Dirty home

Seller Didn’t Clean the House and Left it Filthy – What to Do Next

What this article covers

  • Legal obligation of sellers when it comes to cleanliness of home
  • How to approach the solicitor and estate agent

Unfortunately, this happens far too often for it to be considered an isolated incident. Home buyers like yourself might find yourself in a situation where the seller leaves the house in a filthy state. General cleaning is expected whenever you move to a new home but it shouldn’t be to a point where the house is barely livable (unless this was accounted for as part of the purchase). Here are some options you might have at your disposable.

Cleaning Before completion

You checked the house a few days before completion and noticed it being in a dirty state. Things can get hectic as you edge closer to completion and moving day but that shouldn’t be an excuse for the seller to leave the house with a pile of rubbish! Your best bet is to relay a message to the seller through the solicitors and see if they would agree to the disposal of the rubbish and leftover materials.

Check the contract

Your seller might have a legal obligation to remove and clean up certain fixtures based on the agreement set in documents such as the fixture and fitting form. The law society property information form also has a checkbox in section 14 (transaction information) where the seller has to state whether all rubbish will be removed from the property. This includes rubbish in the loft, garden, and outbuildings.

Do the cleaning yourself

The unfortunate reality is that the seller won’t have a legal obligation to have the house cleaned unless this was agreed to by the seller before completion. Common decency doesn’t always prevail. While it is frustrating, you may be better off cleaning yourself or arranging for a deep cleaning service, especially if the sellers haven’t been responsive since you enquired about the rubbish and filth.

Published on | Last updated on 09/30/2023

Share your thoughts

  • Beth Says:

    Feel like property cleaning has to be a legal requirement on completion!! The house we bought was left with a layer of dirt all over!