Headshot of Suzanne Hindmarsh - Conveyancer at Everingham Solomons TamworthWhen buying a property you need to ascertain if the property is vacant possession or tenanted.  If you want to live in the property, you will require the contract to stipulate vacant possession.

What is vacant possession?

Vacant possession refers to the exclusive use of the property, free from any tenancy or any physical impediment preventing the purchaser from enjoyment of the property. This requires the property to be free of chattels such as furniture, any rubbish or personal items at the time of completion.

If at the initial inspection of the property there is significant rubbish on the property, we recommend a special condition be inserted in the contract before the parties sign the contract requiring the seller to remove any rubbish before settlement.

For a majority of contracts, the seller is obligated to provide vacant possession on completion. This requires the seller, on or before completion of the contract (settlement day), to remove any items not included in the sale of the property.  If items of furniture, rubbish or personal property not included in the contract remains on the property, vacant possession has not been provided.

A final inspection by the purchaser, in the presence of the real estate agent, prior to the completion is required to ensure no undesired items are left behind. This allows the seller another opportunity to remove these items prior to completion.  If these items are not removed, the purchaser’s options can include:-

  • Refusing to complete the contract
  • Negotiate to retain a percentage of the deposit to cover the cost of removal of unwanted items; or
  • Commence legal proceedings to recover damages

Remember, as a purchaser you do not want any surprises after completing the contract and paying the full purchase price.

At Everingham Solomons, we can provide you with advice to assist in the smooth running of your conveyancing transaction because Helping You is Our Business.

Click here for more information on Suzanne Hindmarsh.