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On list of questionf from buyers solicitors, they mention wanting us to take indemnity policy, can I say no?

(20 Posts)
CrapBag Wed 04-Jun-14 09:59:25

It wasn't one of the questions that my solicitors wanted me to answer. I emailed and said he would deal with the other questions when I had given the answers to the ones I needed to.

On the property form, there was a couple of questions about repairs to the house dating back to 3 years before we bought it. It isn't an old house, only 25 years old. We have had windows done and done up all the inside so can provide and conform this. We have never had any problems with this house. We didn't know the answers for definite from before we were here so I gave the answers as "I don't know" rather than just say "no" as I read that if you give the wrong information they can sue you later on. I though this was the best way to go.

Now they are saying that if we cannot prove/confirm if works were done from 2005 then they want indemnity insurance at our costs. So far my solicitor has not answered this question and did not answer me when I emailed him asking about it. Just said that he would deal with it when my answers were sent back, which they now have been and forwarded on to the buyers solicitors.

I have looked up indemnity insurance online (as I have no idea what it is) and it says for things like extensions without permission and things like that. We have nothing like that and as far as I am aware, the previous owners did nothing to this house (hence the mess it was in when we took it).

I don't want to have to fork out for an insurance that is not for me and it is completely unnecessary. As our buyer is cash, he hasn't even had a survey done so he obviously isn't that bothered anyway.

eurochick Wed 04-Jun-14 10:06:40

You can say no, but the buyer can insist (or drop out if not willing to agree to that). Our house had an external air conditioner when we bought it. We are in a conservation area which has a no pipes or equipment outside rule. Our vendors got an indemnity policy, so if it was ever raised it could be fixed. It only cost them a couple of hundred pounds I think.

specialsubject Wed 04-Jun-14 10:07:40

don't see why you should pay for this, especially if the buyer can't be bothered with a survey.

bat it back with a 'no'. And phone your solicitor and demand that you get the service that you pay for.

and yes, if you don't know, that's what you say.

GemmaTeller Wed 04-Jun-14 10:10:13

We had this.

We bought our old 10 years prior to selling, the 'back door' had been moved from the side to the back of the property by the council during the previous owners occupancy (the council had done this to all of the houses on the estate), so, the work had been done 15+ years before we sold the house.

We never queried it and it never came up as an issue on our purchase.

When we sold the house apparently it was an issue to the new buyer as we couldn't prove the council had done it and that the work had all relevant permission, even though we argued that the buyer could visibly see all the other houses on the estate had had the same work done.

We paid the £50 indemnity (just to get the buyer off our back)

Freyathecatt Wed 04-Jun-14 10:15:51

We said no and they dropped the matter immediately. If you can't be bothered to pay for a survey, why should i pay for you to have some assurance?

Alternatively offer to share the cost.

PigletJohn Wed 04-Jun-14 10:20:55

Have a look on the council website.

Last time I sold a house, you could look up Planning and Building Regulations register for the whole street going back at least 50 years, and print off the documents (if present).

They asked if I had copies of the approved plans from 1958. I said no and heard no more about it.

CrapBag Wed 04-Jun-14 10:21:30

Given that he hasn't bothered to have a suvery, I am not sure if the buyer even knows about it! I have no idea what questions my solicitors have asked the vendor so I assumed our buyer doesn't know either.

The only thing that has possibly occurred to me is we had cavity wall insulation through a government scheme and I didn't have to pay because I am receipt of qualifying benefits. They asked for the guarantee which I told them I don't have (don't think I ever got one) but I did have the signed form stating that the works have been done, and that was given in with all the required paperwork. They asked for the guarantee again in their list of questions and I had to remind them I didn't have one and the document I did have was already forwarded on.

But saying that, they specifically referred to 2 questions which were about works from 2005 so I don't think they are referring to that. I think it is purely because I put ticked the "I don't know" box. How can I possibly know what was done 3 years before we even bought the house (to which I am 99.9% sure was nothing as a year of that it was empty and it was an elderly couple before that)?

CrapBag Wed 04-Jun-14 10:23:57

Piglet this whole street was built in 1989 and they have the plans and everything for it. I had it all and gave it in to my solicitors with all the forms I had to fill in in the beginning. So they should already have all of that information. And there certainly won't have been any extensions, with or without planning permission, its a tiny mid terraced with a very small back garden and loft that you can't stand up in, there wouldn't be anywhere to extend even if you did want to.

yummumto3girls Wed 04-Jun-14 22:23:49

This indemnity policy is just about solicitors covering their arses and the insurance industry making more money, it makes me mad!! We moved two weeks ago, our buyers solicitor insisted on an indemnity for a public footpath which ran up the side of our house, when we moved 18 years ago we got the neighbours to sign statements confirming our right of access up the lane to the rear of our property, it was registered in land registry, no problem. Their solicitor insisted on an indemnity... For what I don't know!! We refused but offered the buyers a £100 incentive which they could use towards it if they wanted. Turns out the buyers were unaware that solicitor was insisting and accepted the £100. So....ensure your buyers know!! Also anything in place since 2005 would not be touchable now by planning or building regs as it's too long ago so check this out. And stand your ground! Good luck.

