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Is it OK to ask the sellers to do some work for us?

(20 Posts)
aufaniae Tue 25-Sep-12 09:57:11

Just had the survey done and nothing major has come up, so we will be sticking by our original offer.

However the house has an old gas fire which has been condemned. DP thinks we should make it a condition of sale that the vendors get rid of it before we exchange.

What do you think?

We made the offer ages ago, and the sale is taking a while to go through as we're waiting for our own flat to go through (nearly there, at last, phew!).

I can't help feeling we should have mentioned it before, especially as it's going through probate, no one actually lives there.

Am I just being too polite? Should we say we want them to do this? Is this normal?

lljkk Tue 25-Sep-12 10:02:54

What does "getting rid of it" entail for the seller?

aufaniae Tue 25-Sep-12 10:08:55

They would need to pay for a properly registered professional to come and remove it.

I guess it would cost a couple of hundred pounds.

The house does need lots of work, otherwise, but we're not changing our offer as we knew that when we offered. We were the only offer AFAIK and we made a reasonable offer - I don't feel we drove a hard bargain!

I think perhaps DP feels this is their responsibility though as it has a big sign on it saying "condemned" - it's not something that's come up in the survey?

lljkk Tue 25-Sep-12 10:15:34

I have a gut feeling it might not be super straightforward to get it removed, so probably best if you do raise it & see if it can be done before you move in. How would you feel if they said NO?

suburbandweller Tue 25-Sep-12 10:16:50

It wouldn't have come up in the survey because a surveyor isn't qualified to comment on it (they usually recommend that gas, electrics etc. are checked as standard). If you knew when you made the offer that it was condemned, and you are buying the house as a doer upper, I suspect your vendors won't take kindly to you now imposing a condition on them that the fire be removed - you really should have raised it earlier if you felt that strongly about it. The house is presumably priced to reflect the fact that it needs work, and this is part of that.

On the assumption you'll be looking to replace it rather than leaving a gap where it is currently, what's the point in potentially upsetting your sellers by making them pay to have it removed? Anyone fitting a replacement will have to take it out anyway so them leaving it shouldn't mean you incur extra costs.

PigletJohn Tue 25-Sep-12 10:44:55

it ought to be removed, and the gas pipe properly capped, and tested for leakage by a Gas Safe person.

If the vendors want to get rid of it on the cheap, they might miss out the second and third steps.

If by any chance you will be having work done on boiler or gas cooker by a Gas Safe person, you could ask them to do the capping-off and testing as an extra.

CherriesOnTop Tue 25-Sep-12 14:08:28

So was this mentioned in the survey? If so, and you can legitimately say "it was raised in the survey that the old gas fire has been condemned..." then yes, I think you can ask them.
It was mentioned in our survey that a couple of roof tiles had slipped on the house that we were buying (even though we'd noticed them already ourselves) and so, with the survey to 'back us up', we asked the sellers to replace them. They did - and they didn't even argue as far as I remember.

minipie Tue 25-Sep-12 17:31:59

Personally I'd ask for money off and do it yourself, for the reasons piglet says - I wouldn't want to rely on the vendors doing it properly.

Also if nobody lives there it's probably a massive hassle for them to arrange it so they may be more reluctant to agree to doing it than paying for it iyswim.

aufaniae Tue 25-Sep-12 22:22:13

I haven't seen the actual survey yet, I've talked to the surveyor on the phone and he ran over all the main points (nothing serious) - he's writing it up this week.

I know the fire is condemmed as it have a big sticker on it which says "condemned, do not use!

So no, it didn't come up in the survey. We saw it before we made our first offer.

aufaniae Tue 25-Sep-12 22:23:12

"I wouldn't want to rely on the vendors doing it properly."

I feel that too.

DP reckons they have to employ a properly registered person to do it, and so they have to do it right.

aufaniae Tue 25-Sep-12 22:24:09

*has, not have!

DowagersHump Tue 25-Sep-12 22:24:28

If you saw it before you made your offer, why would you insist that they get rid of it at this stage?

aufaniae Tue 25-Sep-12 22:32:34

Well I don't know! It hadn't even occurred to me tbh!

DP reckons it's their responsibility, I'm not really sure why.

I was wondering if other people saw that as a reasonable request.

DoesBuggerAll Tue 25-Sep-12 22:36:45

YABU. The condition of the fire was known at the outset. To reduce the offer at this point is out of order.

FishfingersAreOK Tue 25-Sep-12 22:38:16

If it is a gas thing it will surely have to be signed off by a Gassafe person - so you could get this agreed - that it will be removed with appropriate certification?

SavoyCabbage Tue 25-Sep-12 22:41:41

If they are in a situation where they are waiting for you to sell your house, asking them something else might annoy or distress them. Depending on what sort of people they are and how used they are to selling houses.

ErmahgerdPerngwens Tue 25-Sep-12 22:42:28

If you saw the fire before you made the offer then your offer should have reflected that, if the vendors wanted to charge a higher price for the house they should have done work on it before they put it on the market.

They've chosen to sell for a lower price, presumably to avoid the hassle of doing the work. You've made an offer which is reasonable for the current state of the house. I can't understand why your DP wants to move the goalposts now.

financialwizard Wed 26-Sep-12 08:32:20

I'd be getting it done myself after completion in your circumstance.

THETrills Wed 26-Sep-12 08:34:40

A couple of hundred pounds is nothing when you are buying a house.

Making a fuss and potentially delaying things could cost you more than that.

I agree with Ermahgerd and DowagersHump, you made an offer knowing it was there

aufaniae Wed 26-Sep-12 10:22:04

Oh, that's a good point - as we're currently paying out a mortgage and renting.

Our tenant is leaving our flat in a few weeks, if this delays it it could well cost us money on the mortgage for the flat which we wouldn't have had to pay otherwise.

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