Purchased a Property, Went to Final Inspection and Blinds Have Been Taken?

The blinds were taken from every room and there was also a very bad smell. The COS included fixtures and fittings.

They told the real estate agent they are allowed to take what they want and if I’m not happy I can cancel the settlement and get my deposit back.

What would you do?

Update - we are keeping 5k (maximum in Vic) in the trust account and solicitor will send out a letter demanding the blinds back after settlement. Apparently even if the house was burnt down I still had to settle or else I would lose my deposit and pay penalty interest…what the helll?!

Comments

  • +11

    Your solicitor should issue them a letter to return the property to its previous state. It does not need to stop settlement, they are calling your bluff.

    • Do you think this would be part of the fixed conveyancing cost? If his going to charge me 1k for a letter I might as well just buy new blinds.

      • +4

        We purchased a house and did a final inspection. The vendor had removed things like a pet door and power point covers. Our solicitor wrote a letter demanding the return of the items. We did not pay extra for this as it is part of the reason you pay them in the first place.
        It was a messy divorce case and the ex wife thought we might decide not to settle if she made it difficult enough for us. She did not want to move out.

        • +1

          Powerpoint covers? wtf!

        • +1

          @MrBear: Yep. When we first inspected the property she was smoking inside and had left foul smelling pet food out. She really did not want the property to sell. Unfortunately, she had no choice. The property was owned by her and her ex and he wanted it sold, she couldn't afford to buy him out. I guess she figured she would make it as difficult as possible to sell. The real estate was really unhappy with her behaviour and at one point I overheard an argument between the real estate and her when I was in the real estate office for another reason.
          Thankfully, because of the issues it meant we got a reasonable deal on the property as I assume her nonsense deterred other potential purchasers.

      • You have to be careful. I even verified with my conveyancer that they offer a fixed price service, but in the agreement they specify fees for taking phone calls, handling correspondence etc.

        When you expect them to act, they ask you to give them clear instructions, and I'm pretty sure it was going to be an extra charge on the bill. I didn't even ask, because I was afraid of a charge for answering my question.

        I told my wife we need to stop using budget conveyancers. I reckon I'm going to do my own settlement next time.

        I don't think they are ever clear on what they are willing to do for that fixed fee.

        We had lights not working (some bulbs, but 1 light fitting too), locks not working, missing keys. I tried to get conveyancer to act, but without invoking extra services, nothing was done, and we decided it's cheaper to replace items than pay lawyers.

        As is probably obvious, I have an issue with lawyers. I've just realised I must sound like Mr Burns from the Simpsons :)

  • I’d order some new blinds, and run the all the taps for a while, tip water into floor drains.

    • +1

      What does this achieve?

      • +2

        It could be a dead animal or some sort of sabotage, if there is a disgruntled ex occupant. The drains have traps in them that are full of water, this seals house from sewer, if property is vacant in warm weather the water evaporates. This is common in vacant holiday houses.

        • Sounds right..House was empty for a month and smelt like a sewage farm

  • was it a rental property?

    • Yes

      • were the tenants still living there when you purchased the property?

        • Yes but they moved out a month ago. I don’t think the tenants took the blindes as the vendor is admitting he took them.

  • Goods and chattel or fixtures and fittings? Check the section on goods in the contract of sale- are the blinds listed as exclusions?

    • Even said window furnishings actually!

      • If they are listed as exclusions they are entitled to take them.

        • Goods sold with the land: window furnishings

          Is one of them so the vendor clearly knows

        • @vicky88:

          So they couldn't take the blinds then. You should follow loulou1 advise above.

  • +24

    Were you…. blinded?

    • +1

      ?

      • +1

        Don't worry.. It's oz bargain style of pulling legs.. Lol.

        • +1

          Oh is that what that comment was about Pandora lock?

  • Since its a rental you would probably have to replace or wash the blinds before someone new moves in .

  • I would consider blinds a chattel so unless listed, they can take them

    http://www.findlaw.com.au/articles/4520/property-law-what-is...

    • Thanks I’ve confirmed above

  • I’d say you’re entitled to reduce the balance payment by the amount for the blinds. Talk to the lawyer doing your conveyance.

    • He said I could only sue after settlement. Sounds strange to me.

      • +2

        Because they haven't stolen anything till you own it.

        I'd be asking the lawyer if you can sue due for loss of income expenses ect if they ruin the contract on purpose.

        Alternately get a curtain mob out to quote, request the difference off the loan.

