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To ask for house keys a few days early to clean?

(92 Posts)
AliceRR Mon 18-Mar-19 12:50:20

We exchanged on a purchase on Friday 15th and due to complete on Friday 22nd.

The house we are buying is a deceased estate so is empty and it seems they have moved the furniture and everything out.

DH got garage keys on Saturday so we could start moving in our belongings in there so we don’t have to do it all on Friday. It didn’t occur to him to ask for house keys
🏡 🔑 The garage is however large and very clean so we moved half of our stuff into the garage over the weekend.

I’ve now asked if we can have the house keys as I would like to give the house a good clean before Friday if possible. Estate Agent seemed to think it would be fine but said I had to go through the solicitors and he said he would ask.

Is getting the keys before completion (but after exchange) unusual? I don’t know what the “done” thing is but would have thought it’s fine if house is empty and we sign undertakings to insure etc.

We do plan to replace everything (including kitchen and bathroom) but I want to be satisfied everything is clean before I move in and it’s easier before furniture is in there. I might even try to clean the carpets properly. I’ve got a steam cleaner but not sure that will work very well so might need to hire a carpet cleaner.

Any advice on cleaning carpets / a new house welcome too 😀 (I’m particularly concerned about the bathroom and kitchen. They don’t look dirty but not v nice and obviously those areas need a bit of care to be hygienic)

TIA

backagainyetagain Mon 18-Mar-19 12:53:46

I am surprised they would even give you the garage keys before the completion date let alone the keys to the house . It’s very unusual.

TheRedFox Mon 18-Mar-19 12:54:01

Hi @AliceRR

It is unusual because although you have paid a deposit, you don't yet own the property. And although unusual, there are sometimes problems with completion which, if you have keys and therefore access to the property, could lead to a legally difficult situation.

Perhaps a good compromise would be to ask the owners to allow access to your cleaners on an agreed date? That way they don't have to give you a set of keys or access, which is what I would object to in the circumstances.

Hope this helps and good luck with the move.

Flobochin Mon 18-Mar-19 12:54:04

It's not usual to get the keys until you complete.

househelppls Mon 18-Mar-19 12:55:01

We did under the same circumstances, our solicitor prepared a key undertaking which we and the vendors signed. It said what we could and couldn’t do, we weren’t allowed to start moving anything in but we were allowed to start redecorating

BeGoodTanya Mon 18-Mar-19 12:55:57

You don't own the property yet, so you don't get the keys. Whether it's empty or not is irrelevant. hmm

Redglitter Mon 18-Mar-19 12:56:01

I would have said it's very unusual to get keys before completion. I'm surprised it's even being considered

AliceRR Mon 18-Mar-19 12:56:09

I am surprised they would even give you the garage keys before the completion date let alone the keys to the house . It’s very unusual.

Really? Maybe that is why DH only asked for garage keys. We did have to sign undertakings to confirm we have insured the property, wouldn’t do damage, would remove everything if the sale didn’t proceed...

The EA said she didn’t think it would be a problem but I’m just new to this. DH and I own our house now but he already had it and I moved in so I haven’t done this before!

Re house keys I even said if they’d let us have them for the day eg pick up in morning and the drop off to EA before they close I’d that helps...

thecatsthecats Mon 18-Mar-19 12:58:00

Sounds like they've been very accommodating already, unfortunately.

It's entirely standard not to get keys until everything else is signed off and the chain is complete. We were at the bottom of a short chain and didn't get our keys until 4pm on Completion day.

You're at the top, I presume? And you already have the garage, and that was left nice and clean for you... you should be fine!

FiveLittlePigs Mon 18-Mar-19 12:58:02

We did the same, so did our buyers and our vendors with the house they were moving to. The solicitors sorted it all out between them.

Musicalstatues Mon 18-Mar-19 12:58:40

We moved at the start of the year into a house that was empty and the vendor very kindly agreed to let us have early access. We had a document drawn up by the solicitors and also offered the vendor £200 to let us do this and he was fine with it. It was a lifesaver frankly!
I don’t think it’s common at all but not impossible.

