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ruthyk

Sellers Removed Fixtures/ Everything "broken"!

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Hi everyone/anyone. We sold our house at the beginning of the year intending to rent and save as we didnt anticipate our "dream" home coming on the market 2 weeks later. It did, we viewed, we put offer at 10% below, and finally agreed 5% discount on the basis that the house was ready to move in to, everything was in good working order, kitchen a bit old but fine, curtains and carpets to be left etc. As we are early 40s this is our forever home with a huge garden, and despite feeling we'd over paid by 5k, it didnt bother me as i knew id have nothing to spend, and we want to stay here for the rest of our lives, and a mortgage at 2x salary is very manageable.

Long story/short- when the list of fixtures and fittings came through, i was a wee bit peeved that they were suddenly intending taking curtains and curtain poles as we'd agreed those were included. Contacted solicitor and estate agent who both agreed they were included and it was suggested we went round to agree what was being left. We verbally agreed with seller that she would replace curtains she wanted to take with similar as i didnt want to move in and have to start instantly looking for curtains.

Completed 2 weeks ago, and on the day we get the keys and in the following 2 weeks

1. the curtains are all gone. Ive been left one pair of curtains in a pack that dont fit any of the windows (replacement cost £340)

2. the curtain poles have all been unscrewed and removed (200)

3. the oven was broken. i had a phone call telling me this from the estate agent 1 hour after completion (£101)

4. the shower doesnt work. i thought it did as i pulled the cord to check the light came on, but it doesnt (150)

5. the extractor fan doesnt work in shower room- again light comes on, nothing happens (£50)

6. i suspect the boiler is faulty. My solicitor hassled their solicitor about a warranty for the boiler, and i think we finally got one, but its only enforceable if the boiler is serviced. They said it was serviced in january, but a letter arrived after we moved in saying service overdue. It doesnt give "hot" water and takes ages.

Total cost of remedying the above (excluding boiler) is likely to be £900. Id be grateful if anyone could advise on what may or may not be recoverable in the event we have to go through the small claims court! (ive called along to their new house a few times which is only round the corner, but they dont answer!)

Thanks :)

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Guest sillybear2

Caveat emptor my friend, you should have spent £900 on a survey ;)

Unless it's a new house you're f****d, sorry.

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Erm, don't you have a solicitor to sort out nonsense like this when paying out a very large sum for a house?

Or do you just pay him/her out of charity while taking care to protect him/her from any awkwardness?

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Hi everyone/anyone. We sold our house at the beginning of the year intending to rent and save as we didnt anticipate our "dream" home coming on the market 2 weeks later. It did, we viewed, we put offer at 10% below, and finally agreed 5% discount on the basis that the house was ready to move in to, everything was in good working order, kitchen a bit old but fine, curtains and carpets to be left etc. As we are early 40s this is our forever home with a huge garden, and despite feeling we'd over paid by 5k, it didnt bother me as i knew id have nothing to spend, and we want to stay here for the rest of our lives, and a mortgage at 2x salary is very manageable.

Long story/short- when the list of fixtures and fittings came through, i was a wee bit peeved that they were suddenly intending taking curtains and curtain poles as we'd agreed those were included. Contacted solicitor and estate agent who both agreed they were included and it was suggested we went round to agree what was being left. We verbally agreed with seller that she would replace curtains she wanted to take with similar as i didnt want to move in and have to start instantly looking for curtains.

Completed 2 weeks ago, and on the day we get the keys and in the following 2 weeks

1. the curtains are all gone. Ive been left one pair of curtains in a pack that dont fit any of the windows (replacement cost £340)

2. the curtain poles have all been unscrewed and removed (200)

3. the oven was broken. i had a phone call telling me this from the estate agent 1 hour after completion (£101)

4. the shower doesnt work. i thought it did as i pulled the cord to check the light came on, but it doesnt (150)

5. the extractor fan doesnt work in shower room- again light comes on, nothing happens (£50)

6. i suspect the boiler is faulty. My solicitor hassled their solicitor about a warranty for the boiler, and i think we finally got one, but its only enforceable if the boiler is serviced. They said it was serviced in january, but a letter arrived after we moved in saying service overdue. It doesnt give "hot" water and takes ages.

