Buying a Home : Seller's responsibility to remove junk



The Standard Contract of Purchase and Sale does not contain any specific provision requiring a Seller to clean or remove unwanted items from a property on or by any certain date.  While most Sellers are respectful and motivated to remove their personal belongings from their property prior to the Possession Date, there are certainly instances when Seller’s simply leave the property in an unclean state with garbage and other refuse remaining on the property.  Case law may only require that a property be empty of chattels where these would substantially prevent or interfere with the enjoyment of the right of possession over a substantial part of the property. 


In order to ensure Sellers remove unwanted items and leave the property in a clean state, we would suggest the following clause be considered in addition to the Standard Contract of Purchase and Sale:


“The Seller warrants that they will remove all refuse and chattels from the Property (other than included items set forth in clause 7) before the Possession Date and they will leave the Property in a reasonably clean condition. The Seller will indemnify the Buyer for any costs that result from a breach of the foregoing provision.”


Of course, in some cases where a potential problem is foreseeable regarding this issue, then you may also want to consider a holdback provision as further security.


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