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buyer refusing to complete after exchange

(19 Posts)
Boohaha Thu 03-Mar-16 18:01:30

We have exchanged on a flat we used to rent out. It has been empty for four months and we have not been able to get to see it. Our buyer went in this week to measure up and said that the shower was not working and that there is something damaged in the communal hall. We did not know this and as completion is due Monday and we were only made aware of these matters today, after exchange, we thought that it would be up to the buyer to rectify as they now have insurance. The communal hall would be the problem for the freeholder, we believe.
The buyer now refuses to complete on Monday unless we give them contact details of the freeholder, and the other owners of the flats in the block, which is a conversion. We do not have this information, the freeholder would. This is all very late in the day but our buyers have been a total nightmare anyway.
What will happen if they refuse to complete? It is just us and our buyers in the chain. Can we sue? We honestly did not know about the shower or the damage.
Can anyone advise. Very grateful

Chippednailvarnish Thu 03-Mar-16 18:04:10

What does your solicitor say?

lljkk Thu 03-Mar-16 18:04:40

Is this in England? Soliciter, Now.

AFAIK, they are entitled to the contact details for the freeholder, I believe their solicitor would havve obtained this prior to exchange. I shouldn't think it's your responsibility to provide info on the other tenants. They should not have exchanged until they were sure, more fool them. Did they pay a deposit? Has your solicitor heard from theirs?

Diamogs Thu 03-Mar-16 18:06:15

Your solicitor should have the management pack from the freeholder and have supplied it to the buyer's solicitor.

They can't pull out after exchange without forfeiting their deposit.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Thu 03-Mar-16 18:08:15

I don't think the buyer can negotiate after exchange, it's a legal commitment. If they don't complete on completion day, then they forfeit their deposit.

But yes, speak to your solicitor to clarify.

Sootica Thu 03-Mar-16 18:43:34

What everyone else said re solicitor! The solicitor should have already provided freeholder details to their solicitors

Boohaha Thu 03-Mar-16 20:22:50

Thank you for all the replies. My solicitor was not there, will speak to her in the morning. I did some research and it looks like we would keep the 10% deposit and be able to sue the buyer for the estate agent fees and associated costs. Also, if we resell the place for less than the ex buyers were going to pay, we might be able to sue for the difference. Not sure about that one. If we were greedy, I wonder if we could sue for lost rent as the place was standing empty (ie tenants had gone) for four months. I am not a greedy person, but I am hopping mad about this. I wouldn't sue for lost rent, but I sure feel like it!
It would cost the buyer an awful lot more to pull out than it would to repair something in the communal hall and a broken shower! Don't want to go into specifics about the hall in case it outs me. Probably just being paranoid and emotional.

Sootica Fri 04-Mar-16 15:56:31

Any update OP

Ragusa Fri 04-Mar-16 19:47:55

But why should your buyers have to pay out because your tenants have damaged the property?. Their solicitor is giving them good advice ... Damage to shower could mean anything from small crack to shower ripped off wall and water damage everywhere ...

LittleBearPad Fri 04-Mar-16 19:53:31

Because Ragusa they've exchanged contracts to do so. The penalties for failing to complete are set out in the contract. If they were concerned they should have visited pre-exchange.

Ragusa Fri 04-Mar-16 19:56:40

Nope, our sol advised a visit between exchange and completion. He is through and knows his stuff. Of course there are penalties for non-completion but equally the buyer needs to be sure that nothing untoward has occurred to devalue their purchase.

SewSlapdash Fri 04-Mar-16 19:59:48

Ragusa that's the buyer's risk and why he should have insurance in place from exchange. It's just tough.

The buyer has already committed to this purchase, he is legally bound. He will forfeit his deposit if he refuses to complete.

Ragusa Fri 04-Mar-16 20:14:23

No: that advice is incorrect. Standard conditions of sale provide property should be in the same condition as at exchange. Unlrss this contract diverges from the standard.... unlikely. Insurance is principally to protect the lender. Seller needs urgent legal advice.

Ragusa Fri 04-Mar-16 20:15:17

Sorry not totally incorrect. Yes, the buyer must complete but the seller is not necessarily home and dry.

Sootica Fri 04-Mar-16 22:14:03

Damage sounds like it was before exchange though. Tenants have been gone for four months

thecapitalsunited Mon 07-Mar-16 18:19:35

How did it go today OP?

Boohaha Tue 08-Mar-16 10:17:03

Well up until yesterday morning they were refusing to complete. The estate agent (so he told us after) had to explain the consequences of non- completion. I am assuming their solicitor did the same, as it completed a couple of hours later. Thank you for all the useful advice pps have given above. I don't want to go through all that again. The place will go up in value, I believe, as we sold it a bit below market value as we were aware it needed cosmetic updating- the kitchen was a bit old but still usable, as was the bathroom (or so we thought hmm ). So the new owners should get value. I think they were perhaps naive, or didn't take heed of advice given to them. Who knows? Just glad it's all over.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Tue 08-Mar-16 10:35:54

Good news OP.

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