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About to exchange on house, plumbing issue (!), WWYD?

(7 Posts)
21stCenturyBreakdown Sat 14-Nov-15 10:01:28

DH and I are first time buyers and have been trying to buy a house literally all year (offer accepted in January, got to the point we were ready to exchange, only for everything to fall through). Found a second house in July which seemed perfect because it was a landlord selling up, so only us and them in the chain. Given how long this had been going on, we made our offer conditional on completion at the end of October. Needless to say, it's now mid November and the tenants have only just vacated hmm

On the advice of our conveyancers, we've been to look at the house this morning to confirm a) vacant possession and b) that the place hasn't been trashed since we last saw it. The idea was that if all was fine, we'd give notice to our landlord today, exchange next week and complete 1st December. All isn't fine: DH noticed that in the downstairs loo, we could hear running water. We lifted the lid off the toilet and noticed the cistern was empty. Taps work fine though.

We know nothing about plumbing and don't know if this is something minor like an issue with the toilet or something major like a huge leak. Our estate agent is contacting the vendors and asking them to get a plumber out and we are seeking our own advice independently also. However, our tenancy runs from the 15th to the 15th of each month: if we don't give our landlord notice today, we won't be able to for another month and will then be attempting to move over Christmas sad

What would you do in this situation? (And does anyone know anything about plumbing? grin)

dietstartsmonday Sat 14-Nov-15 10:05:14

We had that it was a simple issue. I would exchange. If that's all that's wrong you are laughing really

Mitfordhons Sat 14-Nov-15 10:07:40

Exchange on the basis that the vendor rectifies the loo it's a minor issue.

LIZS Sat 14-Nov-15 10:11:04

If there is no evidence of a leak then ask ea/solicitor if you can have an access arrangement to get a plumber in after exchange. Could you take a plumber around on Monday to take a look before exchanging? If the property is empty and you are planning an overlap with rental then your completion date isn't restricted as long as before 15th December, so you could even exchange/complete simultaneously.

specialsubject Sat 14-Nov-15 10:35:23

I don't think your notice problem is as big as you think. First, check the tenancy to see if you actually have to sync up with the date of the 15th.

even if you do, if you give notice on Dec 15th you have to be out Jan 15th. There are only 3 bank holidays in that period, and even if nothing happens Dec 25th to Jan 1 there's still plenty of time to get removals. Operation sparkly tat is not really that disruptive.

given that you are moving from a rental to an empty property, do as you are planning and don't exchange on a Friday - no need. You can also have overlap.

now you know why no reputable solicitor will allow exchange on a tenanted property until it is empty. And don't forget to change the locks when you complete the purchase.

TheLesserSpottedBee Sat 14-Nov-15 11:48:24

We moved into this house and as they handed us the keys they said, oh and the hot water tank is leaking shock

Anyway, we needed a new tank. You could move into a house and a problem occur the day after. It is all part and parcel of owning a property.

When we have rented in the past we always overlapped tenancies by 2 weeks giving us time to do stuff in the empty new house, move at leisure then clean down the old house. We also did it when we bought our first property.

Just because you have a tenancy agreement doesn't mean you have to live there.

Exchange with the proviso that the toilet is fixed by the vendor. Get planning your Christmas in the new house.

21stCenturyBreakdown Mon 16-Nov-15 20:45:19

Thanks all - the vendors got a plumber out and fortunately it did turn out to be a minor issue, which has now been resolved. So hoping to exchange ASAP!

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