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Selling a house and buyer's solicitor wants indeminities

(10 Posts)
Sally1723 Wed 01-Jul-15 19:25:35

I got help so quickly on a thread I started this afternoon, I thought I would try again!

We are in the process of selling our house and our buyer's solicitor has, so far, asked for 3 indemnities!

We have an entry way between us and our neighbours that is shared. Of course, this means our house has a 'flying freehold'. The entry has been there since the house was built in 1904 and every pair of houses has them in our road. The buyer's lawyer wants an indemnity for this.

We had the boiler replaced and the house rewired just over ten years ago. I no longer have the guarantees - they would have expired anyway. Now the buyer's lawyer wants an indemnity for the boiler and the wiring.

The buyer's lawyer is saying they will purchase these and I will have to pay. Not too keen on that for obvious reasons as it could run into hundreds and I will have no control over the cost at all.

Has anyone else had this happen to them? If you did, how did you deal with it?

Any help will be sooo appreciated.

worridmum Thu 02-Jul-15 20:41:44

dont be bullied into forking out for extras that the buyers want that are on top of the basis legal entiltilments as rember the buyers lawyer is attempting to get the best for his clinets even if it totally screws you over maybe ask your lawyer for advice?

(sorry I cannot help you further not a housing lawyer so all i can do is advise you to speak to your lawyer or go to a speiclest one for advice)

throwingpebbles Thu 02-Jul-15 20:47:26

What is your lawyers advice?

You would expect them to let you have a quote before you agreed to pay, you won't have to agree without knowing the costs

It's partly about relative bargaining positions really. Whether they are being reasonable or not is not as significant as how desperate you are to sell vs how desperate they are to buy

I think I would be inclined to dig my heels in a bit and see how they reacted, (but there's always a risk they pull out. ) . Or you could ask for quotes while reserving your position. Or meet them half way?

RueDeWakening Thu 02-Jul-15 20:49:52

I sold a flat that had a fire escape into the downstairs flat's back garden. My buyer's solicitor wanted £100 for an indemnity in case the buyer got done for trespass. I refused to pay it, on the basis that it was fucking lunacy the only reason for using the fire escape was if buyer's life was in danger, in which case trying to do them for trespass would be laughed out of court.

Apparently buyer bought her own policy.

Re the boiler/wiring, I thought you bought and sold houses "as seen"? If buyer is concerned, surely they could instruct a surveyor to do a full survey with specific attention paid to said boiler and wiring?

Spickle Thu 02-Jul-15 22:19:48

Get your solicitor to advise you on this. You have every right to know how much the policy costs if they expect you to pay for it. However, you could offer to get the boiler inspected and then send them the inspection report instead. As for wiring tell them to get their own policy if they are that concerned. People buy houses that are more than 10 years old without demanding indemnity policies to cover wiring. Seems a bit over the top imo.

Indantherene Thu 02-Jul-15 22:27:14

Our buyers wanted an indemnity on the garage which we'd converted into an internal room. Converting back into a garage would involve removing a stud wall and pulling up the floor - nothing major.

DH told them to do one. Didn't hear any more about it and the sale went through without it.

lalalonglegs Thu 02-Jul-15 23:22:31

I don't understand what you are meant to be indemnifying re: boiler and wiring - that they will never break down? If it is that they were installed to building regs, well those regs have changed over the past 10 years so it could well be that even if they were up to spec then, they wouldn't be now. What exactly are they insuring against confused?

PeppermintPasty Wed 08-Jul-15 11:29:56

I suspect that the solicitor is talking about a building regulations completion certificate re the boiler. All such appliances should have these if fitted in 2005 or onwards. Ask your solicitor how much it costs. It is absolutely the norm for the seller to pay for such a policy. They usually cost in the region of £60-100 but they are calculated on a sliding scale as to the level of indemnity needed, generally the price you are selling your house for.

The first thing you mention, do,you mean this is a right of way shared between you and your neighbour? I ask because a flying freehold is something very different.

I am a property solicitor by the way, not making this up grin

Oh, and if they are asking for an indemnity re the boiler AND the wiring, you would only pay for one policy. Both items would be covered under a building regs indemnity policy.

Sally1723 Mon 13-Jul-15 15:26:18

Thanks PeppermintPasty for the reply - a relief to hear that from someone who is expert in these matters.

The boiler and the rewire were done in 2001, so do I still have to provide an indemnity? I ask because you say that 2005 is when the building regs certificate became necessary.

The entry way is shared between me and my neighbour but the entry is covered so my property extends over it by about 18 inches and theirs the same. The two houses meet at the centre point over the entry.

Let me know what your opinion is on whether an indemnity for this would be necessary.

Thanks so much to all of you who have replied.


PeppermintPasty Thu 16-Jul-15 15:33:12

Sally, so sorry to be late back to you, this was on my watch list but it seems to have fallen off!

Anyway, if you can prove the boiler/rewire was done prior to 2005 (when various different regulations came in), then your solicitor can argue that no such policy is needed. If you can't prove it, then you might be advised to pay for a policy anyway (they are at the cheaper end of policies), or you can refuse of course and invite the buyer to fund it themselves. Sellers are often loth to do this as they worry that they will scare the buyer off, but I wish more people would stand their ground, but that's probably another story...

...As for the path/entry, I don't think that is a flying freehold by your description. If both properties meet in the middle point, from the ground to the roof, then that is simply a shared passageway (as opposed to one house's bedroom being fully above the passageway for example-that's a flying freehold type instance).

From what you have said, it seems that the lawyers need to check that both houses have reciprocal rights of way, rights of support and of access, and this should be a fairly easy thing for them to do. Get on your solicitor's case as flying freehold indemnities can be v dear.

If this isn't clear or you need to go into more detail, feel free to pm me.

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