HortenMarket Thu 05-Jun-14 09:39:09

It isn't usually that much - maybe £100 but depends on the value of your house. We had the vendors of where we live take one out but there was a 30 year old loft conversion with no consent and we are topping it up for the people buying our house. If you want the sale to progress and they insist you may have to do it.

Having said that it clearly states on the property information form that a vendor cannot be expected to know about works on the property completed prior to them purchasing the house. So you cannot be sued for saying yes or no to works not carried out by yourselves since you have been living there.

As your houses aren't that old you could play hardball but you risk the purchasers dropping out.

Gemma77 Thu 05-Jun-14 18:07:02

Some solicitors are ridiculous strict! Our own solicitor takes a more pragmatic view, if it doesn't affect the value of the house, the ability to sell it in the future and the quality of life living there then she doesn't worry.

However, the solicitors at the beginning of our chain want everything 100% covered which has caused us weeks of delay.

At one point the first people in the chain were demanding an indemnity insurance of a missing deed that had expired anyway... our buyers (rightly so) said they didn't need the insurance but their buyer refused to proceed without it on the basis of the advice of their solicitor.

It was a case of stalemate with neither side prepared to budge and both apparently willing to let the whole chain fall apparent for the sake of 135 pounds! In the end we agreed to pay the insurance even though it's not for the house we are selling or buying... just to get things moving!

The insurance issue added over three weeks of delay to our move and a lot of stress.... completely disproportionate to the minimal cost of the insurance.

If it was me - I'd pay it and move on.

busyboysmum Fri 06-Jun-14 17:43:39

It's going to cost about £50. Who on earth would pull out over such a small amount? I'd refuse and tell them if they want it they take it out. What is it supposed to cover anyway? There's got to be a risk to insure. Usually the surveyor will have picked something up like a knock through which should have had building regulations approval.

CrapBag Fri 06-Jun-14 22:07:25

It seems mad and I have no idea why they are asking for it. I bet the buyer doesn't even know tbh. There definitely has been nothing drastic done and as he had no survey, nothing can have been picked up.

I think they solicitors are trying it on a bit really, but don't know why.

lessonsintightropes Fri 06-Jun-14 22:14:10

Indemnity insurance, whilst fairly cheap, only benefits the buyers - not you! And so in your shoes I'd refuse, and have done. The property we are selling had boarded out the loft and put in a Velux window. We bought it on that basis and sold it as such (freeholder is a small charitable trust - chances of any issues are minimal) and talked the buyers through what they would have to do to meet building regs. Their solicitors insisted we provide indemnity insurance for £300 and we flatly refused having dropped £18k on valuation as the buyers couldn't stump up the remainder. There's a good Telegraph article I'm unable to link to which explains that insurance providers actually shouldn't sell it to buyers as you won't benefit. Tell them to naff off!

CrapBag Fri 06-Jun-14 22:23:21

I think I saw that article when I googled indemnity insurance.

Yes, I don't understand why they think we should fork out for insurance for a house we won't live it. I won't be giving in and I can't see our buyer pulling out because of it.

lessonsintightropes Fri 06-Jun-14 22:27:35

You're right to hold firm. Thankfully we had contact details for our buyers (to enable them to do a 2 hour (!) second viewing just before exchange) so when their solicitors starting getting arsey on their behalf without being instructed to behave that way, were quickly reined in. The other side is IMO completely out of line on this.

CrapBag Fri 13-Jun-14 21:54:24

Got a letter from my solicitors this week saying that the buyers solicitors have picked up on "various works carried out prior to ownership which would have required building regulations" and as we are not in possession of these documents, my solicitor wants to know if he can go ahead and arrange the £20 indemnity insurance at our cost. confused

I don't know what these works are, nothing has been done to this house before we took it, its only 25 years old now and we have had it for over 5 years. There is no extension, conservatory, loft conversion, no layout change.

Its not the money, its the principle. I think they are trying it on. The only documents we ever had were all passed to our solicitors at the start of this process. Its seems that they are implying we have lost something.

The estate agents phoned today to update me on the progress and I mentioned this and they said they had heard but they are at a loss as to what it could be referring to as well. I said I am not even sure that they buyer is aware and they said they are trying to contact him so maybe this will enlighten him and he can tell his solicitors to stop being so bloody stupid over £20 (which seems an odd amount for indemnity insurance, the EAs said its usually a couple hundred, which is backed up in my googling.

tallulah Fri 13-Jun-14 22:13:04

We got a similar request from our buyers solicitors, after they'd mucked us about and delayed the sale by a month or so.

We told our solicitors we weren't paying it and if they wanted it they could buy it themselves. Never heard any more about it and the sale went through.

lessonsintightropes Fri 13-Jun-14 22:19:01

We have also exchanged and told the buyers we were not willing to pay.

CrapBag Fri 13-Jun-14 23:24:03

That's good to hear.

I can't see the buyer pulling out over £20. Its a shared ownership in the area he lives in already, there aren't many opportunities like this and he is buying the share outright, which he can't do with anything else (its a small share).

I am hoping that as its his only choice, he won't want to lose this house over something like this.

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