Total cost of remedying the above (excluding boiler) is likely to be £900. Id be grateful if anyone could advise on what may or may not be recoverable in the event we have to go through the small claims court! (ive called along to their new house a few times which is only round the corner, but they dont answer!)

Thanks :)

Maybe a claim through the small claims court? It sounds to me like a claim for damages through breach of contract - you have a carefully drawn up agreement for a reason. Look for a good local solicitor who does half hour free consulations, get their take on the issue. They can probably set you in the right direction and you can do the leg work.

Was the Estate Agent registered with the Property Ombudsman, they might be able to help possibly?

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Caveat emptor my friend, you should have spent £900 on a survey ;)

Unless it's a new house you're f****d, sorry.

We had a survey. Cpl of minor issues with roof- other that nothing serious. I doubt the survey would have highlighted that the sellers were going to steal our curtains! Everything else was expressed to be in good working order by seller, so at minimum its misrep?

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Erm, don't you have a solicitor to sort out nonsense like this when paying out a very large sum for a house?

Or do you just pay him/her out of charity while taking care to protect him/her from any awkwardness?

Erm yes- but he's on holiday for 2 weeks. It was a query pending his return a week on friday

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Guest sillybear2

Maybe a claim through the small claims court? It sounds to me like a claim for damages through breach of contract - you have a carefully drawn up agreement for a reason. Look for a good local solicitor who does half hour free consulations, get their take on the issue. They can probably set you in the right direction and you can do the leg work.

Was the Estate Agent registered with the Property Ombudsman, they might be able to help possibly?

Look at the small print, agents usually state that appliances and electrical items are sold "as is" without any guarantees as to their functionality or safety, if a boiler or cooker blows you sky high a day after you move in then it's not their problem, "the particulars are produced in good faith, are set out as a general guide only and do not constitute any part of a contract. Any appliances mentioned are however untested by the selling agents".

Verbal agreements aren't worth the paper they aren't written on, you don't have a leg to stand on, how can you sue for breach of contract if the list of fixtures and fittings doesn't include leaving the curtains... and they took the curtains? You can argue "X said they'd leave Y" but unless it's down in black and white, bad luck, no court will accept that.

Sadly the OP has just recieved an expensive lesson in contract law and 'errors and omissions excepted'. Maybe the solicitor can be found liable for giving bad advice, i.e. accepting verbal agreements and letting you sign something else, but as with anything verbal even the solicitor could suffer from a convenient lapse of memory and deny all knowledge. The 'professions' are right feckers when it comes to this sort of thing, always get everything down in writing or included in the contract, take nothing for granted and forget any promises, when push comes to shove they will lie or deny all knowledge like a thieving chav just picked up by the police.

Edited by sillybear2

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Maybe a claim through the small claims court? It sounds to me like a claim for damages through breach of contract - you have a carefully drawn up agreement for a reason. Look for a good local solicitor who does half hour free consulations, get their take on the issue. They can probably set you in the right direction and you can do the leg work.

Was the Estate Agent registered with the Property Ombudsman, they might be able to help possibly?

Thanks- good idea, ive put together a list which im sending to the estate agent- at the very least they bear some responsibility for describing the house as immaculate and referring to a shower which doesnt work. Ill send the same list to my solicitor to deal with in 2 weeks time, and if needs be will have to go down the small cliams route i guess. Cheers

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Guest sillybear2

We had a survey. Cpl of minor issues with roof- other that nothing serious. I doubt the survey would have highlighted that the sellers were going to steal our curtains! Everything else was expressed to be in good working order by seller, so at minimum its misrep?

That's the problem with surveyors, they have lots of get outs too, e.g "could not move cupboard, don't blame me if it's all rotten behind there. Not authorised to test electrical equipment, don't blame me if the place needs rewiring from top to bottom, ask a qualified electrician if you're unsure." The vendor and agent will say they made no guarantees about the appliances, they can say they acted in good faith and everything suddenly fell apart of its own accord one second after the seller locked the door for the last time, then they will ask why your surveyor didn't pick it up, so take it up with them.

The problem is on paper they didn't steal the curtains! :(

Edited by sillybear2

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Caveat emptor my friend, you should have spent £900 on a survey ;)

Unless it's a new house you're f****d, sorry.

Rubbish A survey is irrelevent to this problem

It's what's in the contract that matters and if the house is not supplied as per the contract, the buyer is entitled to sue on THAT contract.

