Why are pre-settlement inspections encouraged

Marcie from Highland Park has asked a question…

[blockquote]”My son bought a house and when he went there after it had settled, the previous owners had taken the dishwasher and the curtains from the main bedroom, can they do that?”[/blockquote]

Marcie, I feel sorry for your son, he must have been devastated when he arrived at his new home, its such a huge event, buying your new home and to have such a disappointing start to the experience is gut wrenching. many a sale has been stalled at the 12th hour for this reason.


The first thing he needs to do is look at this sale contract, were these items excluded from the contract of sale, if they were not mentioned in the exclusions then he needs to go back to his solicitors and have a chat with them.

This issue your son has experienced is the major reason we encourage a pre settlement inspection a minimum of 24 hours prior to settlement which he was entitled to under the standard REIQ contract, more often than not, the vendor has moved out of the property and you can see what you are getting. If there are any issues they can be addressed prior to settlement by reserving rights against the seller or demanding the items be returned.

In the case of window coverings, light fittings and floor coverings, my understanding is under the standard REIQ contract they are always included unless there is an exclusion clause it is listed as an exclusion in the contract.

It is best that prior to signing the contract the list on included chattels be specific including a description of each item. It is not unknown to find an item has been substituted for an older model, so I can only suggest that buyers make sure the items are as you inspected, take note of makes and models of kitchen items, ask the agent if you can have permission to take some photos for your records and make notes of what you think is included, don’t assume, talk to the agent and clarify these points with him and the vendor. But, make sure you don’t plaster the photos all over Facebook or social media in your excitement as this may be a breach of privacy of the vendor.

Anything that is an exclusion is listed in the contract, again usually with make, model or any other information available to give a very good description, for example the curtains in a bedroom may be part of a bedding set and cannot be replaced, the item may be of sentimental value to the vendor and they want to include it in there new home. This is very common.

There are may be avenues of address for your son and would suggest starting with the solicitor or agent for the property but as the property has already settled your recourse may be limited and these can to achieve an outcome may be time consuming and costly.