When we moved into a home we had recently purchased, we were surprised to find a space left in the kitchen where the dishwasher should have been. We presume the previous owners must have taken it with them! The agent and owners solicitor say it wasn’t included in the contract, but we feel sure it should be ours. What should we do?
A. Unfortunately there is little you can do now – with the purchase completed and the contract settled, you have little opportunity for recourse. The time for action has passed.
As the agent has probably explained, unless items like dishwashers and window furnishings are specifically noted on the contract of sale as an inclusion, then the former owners are entitled to take such items with them.
Your experience highlights the importance of checking the contract thoroughly before you sign it and the value of a pre-settlement inspection.
Did you visit the home prior to settlement? Purchasers are entitled to inspect the home before completing the purchase so they can check the condition of the property and that all the inclusions specified in the contract are present.
A pre-settlement inspection should ideally take place on the morning of settlement, as close to the time of settlement as is practical and preferably when the previous occupants have vacated the property.
Prior to settlement, should a purchaser discover that items noted in the contract as inclusions are missing, there is an opportunity at this time to hold back the final payment and to arrange for any problems to be quickly rectified. This is the time you can take action and will have some influence on the ability to right any wrongs. The same applies for any damage to the property or rubbish left behind.
Unfortunately, with the contract settled, you’ve missed the opportunity to take action.
Answers are general comment, and readers should always seek their own independent professional advice.
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Greg Trembath is Principal/Licensee at
Greg Trembath Real Estate.
Licensed Real Estate Agent – Licensed Auctioneer.