Retain funds in property purchase

Discussion in 'Other/General Law Forum' started by JessieV, 16 June 2019.

  1. JessieV

    JessieV Member

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    Hi there,
    Just after some advice if possible.
    My parents are selling their property and the purchaser has insisted on withholding $5000 from the purchase price to ensure the property is adequately cleaned. She originally wanted to withhold $10,000 but has compromised at $5000. She asked for some items to be left which was agreed on. Some of those items she has since decided she doesn’t want and they need to be removed. This is a rural property in central Victoria, the house was built in 1861. Up until my parents moved out of the property the land was used to house various animals; dogs, horses, poultry, sheep, goats etc.
    Is she legally allowed to withhold funds and if so who has final say as to whether or not the property is “up to her standards”? She was overheard at one of her final inspections to say that she was hoping not to have to pay full price so it basically sounds like she wants to renegotiate the purchase price.
     
  2. Alert

    Alert Well-Known Member

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    You need to read the Sales contract before agreeing to sell, you may find the conveyancer has put that in the contract.
     
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  3. Alert

    Alert Well-Known Member

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    Read ‘special conditions’. Me personally, money should not be held for any sale. They should have offered less if they intend to hold an amount.
     
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  4. Alert

    Alert Well-Known Member

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    As to having a say in who suggests if the property is up to their standards, they should have a property inspection from a building consultant which they pay for.
     
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  5. Alert

    Alert Well-Known Member

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    Anyway the property should be left how it is presented to her. Of course clean, she will more than likely say, the property was left a mess and needed to spend $5000 for it to be cleaned. It is the purchasers way of getting the property $5000 less.
     
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  6. Rob Legat - SBPL

    LawTap Verified

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    You might also have the issue that if you parents have agreed to it, it may be considered a legitimate contract variation. I suggest your parents get a Victorian lawyer who practises in property law (if one isn't already acting) to review the contract and the terms of any contract amendments.

    I'm not sure on Victorian contract standards, but in Queensland there is no obligation to clean the property when selling.
     
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  7. Alert

    Alert Well-Known Member

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    I was thinking when cleaned was mentioned, here in Victoria you need to clean,
    for example: any old cars, it needs to be in the contract of anything you want left on the the property and apparently the house is old so the house could be dusty etc, the floors do have to be cleaned using the correct company who specifically clean floors. You do not need to spend extra money for a property lawyer, the conveyancer can do this.
     
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  8. Alert

    Alert Well-Known Member

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    Special conditions is what you need to be aware of. The purchaser does not have to agree with any ‘special conditions’ your parents may or may not have, at the same time the purchaser can add their own purchasing conditions that do not meet your parents Sales conditions. It really is not that hard to understand, I do suggest if you do not understand anything on the contract, contact the person/company who did the section 32s/vendor statement/sale of real estate, to help with any queries.
     
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  9. Rod

    Rod Lawyer
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    Cleaning is not mandatory. Just has to be in a similar state as when purchased.
     
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  10. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    $5000 sounds steep. Madness if it was a 1 bed appartment.
    BUT you mentioned it was a rural property. So water tanks? Septic or other grey water treatment?

    So personal experience - when I bought I realised one of the water tanks was poluted. It cost a lot to clean out / repair and cart water to replace. Wish I'd have done what this punter is proposing.

    Who decides clean? I'd have thought there would be some stipulation. So where I live I'm aware that one of the companies that do maintenance on septics are advertising on the radio and they are suggesting that when buying a property the buyer should stipulate as part of the sale that they want the owner to pay to have the septic system emptied and maintenace completed... I'd have thought this reasonable and a reciept from the mantenance company to show the work has been done would be the proof.

    I'd be wanting to make sure the rules about what 'clean' means are clearly stipulated. OR just refuse to the $5000 being witheld.
     
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