Cleanliness on Closing


Client bought a house with a long six (6) month closing.

House was in great condition when the deal was signed.

The Buyer visited the premises two (2) weeks before closing and the Seller has allowed their dogs to defecate all over the house, upstairs, main level, basement.

Likely the carpet is ruined.

What’s the best way to deal with this? The vendors are supposed to hand over the property on closing in the same state that it was when the deal was signed.

What options does the Buyers have?


This issue is unfortunately a “cleanliness” issue. Assuming a “clean up” before closing, then there would be no legal reason to justify a Buyer refusing to close.

Additionally, there is no holdback provision in most Offers. While it would be nice to think that a Buyer has some real remedies available here for this very revolting behaviour, the “clean up” might be quite sufficient. Naturally, that was done for the Listing, the pictures and the showings, so it could be done again.

All carpet has to go, and all hard surface flooring needs to be professionally cleaned. Every Buyer would expect this for their own premises. The question is whether you can get the Seller to pay for it or at least contribute to the cost. The reasonable remedy might be a closing and submitting a claim after the fact. But, that’s expensive and the level of compensation is likely to be rather small.

A resolution by way of an abatement in the purchase price on closing would be the preferred solution, however that would require the cooperation of the Seller.

Brian Madigan LL.B., Broker

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