Seller breach of contract compensation. New home.(19 Posts)
Hi all, just looking for some advice. Have just last week completed on our house purchase. Fell in love with the house when we saw it and one of the key reasons being that it needed no work or redecoration to it. The property schedule and contracts stated that items to be left in the sale included a large fitted wardrobe in one of the bedrooms and fitted carpets throughout. When we arrived at the property after getting the keys we discovered that not only had the seller taken the fitted wardrobe, but that the carpets in TWO bedrooms had been cut around the wardrobes, leaving large areas of miss-matched carpets, resulting in them no longer being FITTED carpets. I am really peeved as we had only just gotten rid of 2 perfectly good wardrobes before we moved as we assumed we would no longer be needing them. I have contacted my solicitor who has been in touch with their solicitor and have had a response stating that the sellers had made an honest mistake when stating that the wardrobes would be left and that they are willing to offer us £200 by way of compensation and they would like to remind us that they had left behind a wardrobe in the master bedroom, a dishwasher, wine cooler and garden table and chairs free of charge! I don't mean to sound ungrateful but yes, they did leave a wardrobe in the master bedroom but it had no doors on it and I feel it was only left as it is up a very narrow staircase which they would have struggled to get it out. We already have our own dishwasher, a wine cooler really isn't of much use to myself and my hubby, and the garden furniture looks as though it would fall apart if anyone sat on it. Am I wrong in expecting a bit more by way
Am I wrong in expecting a bit more by way of compensation? We now have to fork out on carpeting 2 large bedrooms AND 2 new wardrobes! Not to mention that the walls behind the wardrobes hadn't been painted either so we will also have to redecorate. Any opinions muchly appreciated.
not a property lawyer but my advice would be get a reasonable (ie not top) quote for wardrobes and new carpet, perhaps halve and go back with that as the counter offer.
You need to get this settled quickly so you can enjoy your new home.
Get your solicitor to write back on the terms that you have set out. That the vendors had agreed to leave the wardrobes and as a result of their failure to adhere to the contract, you will incur costs.
1. Cost of new wardrobes
2. Cost of new carpets given that wardrobes have been removed
3. Redecoration costs
4. Legal costs in chasing them.
The solicitor should also set out that the dishwasher / wine cooler / garden furniture were also part of the contract (if they were) so are immaterial to any discussion (if they weren't, get the solicitor to set out that the vendors are welcome to collect them). In terms of the wardrobe in the master bedroom, I'd say they left it for their own convenience and they are again welcome to collect it if they so wish.
Get solicitor to say that if they don't adequately compensate you for the costs you will now incur, you will purchase new carpets and wardrobes and seek to recover your money via the small claims court.
Thank you for your comments. The dishwasher etc were not included in the contract and left apparently as a "goodwill" gesture, I agree more likely to be due to their own convenience (or to soften the blow about the wardrobes!) and I would be happy for the vendor to collect them. I have been getting quotes for carpets and wardrobes etc, nowhere near top end ones but as they are large rooms plus the cost of fitting (which would be discounted as I am friends a carpet fitter) is coming at around £175 per room. The wardrobes that we had gotten rid of, which match the rest of the bedroom furniture cost £150 each, so in total we will be £650 out of pocket due to their "honest error." I have passed my thoughts onto my solicitor so just waiting to hear back.
Will depend on the wording of the contract but I think you could be struggling with compensation for the carpets as this is consequential loss
These kinds of disputes can be difficult to resolve
I'd be charging them for the disposal of items they clearly couldn't be bothered to take to the tip.....
I wouldn't be upset as I wouldn't want someone else's carpets anyway...
I appreciate you are out of pocket. How about saying that if they will up the payment to, say, £500 and pay within 7 days you will accept that and take no further action?
Breach of contract, end of. The law is on your site. Tell them to stick the £250, you want the house as per contract, plus £250 for the stress.
Tell your solicitor to include the costs of getting their "goodwill" gestures disconnected and costs of removing them in his response.
Why did you not check when viewing that the carpets were cut around the wardrobes that were to be taken? I really don't think you'll get very far with that one.
scaryteacher it's not really something I would normally ask when viewing someones house, "excuse me but could you please move your wardrobes so that I can check the carpet goes all the way underneath?" The property description stated "fitted carpets" so I had no reason to think that they were a patch up job!
Realistically, if your solicitor wrote to the seller's solicitor to say that you would accept compensation of £200 plus the cost of removing the unwanted wardrobe, dishwasher, wine cooler garden furniture etc (you would need to produce receipts for the cost of removal to prove the amount requested) this is all you're likely to get. The rest is buyer beware.
It is usual for carpets to be cut around "fitted" wardrobes as the wardrobes need to be on solid flooring, however most people wouldn't take a fitted wardrobe with them when they move. Never heard of carpets being cut around a stand alone wardrobe though! Weird.
If you want to pursue additional compensation for the cost of purchasing new wardrobes and carpets, then you would need to go to the small claims court.
User It's exactly the kind of question to ask on a second viewing. I made a list of all the things I wanted to know, and jotted down the answers as I went around.
The carpets in your case are fitted, just not underneath the wardrobes.
OP - "fitted" does not mean "fitted but with a hole in" and I don't think its usual at all to check carpets under free standing wardrobes, that's a bit ridiculous scary.
Sending sympathy op. When I moved into my house I found 3 rooms where the carpet had been fitted around freestanding furniture(!) that they then took with them.
I couldn't afford to replace them so my rooms just looked a bit odd for quite a while.
I just accepted it but I really think you need to dig your heels in about this.
Just want to add that you could also claim for removal of the items left behind. They basically left "rubbish" that they didn't want as it wasn't in the contract. They have broken a legally binding contract so "an honest mistake" doesn't cut it and would never stand. Definitely don't let it drop.
Thanks all for your replies. I agree that it is normal for carpet to be cut around fitted furniture so that it can be placed on solid floor and had the fitted wardrobe been left as it was supposed to I wouldn't have a problem with this as I wouldn't have a massive strip of carpet missing. Scary the definition of a fitted carpet is wall to wall floor covering which covers a floor entirely. Carpets aside, I don't think their offer off £200 compensation is adequate anyway considering that contractually they had agreed to leave the fitted wardrobe, the sale went through and legally the wardrobe then belonged to me! I should add that this wardrobe was massive, around 4 meters in length completely covering the entire length of the room and would have cost 10x what they have offered as compensation. Also the contract stated that no fixture or fittings would be removed which would result in material or decorative damage.
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