Indemnity insurance - help!

(17 Posts)
maybebabybee Thu 11-Feb-16 05:28:23

Currently moving towards exchange on our first property - leasehold flat. Our solicitor has advised us that the current owners fitted new windows to the flat without obtaining permission from the freeholder. She argues that this counts as an alteration and therefore they should have got permission. Vendors solicitor is arguing this is a repair, not an alteration, and therefore no permission was necessary.

Our solicitor says to.move ahead with the purchase we need indemnity insurance and she says the vendors should be paying for this. We don't want to lose the flat so we will pay if it comes to it. Just wondered if anyone had any similar experiences?

OliviaBenson Thu 11-Feb-16 06:23:09

No experience but often Windows need planning permission too in flats so I'd get your solicitor to check.

They should usually get permission from freeholder so saying they are a repair is an excuse IMO. They should pay for the insurance if you are happy to take it. Do check about planning permission though.

LIZS Thu 11-Feb-16 06:36:26

It isn't unusual. We had to get one for 2 windows in our last property which weren't fensa registered. Normally in flats windows are done for the whole block at once, it might highlight how the management company/freeholder maintains the building.

maybebabybee Thu 11-Feb-16 07:05:59

Their solicitor is refusing to pay for it as he says it's not necessary. He's the wife's father so probably more invested than one would usually be.

I haven't really got a massive issue paying for it as we can afford it at the moment, but our solicitor is adamant it should be them.

Just seems a daft thing to hold the sale up over really.

wowfudge Thu 11-Feb-16 07:30:05

Look at it this way: they've done something they shouldn't have done without permission, but they expect you to bear the risk when you buy the place and to insure against it.

You could insist that they get permission retrospectively. Depending on who the freeholder is, that could cost them money and if the freeholder doesn't like what they've done they could be made to change them. (You can't get an indemnity if they do this).

Your solicitor is right and I think you should hold firm. Also ask your solicitor what the indemnity wouldn't cover you for.

maybebabybee Thu 11-Feb-16 07:40:18

Yes I think that's what she's asked of their solicitor: either that they obtain retrospective permission or pay for indemnity. Neither of which they think they ought to do.

I'm a bit annoyed really as it does feel they're being a bit unreasonable. Their vendors want to exchange at the beginning of march (we're more flexible) so you'd think they'd just say yes to speed the process up!!

LIZS Thu 11-Feb-16 08:31:25

In the scheme of things early March is still ages away, indemnities can be arranged same day but yes if they now applied for permission and it were refused that would no longer be an option. What I meant is that there may have been a reason why they didn't seek permission originally or that the windows were in poor condition due to lack of maintenance by the freeholder. Do the windows of other flats match, is the exterior in good condition generally, are the communal areas clean and well maintained and what are the buildings maintenance arrangements? You don't want to take on an issue.

anotherdayanothersquabble Thu 11-Feb-16 08:43:51

I have a feeling that you cannot purchase the indemnity as it has to be purchased by the seller to indemnify you as the buyer against the consequences of their actions.

maybebabybee Thu 11-Feb-16 08:54:30

really, another? our solicitor said it was possible for us to buy it ourselves. perhaps she is incorrect?

maybebabybee Thu 11-Feb-16 08:55:20

LIZS the flat is in perfect condition, the outside is really well maintained. We've also spoken to the downstairs tenants who have confirmed the upkeep is good, so I'm quite confident there.

maybebabybee Thu 11-Feb-16 08:55:45

I think the reason they replaced the windows was to make them more energy efficient.

SnowBallsAreHere Thu 11-Feb-16 08:59:33

Is this the same flat with a defective lease?
And they changed the windows and refuse to agree that they should have asked the freeholder?

Sounds like the biggest issue is their solicitor, who is too involved with the owners, being her father grin

ICantDecideOnAUsername Thu 11-Feb-16 09:01:57

We used to have a leasehold flat and wanted to change one window and the managing agents agreed that we would need to get permission (we didn't do it in the end) so I think the vendors are wrong. I would press them for it. Any other buyer they get would likely ask the same, if their solicitor is any good, so they'd be in the same position if they backed out of the sale because if it. Seriously, how much can it cost?

maybebabybee Thu 11-Feb-16 09:08:51

snow yes it is!! that defect seems to be easily sorted but yes you're right, seems one thing after another with the solicitor.

I think part of it is him not wanting to admit he advised them badly!

From what I've seen from googling, the most expensive indemnity insurance policy is in the region of £500 absolute max, we'd happily pay it. I hate all this quibbling....I think I must be an estate agent's dream as I just want to say...oh for goodness' sake, we'll do whatever, just sort it out!

SnowBallsAreHere Thu 11-Feb-16 09:35:32

I agree, he ballsed up his daughter purchase and is trying to out it right by f*cking up their sale grin

Atleast the defective lease is sorted.

Put your foot down and say no indemnity no purchase. FFS. It will be in the lease. That he's now should have read atleast twice.

If they failed to get permission for windows what else did they forget they needed permission for?

And as another poster said, windows in flats quite often need planning permission too. Do check!

maybebabybee Thu 11-Feb-16 09:37:04

Our solicitor is very on the ball so I think she will probably flag up any other planning permission issues etc. So annoying. Will be reminding myself not to buy a house when pregnant again!

wowfudge Thu 11-Feb-16 16:53:50

Don't cave in OP - they need to resolve the issue. He's trying to bully you over something which is his daughter's fault. Ludicrous.

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