To challenge seller on ripping out fireplace

(60 Posts)
EMS23 Thu 28-Aug-14 19:26:59

We've just moved into our new home which had a log burning fire when we looked round and is mentioned on estate agents info as a 'feature'.

Moved in and she's taken it. I've checked the sellers info form and it's just not mentioned on it at all.

She has however left us with a faulty electric cooker and a broken washing machine, not to mention a filthy house and broken glass panes in 2 of the internal doors - she knew we were moving in with 3 DC's, two of which are toddlers so the broken jagged glass at hand height is particularly annoying.

I can live with the filthy house - I'd have cleaned it anyway. The cooker and washing machine is annoying but again, I was planning to replace them anyway but the log burner is beyond a joke. That's going to cost at least a grand to replace.

DH says not to bother bringing it up but I'm furious and want her to pay for the replacement.

So, AIBU to go after the money or is it not worth the effort?

cerealqueen Thu 28-Aug-14 19:29:03

Sounds like she and maybe the estate agent has hoodwinked you! I'd be furious but not sure what you can do. Ask your solicitor?

TunipTheUnconquerable Thu 28-Aug-14 19:29:04

I think you need to go after her.

hiddenhome Thu 28-Aug-14 19:30:12

This should have been specified in the contract, but log burners are very expensive and generally go with the seller.

The estate agents can't be relied upon to accurately list what is included, that's not their job.

BOFster Thu 28-Aug-14 19:31:30

I'd ask your solicitor- the contracts should have specified if fixtures and fittings were included. Fireplaces generally count as part of the fabric of the building, but you will be on surer ground if you check the sales particulars.

Yes, check contract for inclusions. Seems odd to take it. Does that mean you've got a hole where the flue/chimney vented? Bit weird.

Peppa87 Thu 28-Aug-14 19:31:36

If it was listed as a feature of the house, and there was no mention of it being taken away then hell yeah i would be chasing them!

phantomnamechanger Thu 28-Aug-14 19:32:14

what does your estate agent/solicitor say?
I guess it's tricky if it is not mentioned in F&F form and maybe this should have been picked up sooner, but if its actually mentioned as a feature/selling point in all the blurb, I would be fuming!

we once bought a house where the teenage son had sawed half his door off (yes really) and punched holes in all the plasterboard of his wall, there were also toothbrushes all over the garden - they obviously were in the habit of lobbing their old ones out the bathroom window, and there was the rank crusty pissy loo lid cover and pedestal mat <boak>

HermioneWeasley Thu 28-Aug-14 19:32:27

I suspect fixtures is the same test as contents vs buildings insurance - if you took the house and shook it upside down, anything that fell out would be for the vendor to take and anything that stays put would be a fixture. You need to speak to your solicitor, but I would demand payment for restoring it, AND for removing the abandoned items.

Cheeky fuckers

Lucylouby Thu 28-Aug-14 19:32:47

Did the solicitor give you a list of things, room by room that were included/not included in the sale? We had to fill one in when we sold and were given one filled in by the sellers of the new house. Is the fireplace mentioned on there?
If it was mentioned on the estate agents brochure I would have expected it to be left though. Not sure who you need to complain to, the estate agent works for the seller, but I think the seller is at fault, so maybe give them a ring. Will probably need solicitor involvement too though.

Nomama Thu 28-Aug-14 19:33:08

Ask your solicitor to check what was in the paperwork, if they were taking it it should have been itemised as ordinarily it should have been left... it is a fixture - attached to the fabric of the house.

Cooker and washing machine... did she sell them to you or leave them as a nice gesture? If sold, get your solicitor to ask for the money back. If she agreed to leave them as a gesture, you are in a hard place. You should have checked they worked prior to completion so you should have known... we missed a lovely cooker hood that didn't work sad.

Filth and broken stuff - she is a pig!

So an email to your solicitor is required before you do anything else. Good luck.

Dunkling Thu 28-Aug-14 19:33:45

Unfortunately, and you might need to check the property particulars from the EA, but there is usually a disclaimer that the particulars, and items listed or photographed, don't form part of the sales contract. Where items ARE listed though, are in the pre-exchange particulars that the seller is required to fill out stating which items are included. This and only this will give you redress if the logburner was included on the form. Same for the none working white goods, there is always a disclaimer to state that items have not been tested and aren't necessarily of working order.

