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?

WowOoo Tue 10-Sep-13 14:30:35

I'm thinking the same as BranchingOut on this.

You'll have to buy gas and oil anyway - surely it will save you time and be far easier.

Good luck with the move anyway. The stress will soon be all over, I hope!

RustyBear Tue 10-Sep-13 14:36:21

I sold my late father's house at the beginning of the year - the oil tank was around half full and there was one full and one part-used gas bottle. I just assumed they were included in the price we asked, don't think anybody ever asked about them and I never thought of asking extra.

norkmonster Tue 10-Sep-13 14:36:27

We've recently found it very difficult (almost impossible) to get the deposit back without the original paperwork on gas bottles.

newpup Tue 10-Sep-13 14:51:31

Talk to your solicitor, this should have been sorted out in the TA10 or fixtures and fittings form.

DreamingAlice Tue 10-Sep-13 14:59:59

There is no fixtures and fittings form. It would have been covered in the missives- and it's not. My point here is there is a difference between we may or may not be legally entitled to and what we should in fact do under our particular circumstances. Seems to be a real split in opinion so I am swithering.

BranchingOut, can you maybe expand on your twopenneth?

Do they have a Watchman fitted to the tank? If so they should be able to get an accurate reading of what's in there and then you can offer to pay fair market price for it. Or is the tank fitted with a gauge?

If not, I'd go round and dipstick it. The difference between 2/3, 1/2 or 3/4 of a tank is quite a lot of expense.

Crutchlow35 Tue 10-Sep-13 15:37:05

New pup, this is Scotland, no such thing as a TA10.

Leopoldina Tue 10-Sep-13 15:44:03

I find it odd that there's such a fuss over this. You buy a flat, and there's an apportionment of costs on service charge, insurance, ground rent etc. I don't see any difference with this - it's not a fitting to the property that has to be included in the price at all.

kitsmummy Tue 10-Sep-13 17:40:37

Paying for oil is v standard, although with it being only a couple of hundred quid's worth I think he's being a bit tight not just giving it to you personally. However I would just say they can take the oil,with them and hopefully they won't bother and you'll get some free oil!

The gas thing I find pretty odd and agree with getting deposits back on the bottles - I wouldn't count on that happening.

Just decline everything, it's v easy to get these things sorted ASAP when you move in

GrendelsMum Tue 10-Sep-13 19:32:58

Oil's a horrendous price - I'm not surprised that he wants you to pay for 750 litres or so. what's it at at the moment? £550 quid or similar?

I think gas bottles is being a bit mean, though.

DreamingAlice Wed 11-Sep-13 07:47:33

I don't think there's a "fuss", exactly- I would just like to understand what is reasonable, which is why I am wondering what happens in most cases.

I do think that if it was to be treated as an apportionment (which, yes, is quite reasonable if it's be dealt with that way) then it should have been raised as part of the formal contractual negotiations on the sale of the property, and not left as something I have to potentially haggle about at the 11th hour with the seller. I just feel we have been put in a somewhat uncomfortable position to agree what could end up being over £500 quid.

And interestingly, the seller has not suggested we apportion the cost of the septic tank service charge, which is due to be paid by us and which covers the the previous year. So that might be something to suggest to offset the oil. He did say we should be able to get the deposit back on the bottles if we ever wanted from the local guy who supplies it, so I am relatively ok with that.

I've emailed my solicitor in the end for advice- just so I am clear what the actual legal position is

MrsAMerrick Wed 11-Sep-13 08:17:59

we've always had houses with oil tanks, and I would expect to pay if there is a substantial amount of oil in the tank. I don't think the vendor is trying to do you over, I think it's standard practice. I think if it was less than, say 1/3 of a tank I wouldn't bother, but more than that is several hundred pounds. If you didn't pay and he drained the tank (unlikely) then you'd have to pay for more oil anyway, so you might as well buy what's there.

MissManaged Wed 11-Sep-13 08:24:46

I think this is a question to be asking your solicitor, so the fine details of the contract (presumably exchanged ?) can be checked.

On the surface of it, if the oil was not mentioned in the contract then the vendor has the right to take it with him. If he chooses to leave it then that is his choice, but you are not obligated to pay for it. I would say good luck, and choose to pay a provider rather than a vendor trying to make more money from me. Check with legal though, as Scottish Law may differ.

If you advise an oil provider that you are unsure how much is in the tank, but tell them the size of the tank, they should come prepared to top up as much as is needed. That's what mine do. Bas bottles are easy to order..

So - my answer would be a very polite 'thank you for the offer of the fuel. but we won't be needing it'

valiumredhead Wed 11-Sep-13 10:30:28

This sounds completely reasonable as oil is so expensive. When you move into a gas heated house you take meter readings so you don't end up paying for the previous owner's bill, don't you?

specialsubject Wed 11-Sep-13 10:30:40

he's taking the mick. Arguing about £60 of gas bottles when selling a house?

he should have been smart enough to run down the oil if he knew he was moving. Same as you don't fill up a car you are selling.

no, you don't want his furniture. His problem.

ginmakesitallok Wed 11-Sep-13 10:38:53

Sounds reasonable to have to pay for the oil. Think about it this way, if they had prepaid for their electric would you expect to just take over and benefit from that? It's their fuel, not part of the house.

ginmakesitallok Wed 11-Sep-13 10:40:55

And it's not like running down petrol in a car. First you don't know exactly when you are going to sell a house, could be weeks, months or years. And unlike with a car you can't simply fill up with a fiver at a time

newpup Wed 11-Sep-13 11:46:44

So sorry did not realise you are in Scotland, not familiar with the chattels/fixtures process there. Good Luck

valiumredhead Wed 11-Sep-13 11:50:58

Not like settling a car at all.

valiumredhead Wed 11-Sep-13 11:51:15

Selling

Alwayscheerful Wed 11-Sep-13 11:59:17

I am not familiar with standard practice in Scotland. I would pay for the oil but give the solicitors an estimate a couple of days before completion.

You will only get the deposit back on the bottles if you have the original receipt, my husband has our receipt neatly filed from 1980. I think most places charge £30/£32 per bottle. Let the vendors take the bottles and use an electric kettle for a while. The receipt might only be valid of it is in your name.

DreamingAlice Wed 11-Sep-13 12:32:28

I am assured the deposit will not be a problem. This is a small village and the gas for the bottles have been supplied by the same guy for the last 15 years.

Viviennemary Wed 11-Sep-13 12:37:34

I agree he sounds a proper awkward chancer. Tell him to take his oil with him. But the best way is to deal with this issue through your solicitor and let them negotiate. Don't get involved directly. Sadly these nightmare sellers always make things difficult.

Saffyz Wed 11-Sep-13 12:58:02

> But the best way is to deal with this issue through your solicitor and let them negotiate. Don't get involved directly.

Yes I agree. This way it keeps everything on a level footing.

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