Other way round landlord - the purchasers wanted the pre-closing inspection. We wouldn’t actually have had a problem with it if it had been done in an open fashion.
The real problem for us was that the solicitor gave the set of keys that we left with them for safekeeping and for the purpose of handing over to the purchasers after they closed the sale to a third party, the EA.
Neither the solicitor nor the EA had the common sense to lift the phone and tell us about this until they knew we were on our way out of the country. Our solicitor was insisting that this was such a common process that nobody mentioned it to us.
The purchasers were the ones pushing and bullying for an early closing date. If the purchasers hadn’t closed then we would have held the solicitor liable as we could not vouch for the condition of the property nor the contents given that our only set of keys had been given to a third party without our permission.
I asked the question about whether or not the pre-closing inspection was such a common practise because I’ve never heard of anyone doing one before, and in all the previous house sales and purchases I’ve made over the past 25 years (3 sales, 3 purchases) it has never been mentioned.
I agree with wii4miinow - much as I’d prefer not to - certainly in this instance, all the experiences that I’ve had meant that I was able to protect us a tiny bit more than if I hadn’t. For example, in the finance condition, the solicitor was insisting that an open ended clause was par for the course, everyone does it these days, I advise you to accept… etc etc. Bollox. At minimum no vendor should accept that without a cut off point and all vendors should ensure that they are given enough time after the finance has been lodged to the purchasers solicitor to arrange their exit from the property if they need it. We should have instructed our solicitor to put a clause into the contract to that effect - or actually our solicitors ought to have have suggested that.
@Deek - we did instruct the EA not to allow the appointment. We instructed our solicitor to retrieve the keys from the EA immediately. I instructed our solicitor to serve them with a 28 day notice to complete the following day if they hadn’t completed. They replied with a letter claiming that we were in fundamental breach of contract by not allowing them a pre-closing inspection.
We would have had no problem with a pre-closing inspection if it had been set up. We agreed, when we got back home here and could discuss the matter with the solicitor that the head solicitor could attend a pre-closing inspection on our behalf so long as the solicitor remembered that they were supposed to be representing us, not the purchasers.
It’s hard to get over, very hard. Between being saturated with grief due to a tragic death the previous week, a rotten cold due to the weather and the huge stress trying to get a project launched at the end of the week, as well as saying goodbye to a house I loved and trying to get it cleared out and shipped off in a really short time frame - I do have to admit to being a tad emotional. Yes, I will get over it, but I hope that this experience can be of use to others in the future.