Whether this is actually worth doing is another matter.

tim

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Guest sillybear2

Rubbish A survey is irrelevent to this problem

It's what's in the contract that matters and if the house is not supplied as per the contract, the buyer is entitled to sue on THAT contract.

Whether this is actually worth doing is another matter.

tim

I was being ironic, as I pointed out surveys are full of caveats just like the descriptions provided by estate agents.

The curtains were a verbal thing, so it's going to be hard to prove a breach of contract when the list specifically excludes them, and there will be get outs regarding the safety or functionality of electrical equipment, you'll find no guarantees regards that, just the opposite.

Caveat emptor! I hope the OP can sort it out and enjoy the house, and remember to never trust the word of a professional in the future!

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Look at the small print, agents usually state that appliances and electrical items are sold "as is" without any guarantees as to their functionality or safety, if a boiler or cooker blows you sky high a day after you move in then it's not their problem, "the particulars are produced in good faith, are set out as a general guide only and do not constitute any part of a contract. Any appliances mentioned are however untested by the selling agents".

Verbal agreements aren't worth the paper they aren't written on, you don't have a leg to stand on, how can you sue for breach of contract if the list of fixtures and fittings doesn't include leaving the curtains... and they took the curtains? You can argue "X said they'd leave Y" but unless it's down in black and white, bad luck, no court will accept that.

Sadly the OP has just recieved an expensive lesson in contract law and 'errors and omissions excepted'. Maybe the solicitor can be found liable for giving bad advice, i.e. accepting verbal agreements and letting you sign something else, but as with anything verbal even the solicitor could suffer from a convenient lapse of memory and deny all knowledge. The 'professions' are right feckers when it comes to this sort of thing, always get everything down in writing or included in the contract, take nothing for granted and forget any promises, when push comes to shove they will lie or deny all knowledge like a thieving chav just picked up by the police.

I had forgotten about the E&OE clauses, although I suspect that they could be considered 'unfair' though I have no idea if anyone has tested this http://www.oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/reports/unfair_contract_terms/oft311.pdf. It's been a while since I bought but II remember when i sold last year the buyer being very particular about what would be left behind and electrical checks etc. I personally would have a stab at oral contract angle but only if I was sure that I had plenty of witnesses to back me up.

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Thanks for the input. Ive made a list up ready for solicitors return. It occurred to me that after id been round to sort out which curtains were being left (ie all of them bar one set), that after informing my solicitor, he should have clarified that in writing with sellers solicitor.

The other thing i forgot was, we havent got a key for the front door- they cant find it... so had to have a new barrel fitted....

Ill see what sol says, but will go down small claims route if neccessary, unless they make me a reasonable offer. If we get back 50% id be happy. Will let you know what happens cheers.

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Update on this for anyone interested. We were at court yesterday after pursuing a claim through the small claims court.

Court were satisfied an agreement was in place that curtains/poles etc be left. I had copies of letters from the estate agent, and solicitors confirming that was originally agreed, and also that we had met at the house at a later date. After that my sol wrote to theirs setting out what was agreed, and that together my witness statements were sufficient for the court to agree an oral contract was in place.

Also Caveat Emptor has exceptions. Specifically, as i asked them to confirm everything was in good working order, they had a duty not to mislead or misrepresent. Even if the oven and shower broke after that, they then had a duty to notify me of anything broken or to remedy it prior to completion.

Finally, the standard conveyancing forms they signed include a provision that all keys must be handed over on completion. As they didnt, we were reimbursed for that too, and there was also written confirmation that they would service the boiler prior to completion, which they then admitted they hadnt done. Result- award of £900 plus court fees of £135.

Its been a complete pain, and i wouldnt make the same mistakes again as it wasnt very nice taking them to court.

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Update on this for anyone interested. We were at court yesterday after pursuing a claim through the small claims court.

Court were satisfied an agreement was in place that curtains/poles etc be left. I had copies of letters from the estate agent, and solicitors confirming that was originally agreed, and also that we had met at the house at a later date. After that my sol wrote to theirs setting out what was agreed, and that together my witness statements were sufficient for the court to agree an oral contract was in place.

Also Caveat Emptor has exceptions. Specifically, as i asked them to confirm everything was in good working order, they had a duty not to mislead or misrepresent. Even if the oven and shower broke after that, they then had a duty to notify me of anything broken or to remedy it prior to completion.

