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Do I buy this house or not *sex offender register*

(61 Posts)
ToBuyOrNot67 Wed 05-Feb-14 15:53:37

Hi everyone, I am a long time lurker and first time poster. Apologies if this is in the wrong section.

I find myself in a bit of an odd situation and I need to make a decision but could do with some advice.

To cut a long story short, I am in the process of moving home. I have a flat to sell and my DH and I are buying our first house together. We have just reached the point where contracts are almost ready to be exchanged but now, I am not sure whether to proceed.

Right from the beginning, the agent acting for the sellers (I'll call him Mr A) told us that a lady Mrs B owned the house, whenever we had queries, were negotiating the sale price etc Mr A always said he would speak with Mrs B and let us know etc.

Skip forward to yesterday and I receive the sales pack from my solicitor and this shows the owner is actually someone totally different - Mr C. There is no mention or Mrs B on any of the legal papers.

I find it quite odd that Mr A would deliberately mislead us. I mentioned it in passing to someone who said that Mr C's name rang a bell. After a very quick search on Google it turns out Mr C had been charged in December with 3 counts of child sex offenses - it mentions the road name but not the house number but it is safe to assume it is the same person that is selling this house. He pleaded not guilty and was released on bail until January. I have searched and can't find anything with any update on so not sure where this stands at the moment.

It also turns out that Mr A and Mr C are closely related.

I guess the reason I am posting is to try and establish what impact this may have on the address if this is eventually charged and added to the sex offenders register. I am not casting judgment on what he may or may not have done, I don't know the man, I don't the background. What I am concerned about is having the address linked to this. If he ends up on the register, will the address by listed, will it be public information. What I don't want to do is to go ahead with a sale and end up victim to any vigilante attack if they link the address but don't know he no longer lives there.

Sorry that was longer than I intended but I am really unsure of what the implications may be on me and my DH going forward if we go ahead.

Does anyone have any experience or knowledge in this area?

thanks in advance

YoureBeingASillyBilly Wed 05-Feb-14 15:56:32

I wouldnt go ahead for the simple reason that you have been mislead an there could be a lot more that tey are trying to pull over on you. I would walk away. They arent trustworthy.

cupcake78 Wed 05-Feb-14 15:58:13

I can see why you'd not want to as you have been mislead but I don't see the owners conviction as an issue.

If there are other properties you like just as much if go with them.

baggyb Wed 05-Feb-14 15:58:52

I have no experience in this area but my gut says walk away. I would be too worried that other things were being hidden.

ToBuyOrNot67 Wed 05-Feb-14 16:00:59

Thank you both. I agree that we have been mislead which makes me think what else is being hidden.

The agent has been so pushy to get the sale completed now I know why!!

ToBuyOrNot67 Wed 05-Feb-14 16:02:32

Thanks baggyb - my gut is leaning more toward walking away but I am still torn. DH is the same

LaurieFairyCake Wed 05-Feb-14 16:03:30

I'm usually first to call an agent an arse but they genuinely may not know. Ms B may have not mentioned it.

Anniemousse Wed 05-Feb-14 16:03:53

The agent is closely related to the seller? Don'tt hey have to make a declaration of interest? Is there a body you could report this to! What a massive waste of your time. Have you spent any money on this? Searches etc?

cupcake78 Wed 05-Feb-14 16:03:58

They'll want it sold before it becomes wider known who owns it. Another thought I've had and I don't know if this would happen. What if the address gets out and people decide to take revenge on the house.

The more I think about it the less I'd want to live there.

MummytoMog Wed 05-Feb-14 16:04:43

Well it's all a bit peculiar, though I can understand why Mr C might not want to sell direct if his name is linked with this court case, and he may well be not guilty. However if he is found guilty and placed on the sex offenders register it will be to his current address, and placing a former address (the house you would have bought) as his address on the register would be illegal and a breach of whatever license he is on. You are quite likely to complete before any verdict/sentencing is reached. Additionally, nobody should really have any access to his address via the sex offenders register who doesn't need it for a very good reason (probation, local police service).

In short, if you want the house and are ready to exchange, with a prompt completion, then I would go ahead. You are unlikely to have any problems linked to the court case.

CajaDeLaMemoria Wed 05-Feb-14 16:05:56

I wouldn't go ahead, for two reasons:

1 - As everyone else has said, the owners are not trustworthy. They are misleading you. If they've lied about this, what else have they lied about?