AliceRR Mon 18-Mar-19 12:59:10

We did under the same circumstances, our solicitor prepared a key undertaking which we and the vendors signed. It said what we could and couldn’t do, we weren’t allowed to start moving anything in but we were allowed to start redecorating

We signed a key undertaking for garage so would expect to do the same if they allowed this and it would only be a couple of days before.

Perhaps a good compromise would be to ask the owners to allow access to your cleaners on an agreed date? That way they don't have to give you a set of keys or access, which is what I would object to in the circumstances.

This is a really good idea If they say no to giving us keys (which I have already asked sol to try to get)

I realise we don’t own the property and they don’t have to agree. Just asking what is usually done as I don’t know how common it is.

Notcontent Mon 18-Mar-19 13:01:44

As other people have pointed out, the problem is that the handing over of keys amounts to giving you possession of the property before you own it. From a seller’s point of view, this is a really risky thing to do!

AliceRR Mon 18-Mar-19 13:01:54

You're at the top, I presume? And you already have the garage, and that was left nice and clean for you... you should be fine!

We have a sale to complete the same day but she is a FTB and then there is no chain at the other end as it is a deceased estate so it should be fairly straight forward but it hasn’t occurred to me we might not get keys til late in the day.

Yes it is good that we have access to the garage anyway as we’ve managed to do a lot of the moving and I am grateful for that.

Spiritinabody Mon 18-Mar-19 13:02:31

UABVU.
I am also selling an empty property and there is not a chance that I'll hand over the keys until the full property price is in my bank (but it is spotlessly clean).

Would you hand over your property keys before you've been paid for the property?

Jebuschristchocolatebar Mon 18-Mar-19 13:02:50

You don’t own the house until everything is signed so that’s where the issue might arise.

AliceRR Mon 18-Mar-19 13:03:47

Would you hand over your property keys before you've been paid for the property?

Yes if I wasn’t living in it and it was properly documented legally to ensure they had the risk but I could understand why you wouldn’t want to

Even if it was one day before it would help but I can understand them saying no

ChicCroissant Mon 18-Mar-19 13:04:53

I've never had the keys before I've paid for the house and yes, often after lunchtime on the day of completion. It is a pain to go and get them on the day of the move, I have handed keys to a property we were selling over a bit earlier but we were still in it so they couldn't move in!

Have you given your own buyer the keys to your home, OP?

backagainyetagain Mon 18-Mar-19 13:05:23

I know it seems like a good idea , you get a free clean house to move into on completion day . But if it was my property you were purchasing , I wouldn’t give you the keys even for a day . You could move in and refuse to complete and it could take me years and lots of cash to remove you regardless what you signed or promised a solicitor.

thecatneuterer Mon 18-Mar-19 13:06:39

I got the keys to one of my houses around two weeks before completion. It was a refurb, so was empty. The estate agent just handed me the keys after I suggested it could be handy - I don't actually know whether or not they checked with the vendor. It meant I was able to put up curtain rails and generally sort stuff out in my own time.

I've no idea how unusual that was.

bibbitybobbityyhat Mon 18-Mar-19 13:08:09

It's a nice idea but unfortunately conveyancing doesn't work like that, as pp have said.

Dunkling Mon 18-Mar-19 13:08:36

While it's not usual at all to get the keys pre completion, there is no harm in asking. One of our house purchases was a new build, and we wanted to install hardwood flooring... so much easier with an empty house, and they said yes.

meercat23 Mon 18-Mar-19 13:09:35

A family member of mine was ale to do this. The previous resident had a large dog and they allowed access for cleaning and carpet c;leaning the day before the move. Keys went back to the agent after the cleaning was done and picked up again the next day after completion. I. Think it was stipulated that nothing could be left in the house after cleaning.

They don't have to allow it though and I think many would not.

PurpleLilies Mon 18-Mar-19 13:10:25

We moved about 5 months ago into a property that was empty. The vendor kindly let us have the keys 3 days before completion so that we could start moving furniture across (he actually suggested it!). We just had to sign a key undertaking document that was prepared by our solicitor which outlined what we could / couldn’t do.

It was amazing to have those couple of days to move into the new house as we were also selling our old house so we had that house virtually empty on completion day and I was able to fully clean it ready for the new owner grin

Inliverpool1 Mon 18-Mar-19 13:11:30

I’d be asking for a professional clean before completing personally but it’s provably a bit late for that

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