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My wife and I just purchased a 1200ft co-op. It took the former owners 3 days after closing to vacate the apartment. When we had our walk through they hadn't even started to pack. When we went back after they had moved we found the apartment a mess. None of the kitchen applancies had been cleaned, they had left storage units in the closets, the bathroom looked like the ones in Penstation on a Friday night. You get the idea. This co-op needs to be professional cleaned. I took pictures and sent them to my lawyer. I would like the cleaning and removal costs to come out of the former owner's escrow. The former owner left me a voice mail asking me to release his money from escrow, and that he was really sorry that he didn't have time to clean. I didn't call him back because I want our lawyers to hash it out.Do I have a leg to stand on here? Or do I have to pay the $800.00 to have the place cleaned. Hopefully I'll get an answer before i die from the Ebola Virus. Thanks
You're right, let the lawyers hash it out. The sales contract should cover issues like that.
The "I'm really sorry I didn't have time to clean" is a hoot. He did have time to try to take your money.
First, you shouldn't have closed in a situation like this. Document the condition of the apt - you've taken pictures, get your broker to walk through with you. Get it professionally cleaned (I highly recommend Little Elves) and take it out of escrow.
Do not communicate directly with the owner.
Agree that you should not have closed with them still in the apartment. What if they refused to leave at all? You would have had to evict them. Your lawyer screwed up - your first step could be to try to get your lawyer (and/or the broker) to eat the cleaning fee.
They don't have to give it to you pristine. Contract probably says it's gotta be "broom clean," which means that it should be clear of their belongings and kinda not too over-the-top filthy. They don't really have to clean the appliances, nor do they have to scrub the tub.
You can ask for them to pay the fee, but realistically you should be prepared to settle for splitting it. Having the place cleaned after closing should have been in your budget to begin with. Welcome to homeownership.
While the sellers are clearly low-lifes, or seriously not together enough to consider what the place looks like to you, I suggest you put it behind you, get it cleaned up tomorrow, and start enjoying your new home. Otherwise your whole experience will be tainted by this experience.
The back-and-forth and all that isn't worth the $800 (or whatever) you'll recoup.
Why should he settle without taking the full cleaning amount out of escrow? Take it out of escrow. What are they going to do? Sue him for the full amount? They occupied the premises without owning or renting it. OP has a good case on that.
contracts usualy state broom clean which does not mean clean appliances, tubs etc. you can claim it was not broom clean and they'll say ok that's 2hrs of work at $15/hr. they do seem like a$$wipes but you made a mistake.
OP, I am SOOOOO sorry to hear about your situation! I am sure this has been very frustrating...
nyc10023 is absolutely right: The closing should never have taken place. Your attorney really messed up, and you should ONLY communicate with the seller via your attorney! By the way, what agreement did your attorney make about the move-out delay? I hope your attorney, at least, demanded per-day rent for the seller to stay post-closing. You should NEVER use this attorney again in your future transactions.
As for cleaning...unfortunately, like some have said, there is VERY little you can do or gain/recover, if any, by fighting the situation here. It's a lesson learned: Don't use this incompetent attorney again!
Agree, the closing should have never happened.
Our apartment was left in a disastrous state -- multiple nonworking light bulbs (the kind that cost $20 each), gashes in the walls that weren't there before, toilets running non-stop, floors scratched.
We told the broker we were not going to close. (In reality, we had to move the next day.) Broker (dual agent) asked us if there was a sum of money that would make us happy. We gave a figure. He wrote us a check.
I've been through closing issues multiple times in various transactions. In many cases, the real estate agents will pay token sums to make the buyers happy and get the deal done. Better for them to get their commission check and to not have to spend hours trying to reschedule a closing and deal with multiple irate parties.
In this instance, I can almost guarantee that the broker(s) would've pitched in $$$ to get the deal done.
Don't sweat the small stuff, you spent lots of money on a co-op, have it cleaned, move in and enjoy it. It's aggravating at the moment but you'll barely remember it a year from now.
this is going directly to the dumb stuff brokers say thread--classic
could you share the name of your lawyer?
Small stuff like this happens all the time. My recommendation is to let it go.
Life is too short to waste it on hyper-minor annoyances and costs.
For an example of where spite and ego can lead to, look at the Steve Lapidus v.
1050 Park Avenue cases. He spend over $1,000,000 fighting over the cost of a
toilet leak and frippy AC, and got diabarred in the process
Assuming that he had bought gold at $1600/ounce, he could have bought a 40-lb
solid gold toilet, looked after his kingdom from a throne truly fit for a king,
paid for the AC leak, and still had money in the bank.