Finally, the standard conveyancing forms they signed include a provision that all keys must be handed over on completion. As they didnt, we were reimbursed for that too, and there was also written confirmation that they would service the boiler prior to completion, which they then admitted they hadnt done. Result- award of £900 plus court fees of £135.

Its been a complete pain, and i wouldnt make the same mistakes again as it wasnt very nice taking them to court.

Good result, wonder if the same applies under Scottish law? There is usually a 'no warranty' clause for electrical goods on a schedule.

Let us know when you get cash?

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Pleased you have had a successful outcome, but I can appreciate - and do know - having been on receiving end of such issues before ourselves - it takes a lot of effort and frustration to pursue.

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Post Script- received payment by cheque of the debt on the last date for payment.

Cheque didnt bounce!

All round quite an unpleasant experience though.

To other purchasers, make sure you ask questions, and make sure you have a thorough solicitor!

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Caveat emptor my friend, you should have spent £900 on a survey ;)

Do surveys go to the detail of checking every appliance works correctly ? I don't think so.

A survey wouldn't have stopped her taking the curtains + poles.

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Thanks for the posting this thread and updating us, ruthyk. Certainly an important lesson for some us.

All the very best for the future. :)

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Hi Ruthyk,

Your post has been here for more than 3 years and i'm not sure if you still come back to have a look.

I'm in the same situation as you were 3 years ago, bought a house which the boiler not working at all. The gas safety certificate was expired 45 days before the exchange and my solicitor didn't spot it out. And i didn't insist to have a valid gas certificate before the exchange, I always believed the boiler was working as it stated on the paper work.

Until now, the vendor still try to mislead me that the boiler was good working order before the exchange, she insists that she tested the boiler and it was working.

But now i got some evidence that can prove the boiler wasn't working at all during vendor's testing period. I think probably a court route to resolve this dispute is not avoidable. Your post about the case winning encouraged me to continue the fight. I wonder if i can ask for a reference number of your court case, that i can list as a reference in my claim document.

Many thanks in advance,

Gazeuse

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Hi Ruthyk,

Your post has been here for more than 3 years and i'm not sure if you still come back to have a look.

I'm in the same situation as you were 3 years ago, bought a house which the boiler not working at all. The gas safety certificate was expired 45 days before the exchange and my solicitor didn't spot it out. And i didn't insist to have a valid gas certificate before the exchange, I always believed the boiler was working as it stated on the paper work.

Until now, the vendor still try to mislead me that the boiler was good working order before the exchange, she insists that she tested the boiler and it was working.

But now i got some evidence that can prove the boiler wasn't working at all during vendor's testing period. I think probably a court route to resolve this dispute is not avoidable. Your post about the case winning encouraged me to continue the fight. I wonder if i can ask for a reference number of your court case, that i can list as a reference in my claim document.

Many thanks in advance,

Gazeuse

Looks like the user in question has not been around for a while:

Last Active:User is offline Jun 24 2013 11:52 PM

You might be better sending them a 'personal message' as this will be forwarded to their email address, rather than hoping they read this thread. I'm not sure if as a new member you are able to do this though, perhaps a word with the Moderators might be worthwhile.

Good luck.

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Looks like the user in question has not been around for a while:

Last Active:User is offline Jun 24 2013 11:52 PM

You might be better sending them a 'personal message' as this will be forwarded to their email address, rather than hoping they read this thread. I'm not sure if as a new member you are able to do this though, perhaps a word with the Moderators might be worthwhile.

Good luck.

Thanks for your suggestion. As you guessed, i'm not able to use personal message, it always report error 1314. I'm not able to contact to moderator neither, also error. Is any possible that you can help me send a PM to Ruthyk, please? Appreciate any help.

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Thanks for your suggestion. As you guessed, i'm not able to use personal message, it always report error 1314. I'm not able to contact to moderator neither, also error. Is any possible that you can help me send a PM to Ruthyk, please? Appreciate any help.

I'll make you up to full member to use Pm's - normally you need 100 posts

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Do surveys go to the detail of checking every appliance works correctly ? I don't think so.

A survey wouldn't have stopped her taking the curtains + poles.

Some good friends of mine were so annoyed with the people buying their house that they sawed through all the curtain poles and left them in place before moving! This was in 2002 and no come back :ph34r:

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  • 145 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

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