settlement Rubbish left behind

Discussion in 'Legal Issues' started by Elives, 2nd Jan, 2017.

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  1. Elives

    Elives Well-Known Member

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    Hi all,

    I've recently purchased a property and there was heaps of rubbish left behind at this property in the yard and under the house.(would need a lrg skip bin + 2 labourers allow 2x8 hr days) on final inspection the day before settlement i called my conveyancer and after i explained to her the amount of rubbish that was left behind she said that there was nothing i could do about it unless a clause was specifically put into the contract saying that there would be no rubbish left behind. i was to stressed at the time to bother about it i did end up negotiating with the re agent / vendor and got $500 back at settlement but i put the cost around 2k.

    i wasn't happy with the outcome and i'd like to get to the bottom of it so i thought i'd ask the question here if this is true? the purchase was in QLD standard contract terms.

    Cheers, Elives
     
  2. propinvest888

    propinvest888 Member

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    If the property has settled, not much you can do
     
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  3. Elives

    Elives Well-Known Member

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    i understand that haha, but just from a learning point i want to know for future purchases i always thought that the vendor was responsible for taking their rubbish with them and for the property to be left in good condition.
     
  4. Blacky

    Blacky Well-Known Member

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    What does the contract say?

    If the property was in poor condition at pre-settlement inspection this should have been raised. Settlement delayed or compensation for the clean up provided - which sounds like what happened.

    If you thought it was going to cost $2k why did you agree to $500. You should have either negotiated harder or delayed settlent till they had cleaned it up.

    Too late now.

    Blacky
     
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  5. Perthguy

    Perthguy Well-Known Member

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    How does @Elives stop this happening next time?

    I would guess a special condition in the contract?

    How about this?

    Put in 2 offers. First offer is as is. Second offer for a lower amount conditional on all rubbish being removed.

    @Elives, I once bought a house from a hoarder. Over a couple of years, I ordered free bins from Council (size of a small skip). I filled each bin with rubbish and junk from the yard, shed and house. By the end I had filled over 13 bins. But I got the property for a great price.

    I would want a discount if junk is left behind or if the junk is cleared then I would pay a higher price.

    If you go the clearing route it should be specified that the junk is cleared before settlement
     
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  6. Elives

    Elives Well-Known Member

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    The contract was just a standard contract no special conditions relating to the rubbish or a "as is" clause. like i've said above i'm aware it's to late now i've only started this thread to learn from it for future purchases.

    the vendor's were living in the property and had heaps of junk in under the queenslander etc and heaps of rubbish in backyard n front. i told the agent when i got there that i wasn't going to settle until the rubbish was cleaned up i later on found out from a phone call to my conveyancer that there was nothing i could do about the rubbish at all. which i thought was really strange and thats why i'm hear trying to get to the bottom of it. etc did my conveyancer give me bad advice or do you actually have to right into the contract that the vendor will take their rubbish with them?

    Cheers, Elives
     
    Last edited: 2nd Jan, 2017
  7. Elives

    Elives Well-Known Member

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    So it is the purchasers responsibility to put in a special condition? thats so weird i just figured when the vendor moves out they took there stuff with them / it was there responsibility to leave the house empty / clean. your free bins from the council sounds like a great idea idk if my council will offer it though haha. will have to find out.

    Cheers, Elives
     
  8. Kat

    Kat Well-Known Member

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    When we purchase we make a written offer which states that all rubbish is to be removed. We then ensure that it is included in the contract.

    We've found this approach to be successful.
     
  9. Marg4000

    Marg4000 Well-Known Member

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    So what did it actually cost you to remove?
    Marg
     
  10. Terry_w

    Terry_w Structuring Lawyer and Finance Broker - all states Business Member

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    This happened to me a few years ago. I just refused to settle until the rubbish was removed. (NSW). When a person has moved out you have a bit of leverage over them as their want their money quickly.

    Next time you should put into the contract the little extras that you want such as 'removing rubbish under the house'. Maybe that is a bit vague so you could be more specific - 'pile of wood' etc.
     
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  11. JacM

    JacM VIC Buyer's Agent - Melbourne, Geelong, Ballarat Business Member

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    Good thread with an annoying issue people often face at settlement.

    In this case I can see valid reasons to want to delay settlement, since $2k is not a small amount of cost. I'd have tried to haggle an adjustment closer to the $2k rather than $500 though. I'd have taken some photos of the debris on a mobile phone and sms-d them through to a handyman and requested a verbal quote for removal of the rubbish. That'd be the fastest way to deal with the issue and talk about a satisfactory adjustment figure. Ideally adjustment would be better (rather than altering the settlement date).

    Some people are decent, and some or not. Some consider it the done thing to clean the house, mow the lawn, have all rubbish removed, and give you all keys to the residence (after all, they have no need for the keys now, even though often by law they only have to give you one key to the residence). In contrast, others don't clean at all, and choose to leave things behind. Deceased estates in particular can be the kind where the beneficiaries receiving lots of free cash upon the sale of the property are rude enough to dig their heels in and refuse to tidy the place for settlement.

