When we arrived we were focused on getting all the furniture and boxes in. However the state of the carpets jumped out immediately and the removal team kindly agreeed to help us remove them there and then. Once we'd waved the removal team off we could really see the state the property was left in. It was filthy, weeks upon months upon years of dirt. I honestly don't know if the previous owners cleaned in the whole six years they were there. You might be thinking didn't we notice when we viewed the house? In all honesty, no! I do remember thinking I would've hoovered before showing people around and that was it.
The sad thing about it is that the house was brand new when the previous owners moved in and they didn't look after it.
I began to clean the kitchen that night, it was grim to say the least. Dried on food on the worktops, in the cupboards. Hair, salt, glitter and god knows what else in the drawers! I gave up when I'd done one half of the kitchen after spending ages scrubbing the tiles which had some caked on grime that didn't want to come off. And why should I clean someone's else's muck?!
I knew the previous owners had signed something to say the house would be left in a clean and tidy condition. Thank goodness that the solicitors had included this in the documents! If you are buying a property I strongly advise requesting this is put in the contract if there isn't something in there already. Make sure you are covered!
The following day was a Saturday so I couldn't speak with our solicitor. We were meant to be picking Eliot up from my parents and bringing him back but there's no way we would be able to. As well as being dirty, the sharp grippers were exposed after pulling the carpets up and everything was still packed.
I cleaned Eliot's room and one of the bathrooms but it was just unsuitable to bring a toddler there.
So we made the decision that Eliot and I would stay at my parents until the house was sorted. The OH would be between the two.
When Monday came we spoke with our solicitor and sent photos through, she contacted the sellers solicitor to inform them they were in breach of contract. They responded saying they were willing to pay for the property to be cleaned but the cleaning company they'd spoken with would be closed until the 5th January.
The next day I had a hospital appointment which had been preoccupying my thoughts. It was also the day our solicitors would be closing for Christmas.
The last contact we had via our solicitor was asking for proof of the cleaning quote so we knew it wasn't being plucked out of thin air. We also wanted to compare with any other cleaning companies we spoke to.
Being the festive season obviously meant that lots of businesses were closed for a set amount of time. This meant the house was left dirty over Christmas and New Year. Which in turn meant the majority of our belongings were left unpacked.
We were both racking up travel costs doing the 100 mile trip between there and my parents.
To cut a long story down, the situation was on its way to being concluded last Friday. After lots of back and forth between the solicitors the previous owner also agreed to pay compensation for travel costs, stress and inconvenience, as well as covering the cleaning costs. We spoke with a litigation solicitor and citizens advice who both said we had a strong case if we were to take it to the small claims and we were totally prepared to do this.
The property was cleaned on Saturday which meant we could start decorating, carpets have been ordered and we had already bought a new kitchen which is being installed at the end of the month. Slowly but surely we seem to be getting there, I just want to move in properly, just as we should have done on the 19th December.
I came to the conclusion that the previous owners must not know what clean really is. After all I would be utterly ashamed leaving my home in that state for someone else to move into. I honestly don't know how you could live like that especially with children. Family and friends were also shocked after showing them photos.
Moving is stressful enough, I certainly wouldn't want to experience a dirty house on arrival again
Did you experience any issues when moving?