If the house was not cleaned by the seller upon turning it over to the buyer, what is their recourse?

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If the house was not cleaned by the seller upon turning it over to the buyer, what is their recourse?

We just did our final walkthrough and the seller did nothing to clean the house. The oven and fridge are

disgusting. Toilets are unclean with fecal matter stuck to them. Dog poop is left, old dog toys, random junk left in dog run. Cardboard boxes left in shed. Bathtubs and sinks dirty. Ceiling fan caked in dust. They also damaged a bedroom door after inspection/appraisal. The seller just got there at 4:30 pm

with limited supplies to clean. We are supposed to exchange the keys at 5:00 pm. Since the did not deliver a cleaned house are there any penalties against them?

Asked on July 12, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

There are no statutory penalties or penalties enforced by any agencies. The best you could do is sue the seller for any out of pocket costs this caused you to incur, such as if you had to hire a professional cleaning service (you could sue for what the service cost you). Unfortunately, you cannot get more than your actual monetary cost; there is no compensation for having to deal with this, for you time or effort/sweat if you cleaned it up, for being disgusted or upset, etc.


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