Moving house can be stressful enough but imagine arriving at the home you had fallen in love with only to find that every single fitting had been ripped out…including the kitchen sink!

That’s what happened to 40-year-old Declan Curran when he bought a basement flat in Pimlico, central London.

He wanted a period property that he could rent out after doing it up with a quick lick of paint.

The purchase was completed and he picked up the keys to the studio flat, ready to move in some furniture.

He was helped by a friend who had loaded up his car with items to furnish the property but when they opened the door they were in for a shock.

‘It was a shell, everything that wasn’t nailed down had been taken,’ Mr Curran said.

‘The place had been gutted. They’d taken every kitchen appliance, including the hob, oven and washing machine – they’d even ripped out the sink.

The cupboard doors had gone, leaving empty carcasses where the kitchen units had been.

Laminate flooring had gone from the hallway along with a faded green carpet in the main room and wooden shelving that had been on either side of the fireplace.

‘There had been a built-in bed platform with a mattress inserted into it,’ added Mr Curran. ‘But even the timber frame had been ripped from the walls. It needed re-plastering to cover the damage. It was insane.’

It may be of little comfort to Mr Curran, but he is not alone in discovering on moving day that the seller has taken essential items.

Almost half of Britons, at 43 per cent, have moved into a new home with no light fittings or bulbs, while 23 per cent have found toilet roll holders gone, and 14 per cent were missing doorknobs.

Incredibly, eight per cent of people reported that radiators had vanished according to the research by delivery auction website Anyvan.

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Property Solicitors Manchester Property Solicitor David Simpson from Abacus says…

“We always provide our buyers with a ‘fixtures and fittings’ form which has been completed by the seller to indicate exactly      what is and isn’t being taken. This forms part of the sale contract and is therefore legally binding. We recommend that a buyer views the property just before exchange and completion, to ensure the property is in the condition they expect. If items aren’t there that the seller had agreed to leave the seller is in breach of contract and we could apply for action in the Small Claims Court….

If the items taken are more significant, for example kitchen or bathroom fittings, this would constitute a fundamental breach of the contract and the buyer would have the option to rescind the contract rather than completing.”

If you need assistance with your house sale or purchase, call the Property team on 0161 833 0044, or email