Awkward proposal from vendor-WWYD?

(49 Posts)
DreamingAlice Tue 10-Sep-13 12:46:49

We're buying a rural house heated by oil, which is a first for us. The seller and I have communicated throughout the run up to settlement (which is in a couple of weeks) and in passsing I mentioned the oil tank, basically asking if he would be able to tell me how much was left so I can get an order in if need to be to top it up before the winter price hike.

He then suggested that there was plenty left and they will "estimate the value of what they are leaving so we can settle up on completion". He went on to say that they are also looking for the deposit costs on the gas bottles (which heat the cooker) and for the value of any gas left. None of this is in the concluded missives, I might add (Scotland).

I can kind of see their point about the amount of oil left (apparently it will be about 2/3 of a tank) but both DH and I were a bit [hmmm] about it, and also especially about the gas bottles. He also tried to sell us a piece of furniture that they don't have room for in their new house and would be very awkward to move and I said no, whereupon it's now advertised on Gumtree for £150 less than he was asking me. We're paying somewhat over the odds for this house as it is, so we kind of feel like we are being played a bit now.

We've had a good relationship as buyer/seller up to this point so I don't want to fall out over it and I just wondered if anyone has any views on what is reasonable here?

hermioneweasley Tue 10-Sep-13 12:50:06

Christ, I would include them all as a gesture of goodwill.

I suppose if he's charging a fair rate and you'd have to pay anyway you might as well settle up, but it's a bit tight. What do you think he'd say if you say "we've made our own arrangements so please take all your oil and gas with you, or we'll charge you for storage"

Helliecopter Tue 10-Sep-13 12:53:00

Tricky. He sounds like a real cheeky chancer, I wouldn't be impressed!

Think I'd probably say something along the lines of "I thought the tank and oil came with the sale, but if you want to take the remaining oil with you, and the gas bottles please feel free. We'll get it filled ourselves, and buy new bottles." He may back down and just leave everything to avoid the hassle! Be as cheeky back as he's being with you.

anon2013 Tue 10-Sep-13 12:53:52

They just sound incredibly tight fisted. I'd make them an offer if you want either or tell them to get rid.

midgeymum2 Tue 10-Sep-13 12:59:48

Is there nothing in the missives re stocks of coal oil or gas? Sounds to me like they have only just thought of this (because you happened to mention it!) and should have done so earlier if they wanted you to pay! If the missives are silent on this then I dont think you can be bound to pay, it would be entirely at your discretion. You might want to check with your solicitor but what have you got to lose? You can get oil level monitors from heating oil suppliers or look in the tank and guesstimate!

bigbadbarry Tue 10-Sep-13 13:01:28

Agree with Helliecopter (and actually ask your solicitor about the oil in particular). He's unlikely to drain the tank just to make a point.

dottygamekeeper Tue 10-Sep-13 13:03:09

How big is the oil tank? Ours is 2500 litres - two thirds of that would be over £1,000 at todays prices, so I don't think that is unreasonable. I thought most people did pay for the oil left in the tank when they moved in to a new house as it is so expensive now.

When we bought our house we didn't pay anything for the deposit on the gas bottles, or the gas left in them for our cooker (and I don't know how much the deposit would be, but can't believe it would be very much, and when I get replacement cylinders I think I pay about £36 for a 19kg one, so I would expect that cost to be included in the sale as we are not talking huge amounts)

Itscoldouthere Tue 10-Sep-13 13:06:03

Well you could just say you didn't want to buy them from him, he can take them with him. If they are not included then you don't have to buy them, also, how are you going to measure the contents of the gas bottles?

I know oil is expensive but what is he going to do? drain it out? maybe, but you can buy new anyway, so it won't effect you unless he is willing to sell it to you slightly cheaper.

We moved earlier in the year and I negotiated on some furniture but actually regret doing so, as it isn't very good quality, I did it at a tricky time in the sale to show willing and it wasn't the best decision I made.

Our buyers left the house in a bit of a state it was dirty and everything was broken, I knew it needed work but I didn't expect every door knob to come off in my hand!

I look at their bits of furniture I bought and just want to burn them, it was such a waste of money.

I left my house all lovely and clean, I left the window boxes full of flowers, touch up paint in the cellar and a bottle of Champagne in the fridge.

I wouldn't fall our with the vendor but you also don't have to do everything they want.

DreamingAlice Tue 10-Sep-13 13:06:10

Ugh, it's just so, so awkward. It's a very small village where everyone knows each other and they've lived there forever whereas we are newcomers so I don't want to put my foot in it. But I hate feeling like I am being taken for a fool. I do have a good idea of the value of the oil so would be in a good position to say, look this is what I could get it for.

I would just say we'd get our own gas bottles but we won't be able to use the cooker without it and I reckon about the last thing we want to do on moving day is faff with hooking it all up so we can boil the kettle and have a cup of tea.

<off to check missives>

DreamingAlice Tue 10-Sep-13 13:08:19

Oh, and it's a 500 litre tank which is apparently 2/3 full. There are two gas cylinders with £30 deposit each.

higgle Tue 10-Sep-13 13:13:11

In the early days of my legal career I did a little conveyancing with a rural practice. The oil in the central heating tanks was usually added to the sale cost as an apportionment at completion.

