I often receive calls, emails and letters from clients who ask, after taking possession of their “new” home, who will pay to repair defects that they have found. Just the other day a client called to tell me that the floor tiles in the main bathroom appeared to be loose. He wanted the Vendor to fix them.

The law surrounding these issues is “caveat emptor” or what we often call “Buyer Beware“.

Unless the Vendor took active steps to cover up a deficiency in the property, if the defect was in existence at the time the Offer was written and accepted, you will be the one paying to repair it.

The law is different regarding the fridge, stove and other chattels in the home. There is a specific clause in the standard Purchase Agreement by which the Vendor provides a warranty stating that all of those goods are in “normal working order” at the date of possession. You, the Purchaser, must go through the home immediately upon possession to confirm that all of those items do work properly.

I usually advise Purchasers to check all of the cycles on their dishwasher, washer and dryer while they are moving in and washing their dishes and clothes prior to putting them away. Run the “pots and pans” cycle, the gentle cycle and all of the others so that you know that those items are operating normally. If the Purchaser waits for five weeks to use the broiler element in the oven just to find out that it doesn’t work, the Purchaser will likely not agree to repair it.