Q - When the Contract states what items are included in the sale, such as fridge, washer and dryer, can it be assumed these are in at least working order?
My buyers moved into their new home and found that the washer did not work at all. Do they have any grounds or way of compensation?
A - Although the contract of purchase and sale explicitly states that there is no warranty on appliances, there is also a paragraph that states the property must be in substantially the same position as when viewed. If you can demonstrate that the washing machine was working at time of viewing (an inspector would likely have noted this) then the buyer may have a claim under the contract. They would ultimately have to pursue that in small claims court if the seller was not willing to co-operate.
To assist in this type of not-uncommon situation I do recommend that buyer's agents add a term that says:
“Notwithstanding any other terms of this contract of purchase and sale the seller warrants that all appliances and mechanical, heating and electrical fixtures and included chattels will be in good working order on the completion date.”