Friday, September 30, 2011

What the vendor leaves behind....

A recurring problem between vendors and purchasers is reaching an agreement on what is or is not included in the sale of a property - in terms of furniture, fixtures and fittings that are not strictly part of the building fabric.

Over the years, vendors have been accustomed to removing virtually anything that could be unscrwed - from light fittings to door furniture - to the surprise and chagrin of the buyer when he took over the property. As a result, some  notaires are now insisting that an explicit list of contents is drawn up and agreed by all parties, at the time of signing the compromis de vente (pre-sale contract). Sometimes in the case of a house that is sold empty and uninhabited, the notaire will include an 'indicative' list of what must not be removed by the vendors, without explicit consent of the buyer, between the signature of the compromis de vente and the acte finale.

It is advisable for buyers to re-visit the property shortly before completion in order to verify that the property has remained in the 'state it was at the time of signing the compromis de vente' as in signing the acte finale the buyer agres to accept the property 'as is' and has no further recourse against the vendor.

These general rules also cover issues like make alterations or changing the decor between signature of the initial and final sales contracts.