      • +1

        It might depend on the state.
        I believe in some state(s) you can withhold a portion of settlement monies til its rectified (or not)

        • Victoria? The solicitor couldn’t confirm.

      • Suing (actually going to court) would not be worth your while given the value of the blinds.

        • VCAT only costs about $80 to sue. I’ve decided I can’t be bothered and will just buy some on sale.

        • @vicky88:

          hiring a lawyer, taking time off work and if you get a favorable judgement, they can still refuse to pay and you will have to go back to court to get it enforced.

  • +1

    Maybe they have changed their minds about selling and wants you to be the one that initiates the termination of the contract.

    • This is exactly what I thought which is strange as I paid top of the market at the time

      • Since they can terminate the contract at risk of severe financial penalty, it appears you have stumbled upon a secret immesurably more valuable than wealth alone.

        Look for any structural anomilies with the building; tell tale signs of secret passageways from time immemorium but beware, it appears you and the vendor are no longer the only parties who have chanced upon this cryptic find. You have made the mistake of leaving a slither of ancient illumination. Mysteries worth more than the dollar. Answers to questions we have long abandoned.

        Now that a crack in the vault of Pandora has propogated, it is only a matter of time before the race to that which must never be known commences.

        Tick tock.

  • Sounds like a job for bikies.

    Wait, did bikies take the blinds?

    • If they did, we'll send the other bikies around…

  • lol that you have to ask here & cant ask your conveyancer.

    • +1

      it isn't funny. I think it's a serious condition

  • +4

    I'd request the return & re-installation of the blinds within 7 days and notify the vendor an appropriate sum, say $1,000 will be withheld from settlement in the advent that this is not accomplished.
    I would note that I am not cancelling the settlement or reneging on the purchase and that should a dispute over the matter extend the time period before I can move into the premises that I will be undertaking legal action to complete the sale & recover additional costs in rent accrued from being required to remain in a second property beyond the appropriate settlement period.

    Reality is that they would be the party in breach of contract and in a civil case before a magistrate you would get the house & suitable costs.

    The vendors position is unreasonable & is reflected in their comment & breaking of the terms of sale. A magistrate will take notice of this.

    Call their bluff in this way and they will cave.

    Alternatively send a letter notifying that you will be releasing the entire funds for settlement but this should not be taken as acceptance of their breach of contract and that you will be pursuing them in claims court for the return of the blinds or cost of replacements. Then do just that.

    • Thank you, better said than my solicitor.

    • +2

      Definitely get a quote for new blinds to determine the appropriate sum, for a large house a full set could be several thousand $.

    • That's what I suggested my conveyancer do. They did nothing. I would have had to instruct them, at which point you have to do the maths as to what costs more, blinds or lawyers.

      Unless you have a good lawyer? I haven't met one of those.

    • This is all good in theory but does not reflect the law

  • +19

    It seems like an open and shut case to me, you've been robbed blind.

    • It SMELLS like an open and shut case to me, you've been robbed blind

      FTFY

  • +2

    Decent blinds are expensive. Definitely get a quote rather than naming a random amount.

    If the vendor is prepared to cancel settlement over them, that’s quite strange. Your solicitor should know the law well In this area. If you have a conveyancer instead they may not and it might be worth engaging a solicitor, depending of course on whether it’s worth it financially (you’ll know this once you have a quote).

    We had the vendor take the dishwasher prior to settlement. He played dumb and claimed he thought he could take it. Luckily (?) it was returned but it never worked properly and we had to replace it anyway.

  • The joy of buying Real Estate …

  • It is written on the contract (in Qld) that windows coverings are automatically included in sale unless otherwise specifically mentioned in special conditions.

    • +3

      But in Qld aren't all of the blinds faded by Daylight Savings?

      • yes, which is why most of us "professionals" have white blinds, the fading isn't as obvious

      • +1

        actually ours do not fade as we do not have daylight savings. Its the southern blinds that fade.

    • All of the houses I have sold or bought over the years have the stipulation that all window treatments (coverings) are INCLUDED in the sale of the property unless a exclusion is entered into the contract and that is signed off by BOTH parties. As mentioned above, call their bluff with a HUGE demand for replacement costs.

  • Seems strange, but would suggest you follow the advice of your conveyancer as (1) they are the experts in these matters and (2) I've read articles on similar scenarios that say that if you refuse to settle, particularly over what is ultimately a trivial issue (vs. the property overall), you can end up in a very bad position (loss of deposit, being sued for damages, etc.)

    Vendor sounds like a royal d!ckhead, but I would not suggest trying to back out of the purchase.

  • +1
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