Speak with your solicitor, because unless it was stated prior to you making an offer and it being accepted I don't think they have a leg to stand on. If the details said sold as seen it usually includes the fuel. (I've bought in Scotland and what was left in the tank was ours when we moved in)

I would only deal with them through r solicitor from now on. That's what y pay them for.

sleepyhead Tue 10-Sep-13 13:19:20

Ugh he sounds like my uncle who thinks getting one over on "incomers" makes him so bloody clever angry (he is a tit).

Unfortunately, if he is like my uncle, if you do pay up then he'll be boasting about it down the pub, if you don't then he'll be moaning about incomers not understanding the ways of country folk. Arse.

ChasedByBees Tue 10-Sep-13 13:19:34

So going by sorry a calculations, that's about £200 worth of oil?

Before I knew the values, I would have said I would pay for the oil but reject the gas canisters. You could get a camping stove to heat a kettle if you have nothing else. However, if the gas canisters are only £60 and you are sure that's a fair market price, then I'd probably pay.

I might haggle though - are you sure there's 2/3 of a tank left of oil? I would pay if I was convinced it was a fair market price.

If you feel he's trying it on, then reject both. Noone in the village will hold it against you (they may have experience of his tightness). I'd rather do that than feel like I was being played which would get on my nerves for some time I'm sure.

ChasedByBees Tue 10-Sep-13 13:20:51

Sorry a = dotty (thanks iPhone)

Also check if you do get a deposit back on the cylinders because quite a few places don't refund deposits because the bottles were being stolen just to get the deposit back on them.

Also check if you do get a deposit back on the cylinders because quite a few places don't refund deposits because the bottles were being stolen just to get the deposit back on them.

DreamingAlice Tue 10-Sep-13 13:38:16

Oops, it's a 1100 litre tank.

I checked the missives, nothing mentioned. So I think probably they have no right to expect payment, strictly speaking but I think they also likely know that. I would mention it to my solicitor but frankly he has been as useless as a bag of hammers throughout and I want him to focus on sorting out the last of the mortgage paperwork!

I think, from what I know, the deposit on the bottles is a fair price so that may be OK (but will check if I can in fact get it back as refund!) And I think it would be fair enough to say that we'd like to confirm the amount in the tank for ourselves before agreeing an amount.

I think part of our annoyance is that we are coming to the end of a long process where we've undertaken considerable expense and inconvenience to give them the price and entry date of their choosing- and so it grates just a little to be asked for the value of the gas in the cooker bottles!!

Saffyz Tue 10-Sep-13 13:41:10

Just politely decline any "extras". You don't have to give a reason and yes, they're just trying their luck.

Crutchlow35 Australia Tue 10-Sep-13 13:57:23

Dreaming, is your offer based on standard clauses or a full old style offer?

You really shouldn't be having any direct communication with the seller, at all. This can cause all sorts of issues.

Crutchlow35 Australia Tue 10-Sep-13 13:59:45

Because if under standard clauses, clause 3 says:

CENTRAL HEATING ETC.
(a) The Seller undertakes that any systems or appliances of a working nature (including central
heating, water, drainage, electric and gas) forming part of the Property will be in working order commensurate with age as at the Date of Settlement. '

So that to me would be he had to leave oil in the tank to enable you to test the boiler and heating within the usual 5 days you have from the date of entry.

DreamingAlice Tue 10-Sep-13 14:07:29

It's the standard clauses and yes, that is what it says. I think the difficulty is that what it says is one thing and what would be a show of goodwill is another.

Unfortunately it's a bit late to stop having direct communication with the seller-though I know the risks. I won't bore you with the reasons behind it but it basically become essential for us to speak to each other to unravel what turned into an extremely complicated issue with the land boundaries, which if it had been left to our mutual agents (who have both been utterly crap- for example, his having lost the title deeds, mine failing to reply to emails) to sort out, the deal might have been scuppered. Communication obviously works well when it's all going well, less so when it's not.

We just sold our house and had a huge propane tank for heat and water, I thought the gas left was included in the price when we sold, but the company that owned and maintained the tank said they send us a refund check for the gas left and a bill to the new owner for it, if they don't want it, they come and pump it out back into their tanker and haul away the actual tank. That was new to me. So maybe the oil tank works the same way. Maybe your seller is thinking that is how it works for him. We had a couple hundred pounds worth of gas in it.

BranchingOut Tue 10-Sep-13 14:15:59

I have just been through a house purchase and this is my two penneth:

1) forget about whether or not you have paid over the odds - it is neither here nor there at this stage

2) Pay up for the gass bottles and whatever is in them.

3) Ask for him to give you an estimate on what the oil levels are likely to be and say that you will pay up on completion, as long as the levels are within a certain % variance when you take occupation.

We have oil c/h and hot water with a 1100 tank plus bottled gas for the hob. We moved into our house last autumn so have recent experience of this (also a v small village and we were incomers).

Our vendor just left us what was left with no haggling. It was about half a tank of oil and one full gas canister.

If I was you, I would say you're happy for them to take the canisters with them and to arrange to have their remaining oil drained by their provider and refunded to them. If they don't want to do that then they can leave them in situ but you're not willing to pay extra for them.

Then set up an oil delivery and gas canister delivery for the day you move in. Oil and gas providers are used to delivering rurally and just get on with it, it won't be a big deal on move day, you'll barely even notice they've been and gone.

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