ms Bates was given the all clear to move in to her new home at about 15:00.

Slight problem however;

Now at this point the owner of Ms Bates’ new home is indeed Ms Bates.  She has paid for it, and taken title.  It’s her house.  Nobody else has a right to be there.

Yet the previous occupant hadn’t finished moving out. He had appointed a cheap cowboy outfit who turned up with a couple of Luton vans, and once loaded they had to wait for the key release to a property 30 minutes away, before being able to unload and come back for another 3 loads…..

At 16:30, and with Ms Bates’ new home still half full of the previous occupants stuff, she, in tears realised that without spare clothes, toothbrush, or anything else she was not going to be moving in that day.

Her solicitor, once informed, immediately started proceedings against her seller. The situation is clear cut, no argument, no debate. Her seller failed to comply with the contract he signed.  He remained in occupation of a home that wasn’t his.

He has no defence, and Ms Bates is rightfully launching proceedings against him to recover her additional costs which, in total, will amount to way more than the difference in cost between hiring a cowboy removal firm (or doing it yourself) and hiring a professional firm of removers.

So, how bad was it?

How bad you think it might be? Let’s have a look at how Ms Bates’ new home was handed over to her:

Every room still had things strewn all over the floor, the home was filthy. The garage and garden were still full. The conservatory was still full.....

We left out the photo showing the hairs in the bath………seriously……..

Has your EA or Solicitor explained your actual obligations to you, and of course the obligations of the people you are buying from?

If not, why not?

Happy Moving


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