    On the one hand, you could refuse to settle until the issue is resolved. On the other, take a moment to determine what it will cost you to delay the settlement. For instance :

    • On a standard $300,000 mortgage with a mortgage interest rate of say 5%, it'll cost you circa $41 per day in mortgage interest (remember that by settlement day, the bank has drawn settlement cheques already, so they'll be charging you mortgage interest from the intended day of settlement, not the revised date).
    • Depending on your agreement with your solicitor/conveyancer, there may be additional fees associated with writing to the other side and hounding them to clean the place up.
    • As rude as it is for someone to leave a place unclean or lawns untidy or some rubbish onsite, you can probably get a lawn mowed for about $30... it is often not worth delaying settlement for such a small thing. Crockery in cupboards can be boxed up and delivered to the nearest Second-Hand shop. Some residences have a free green bin so if you can get your lawns mowed, then the disposal of waste is free. Also you've often you've got at least one clear "bin night" to clear your site of debris using the standard kerb-side bin collection from the residence.
    • You might already have a tenant lined up to move in and won't want to compromise move-in date by arguing about small amounts of cleaning or gardening.
    • Some councils have free "hard and green waste collections" from site. In advance of settlement, call council and ask. That way if some rubbish is left behind, you could shift it to the naturestrip and council can come and take it away for free.
    Sometimes it is necessary to cop it on the chin, particularly if your settlement was on a Friday (and thus it'll be at least till the Monday before another attempt at settlement can be had), just before a series of public holidays (such as Christmas or Easter) or you have tenants about to move in, or you have a series of tradies lined up to start a renovation for you and time is sensitive to the process.
     
    Last edited: 2nd Jan, 2017
  12. Elives

    Elives Well-Known Member

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    I haven't gotten rid of the rubbish yet i've estimated around 2k.

    Cheers, Elives
     
  13. Elives

    Elives Well-Known Member

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    i see but i was under the impression if i didn't settle i would then have to start paying the vendors solicitors once off fee 400-800 and default interest? as i'm in the wrong for delaying settlement. what i'm trying to gather from this thread is if my conveyancer was correct in saying that legally there was nothing i could do about the rubbish. or if i was legally entitled to delay settlement until the rubbish was cleaned up.

    Cheers, Elives
     
  14. TMNT

    TMNT Well-Known Member

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    this reminded me of a settlement I had a few years ago,
    we had arranged for early settlement (maybe about 1-2 weeks) widow vendor
    we negotiated a slightly lower price after agreeing due to soemthing they had done

    however they denied access until settlement,
    my agent and lawyer said, theyre in the wrong, but what can you do and what wil it achieve.......

    they were right
     
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  15. Elives

    Elives Well-Known Member

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    Hi Jac,

    I did take photos but after leaving final inspection i called my conveyancer who said there was nothing i could do about it unless it was specified in the contract :s it was on a friday so i just decided to take it on the chin. Thanks for your council idea i'll give them a call tomorrow and find out what skip bin / kerbside services they offer.

    Cheers, Elives
     
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  16. Marg4000

    Marg4000 Well-Known Member

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    If it is Brisbane city council you will have a weekly general rubbish collection from the wheelie bin. Fortnightly recycle bin. Optional and extra cost green bin for garden and lawn clippings, fortnightly. Should be two wheelie bins at house, one olive green with same colour or red lid fir general rubbish, one with yellow lid for recycles. If bins missing, ring council.

    There are 6 monthly kerbside clean up dates, but you cannot put out rubbish till the week before. The council can tell you when your street is due for its next pick up. Or check their website.
    Marg
     
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  17. JenW

    JenW Well-Known Member

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    We bought a house a couple of years ago from a hoarder and his family. While the house had almost random stuff throughout (newspapers, books, toys, everything under the sun) the backyard was/is chock a block with car stuff - he's a past president of one of the car clubs, and probably owns multiple parts of every model ever made :eek:

    Anyhow, we got around it by agreeing in the contract of sale to opening a joint account in all four names and $15K to be put in there (of their money, from settlement), for the purposes of removing any stuff that remains after they move out (they are renting back from us indefinitely, while they look around for a suitable place to buy). Any money to be withdrawn from the account for the cost aspect will need to be agreed etc, and once they've moved out and costs covered, we'll close the account, and the balance will go to them.

    It's a workable solution for us, and it was the only way my hubby would consider putting in an offer on the property, given the condition it was in.
     
  18. JacM

    JacM VIC Buyer's Agent - Melbourne, Geelong, Ballarat Business Member

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    Other ideas :
    • There are often organisations that will come and take anything metallic away for free (they melt it down and make other things with it I presume).
    • Often organisations such as "The Mens' Shed" will take non-functional appliances away for free (or you drop it off to them). I believe that a lot of their members are ex-tradespeople and enjoy tinkering getting things back into working order and they re-sell them I presume.
    • If there is a lot of green waste, try finding a local lawn-mowing and gardener that has invested in a mulcher/chipper. They might happily take your green waste away for free. They will turn it into mulch and they'll sell the mulch to someone.
    • Speak to the neighbours and explain your dilemma. Ask if, come bin night, their bins are not full, if they'd mind if you pop a few items in their bins. Most people will be quite happy that you were courteous enough to ask rather than just doing it without asking. Who knows... you might come across someone in the trades that has a cheaper/free way of disposing of certain kinds of waste and may offer to help you out.
     
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  19. Westminster

    Westminster Tigress at Tiger Developments Business Member

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    I can only talk about my state (WA) but our standard contract is that you are only buying the Fixtures and Fittings and unless stated nothing else is included in the sale - you can choose to nominate and ask to keep various things like the curtains but technically they aren't usually part of the sale (many tears have happened over window furnishings!)
    Keeping money back isn't a done thing here though as our settlement period has a 3 days grace and you at aren't fault if you haven't settled due to them not clearing up

    I think in future the lesson from this one would be that you should write your expectations very clearly in the contract so that everyone is aware. Some sellers aren't aware of their responsibilitiles and some buyers aren't either.
     
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  20. JacM

    JacM VIC Buyer's Agent - Melbourne, Geelong, Ballarat Business Member

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    Also check with your local tip (aka refuse centre). Some items can be disposed of without charge.