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Skirmish

House Sale - Responsibility After Sale Completed

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I wonder if anyone can give us some advice.

We recently sold our house and have now moved into our new one just two weeks ago.

During the purchase of our old house the buyers had a survey done and this raised a few areas that needed work. The buyers were happy to let us do this work at our own expense. One of the things that the buyers asked for was an Electrical Certificate which we did not have. The buyers were happy for us to find and use a qualified electrician to do this. The survey highlighted some old rubber insulated wiring emerging from the fuse box and the electrician followed this quite a long way through the house and replaced with new wiring to the point where it was new and acceptable. There were a number of other issues that he found and all were made new and safe.

We have just been contacted by the buyers of our house. They are having building and internal work done and their electrician has told them that there is wiring that is unsafe and that needs replacing. He is quoting them around £2000 plus VAT to do the work. The buyers say we have conned them and are wanting us to pay for this work. They have also mentioned using a solicitor if we do not agree to this.

I have just spoken with our electrician and he has told us that he carried out the safety certificate process as required and that there are obviously some areas in any certification where it is impossible to check without pulling the entire house to bits. it is likely to be these areas where new work has discovered problems.

We have been perfectly honest and upfront in our dealings with the buyers of our house and obviously this development is now quite a worry for us.

I would therefore appreciate it if someone with knowledge regarding situations like this can offer advice and tell us what our legal position is.

Many thanks

Edited by Skirmish

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I think it's unlikely that you have any kind of liability here. I doubt the electrician you employed is liable either.

It sounds to me like one of the risks that a person takes when buying a house. You might want to have a look at the bundle of documents associated with the sale. It probably contains some words that mean in effect "sold as seen".

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Not legal advice, but I agree.

Surveys etc only get you so far. You could pull a wall down tomorrow and discover previously unknown asbestos or dodgy wiring/plumbing. Sounds like your electrician did what was reasonable and he was obviously happy to certify it.

Perhaps they should ask your electrician to take a look and give his opinion. It could be that the new electrician is trying to pull a fast one.

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Perhaps they should ask your electrician to take a look and give his opinion. It could be that the new electrician is trying to pull a fast one.

I wouldn't do this. If he finds anything they'll probably say you've accepted liability or something.

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Property is always "sold as seen", with no guarantees.

An electrical certificate doesn't mean that the wiring is safe and modern. It merely means that all the accessible wiring looks up to the job.

It's the same with any survey - no surveyor can tell you the state of hidden members of the building. Depending on how much you pay them, they go drilling holes in things and sticking cameras on sticks through them, but even that can't catch all possible defects.

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Whatever you do, do not enter into any discussion about remedial work or agreeing to identify any possible problems. You have to stonewall them and deny any liability from the start...tell them any previous wiring that your electrician worked on, was replaced/upgraded to set UK standards and you have no further responsibilty towards their house, in regards to updating the electrical wiring.

ps...that is if your Electrician really did a Kosher job. :)...if not and his work is actually substandard then he is liable and not you...The devil is in the detail. Often as not though no one really wants to employ a solicitor..to dam expensive and risky.

Edited by GinAndPlatonic

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Thanks everyone for your replies.

My own view concurs with most on here that providing we haven't been dishonest about anything then the buyers have to accept that they purchased the house as seen and with the known problems that the survey highlighted.

We certainly aren't going to enter into any dialogue with the buyers and for reassurance sake we will briefly seek our solicitor's advice on Monday morning.

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Thanks everyone for your replies.

My own view concurs with most on here that providing we haven't been dishonest about anything then the buyers have to accept that they purchased the house as seen and with the known problems that the survey highlighted.

We certainly aren't going to enter into any dialogue with the buyers and for reassurance sake we will briefly seek our solicitor's advice on Monday morning.

Th elaw doesn't care about that - only what the sale contract said, what the agreement was re the remedials, and what can be proven. For example, if your leccy left a note behind a partition next to a dodgy socket that said "bugger that I am off down the pub signed XXX' then you'd have a problem.

otherwise, nowt going on.

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An update

A message was left on our mobile phone voicemail by our house buyers. They said that they have had a report produced by their electrician and want to send this to us for us to see. They asked for our address. We have not returned the call and do not intend to.

We will be soon speaking to our solicitor for guidance on the matter.

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my three bed semi detached cost for a complete new electrical system to the latest standard (17th edition at the time) was £2300 with labour, materials, fittings and testing plus certificate.

Tell your buyers to go and get another two quotes as it will look they are taken for a ride. But as the others say check with ur solicitor and bugger off to the pub worryfree.

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  • 242 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
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      • Even
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