2 - Your new address will be linked with this. The street is already on online news reports, and locals will easily know what number he lives at. It will never be officially recorded that he has left. You don't know how people will react to you being there - there could be hostility because people presume you are friends/related, there could be vigilante attacks, you could have trouble reselling in the future.

I'd walk away from this one. No house can be worth the trouble.

NCedToProtectTheIgnorant Wed 05-Feb-14 16:06:06

I'd be heavily on the fence about the actual conviction but the fact Mr A had been so deceitful would be a complete deal breaker for me - wouldn't touch the property with a bargepole after that. If he'd outright lie about who is selling the house and conceal his relationship with the owner there's nothing else he won't stoop to conceal - you might end up buying somewhere with horrific neighbours and in a flood risk area for all he'd tell you.

MummytoMog Wed 05-Feb-14 16:07:04

And if you have bought the house, and he were found guilty, it would be reported as 'Mr C, of no fixed addrerss' or 'Mr C, of wherever he is staying now'. Not linked to your address.

MummytoMog Wed 05-Feb-14 16:08:09

Or you could ask Mr A of course. Rather than Mumsnet...

VoiceoversSoundSmug Wed 05-Feb-14 16:09:53

I echo to walk away from this.

At the end of the day if he did what he has been accused of he has no compassion for others and will be trying to pull a fast one on you. You also don't want bricks through the windows in the future.

ToBuyOrNot67 Wed 05-Feb-14 16:11:23

cupcake78 - that is exactly my concern. I don't want a brick through the window or a lynch mob on the lawn.

The fact that the name of the road has already appeared online is what concerns me.

Anniemouse - thank you, I will look in to whether he should have disclosed this. I get the impression that Mr C is the agents father, I would have thought this information would need to be disclosed somewhere.

Unfotunately we have paid out for the survey costs, mortgage set up costs and all of the solicitors searches etc. We were just about to exchanged.

What a nightmare!

magimedi Wed 05-Feb-14 16:12:03

I would walk away for all of the above reasons.

I would also be asking your solicitor about re claiming some of your costs from the EA as thet have been pretty misleading about this.

VoiceoversSoundSmug Wed 05-Feb-14 16:13:03

The other thing that would bother me is if he is guilty, you may come across anything in a hidden area at a later stage, for example during a kitchen refit and have to deal with the fall out of that.

ToBuyOrNot67 Wed 05-Feb-14 16:16:25

Mummytomog - thank you for your comments, it helps to see it from that point of view.

I have picked up the phone to call Mr A about 6 times in the last couple of hours but don't know how to start really "hi I understand your father has been up to no good is that why you lied about the owner of the property? could you tell me what is going on please?" not sure what to say!

MummytoMog Wed 05-Feb-14 16:18:49

I think you're overthinking this to be honest. I have a fair amount of contact with actual, convicted sex offenders for various reasons. I've never heard of one of them having a brick through their window, even when victims/victims' families know exactly where they live. Ditto baying mobs.

Ask Mr A for an explanation before you pull out at the very least. They will also have spent money on this sale and there may be a relatively innocent explanation.

VoiceoversSoundSmug Wed 05-Feb-14 16:21:52

You don't have to say anything on the phone. Speak to your solicitor and sue the agents for costs and leave it at that, have no more to do with them, they took you for a mug.

MummytoMog Wed 05-Feb-14 16:21:55

Ah, cross post.

Just call and say that you are confused and a bit concerned that the name on the pack is different to the one he had given you. Also that you recognise this name from reports in the newspaper... leave an awkward silence and wait for him to fill it.

I think either he'll be able to reassure you straight away, or you will feel more certain about pulling out.

I am convinced that you would have no problems in the house, but Mr A has not behaved spotlessly from the sounds of things, and it may be that you just don't want to live there any more.

ToBuyOrNot67 Wed 05-Feb-14 16:22:07

Thank you again MummytoMog, you are right I probably am over thinking it. I guess its just the nature of the issue that has made us panic a little and the fear of the unknown.

I will speak to Mr A before we make any decisions

Viviennemary Wed 05-Feb-14 16:25:44

You seem to have been misled. You could ask the estate agent who the actual owner of the house is. But if you have concernes then it's probably better not to go ahead with the purchase. Absolutely don't contact either of these people personally.

If you do decide to go ahead perhaps you could negotiate a lower price for the property in view of the circumstances and subsequent likely difficulty of selling the property ?

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