No vacant possession if the seller leaves lots of rubbish behind him

Vacant possession includes the right to actual unimpeded physical enjoyment. It does not refer only to the absence of a claim to possession by a third party. A seller does not give vacant possession if he leaves a large amount of property or rubbish behind him (subject to the rule de minimis).

In Cumberland Consolidated Holdings Ltd v Ireland ([1946] KB 264, CA (Eng)) a seller had agreed to sell property with vacant possession. On completion, the buyer found that the seller had left behind a lot of rubbish including bags of hardened concrete. The English Court of Appeal held that this was a breach of the contractual obligation to give vacant possession. Vacant possession includes the right to actual unimpeded physical enjoyment. It does not refer only to the absence of a claim to possession by a third party. A seller does not give vacant possession if he leaves a large amount of property or rubbish behind him (subject to the rule de minimis).

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