CSIJanner Thu 28-Aug-14 19:34:39

If it wasn't on the particulars, then it wasn't included in the sale. Estate agents info is not binding. However the damage incurred by the removal and by the move should have been made good and you can claim. Not sure how you can prove the damage of the internal door glass during the time frame but the removal of the log burner can.

phantomnamechanger Thu 28-Aug-14 19:34:42

oh yes, and as for the broken/unwanted appliances, if you have to get the council to take them away I would bill her for that. what a bloomin cheek!

aprilanne Thu 28-Aug-14 19:35:02

dont know about england ..but in scotland unless it is stated in legal pack .fixtures and fitting are only central heating boilers/radiators .and lights .everything else is theres to take as they see fit sorry .

hiddenhome Thu 28-Aug-14 19:37:20

I don't think the person has been unreasonable in taking it. We have one and they're expensive items which can easily be removed from the fireplace. We've taken ours with us to the new house and there's just an empty fireplace left in our old house.

Ours cost nearly £2000 there is no way we could have afforded to have left it.

This is why checking the contracts is important.

hiddenhome Thu 28-Aug-14 19:38:42

Removal of a log burner doesn't cause damage.

CSIJanner Thu 28-Aug-14 19:46:08

hiddenhome I wasn't sure if there would be but OP used the words "ripped out"...

EMS23 Thu 28-Aug-14 19:47:43

Some interesting and varied views, thank you.

Hiddenhome - it's useful to know it's not unheard of. I wish I'd known as we left a £2k log burner in our old house and maybe I'd have thought about bringing it with us.

No damage has been caused by it's removal. None that's visible anyway. I'll have to get a fitter in to check the chimney lining but surely she won't have taken that?!

I've checked the 'Sellers Fixture & Fitting Form' received via my solicitor and it is simply not mentioned at all.

The white goods were listed as included so I assumed they would be in working order but I will take on board what a previous poster said about them not necessarily having to be in working order and drop that.

The broken glass is annoying but the house is a renovation project, it's in a state generally so I can't say for certain when they were broken.

I'll call my solicitor tomorrow and see what he suggests about the fireplace as I'm minded to at least see if we have any recourse but with the advice received here, I won't be disappointed if he says we can't pursue it.

Thanks all. Definitely never moving again!!

FantasticButtocks Thu 28-Aug-14 19:52:36

I don't think the person has been unreasonable in taking it. We have one and they're expensive items which can easily be removed from the fireplace. We've taken ours with us to the new house and there's just an empty fireplace left in our old house.

But if you intended taking your log burner with you, you surely wouldn't allow it to appear on the estate agents' details and be talked about as a feature? I think it's outrageous and would be furious.

But the paperwork done by solicitors and filled in by the sellers includes what fixtures and fittings exist and will be taken or remain. You should have this in the final paperwork your solicitor has given you. If you didn't read it at the time and it says they were gong to take it, then that's that. But if it says they were going to leave it, and they didn't you should be able to get it back or be financially compensated.

PersonOfInterest Thu 28-Aug-14 19:53:37

Def contact your solicitor!! The fact that its not mentioned anywhere speaks volumes to me. I'd mention the broken white goods too. I think its implicit that they work.

Waltonswatcher Thu 28-Aug-14 20:02:47

It may be perfectly legal to take it as its not listed but , I think morally it stinks for them not to have mentioned it .

quietbatperson Thu 28-Aug-14 20:47:17

You can also remove and cap off radiators without damaging the central heating - it doesn't mean you take them with you when you leave though. Are radiators mentioned in the F&F list OP?

Mintyy Thu 28-Aug-14 20:55:18

If it is listed on the EA's details then it is deemed to be included in the sale of the house.

Your solicitor is possibly at fault for not having it included in the list of fixtures and fittings to be left by the vendor.

Either way, it is very much worth pursuing.

TunipTheUnconquerable Thu 28-Aug-14 21:03:50

Surely log burners make a difference to the EPC, so if you take it you're leaving the buyers with a different energy rating from the one advertised?

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