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Ready to exchange but problem with central heating

(20 Posts)
Redhound Tue 23-Feb-16 21:46:10

My solicitor advised me to get the central heating system checked/serviced on the house I am purchasing, at the vendor's expense. New one on me, but apparently it's common now and it was the final hurdle before exchange, so my plumber went out yesterday.
I haven't spoken to him yet, but from his email it sounds as though there is a major problem. It is an oldish system (late 80s) so quite possible it will need serious £££ spent or a whole new system.
Would it be correct form to lower the agreed offered price to cover the entire repair/replacement costs? Anyone been in the same situation and if so what happened?
Thank you!

SquinkiesRule Tue 23-Feb-16 22:15:01

Probably needs a new boiler if it's from the 80's. Ds bought his house knowing it had an old boiler and knew the cost beforehand. His plumber said it was an antique, so old he'd not seem one like that still in use.

Redhound Tue 23-Feb-16 22:21:38

Thanks for the reply. However, my previous house had an original 70s boiler that was still going strong. I had not factored in replacing the central heating system immediately, this was spotted at a late stage therefore I am in a different situation.
I am sure my solicitor will advise, but I just wondered if anyone else had been in the same situation just before exchange and if they took the repair cost off the price. Thanks

KP86 Tue 23-Feb-16 22:25:29

I guess it depends if you were told that it was in perfect working order by the EA or vendor?

everdene Tue 23-Feb-16 22:26:32

Having just got a house and had to fork out 12 grand for a new central heating system, I'd try to negotiate if I were in your shoes! Wish I'd known!

Redhound Tue 23-Feb-16 22:39:52

KP the house is a probate sale so the vendor knew nothing about it. However my solicitor obviously knew this and still recommended that I get it checked. If there is no comeback, then there would have been no point having it checked?
Ever, that's a huge amount but sounds feasible as I paid c £6k for new boiler, cylinder and pipes quite recently on another property. I will get a quote from my plumber and see what the solicitor says. Thanks

KP86 Tue 23-Feb-16 22:50:13

In that case I would offer less and see what they say.

Redhound Tue 23-Feb-16 22:57:10

Thats probably what I will do, thanks. Hopefully it's not a huge sum; its only a small 2 bed house so hoping even a whole new system might be £4k or less

KP86 Tue 23-Feb-16 22:58:54

Especially if you tell them that you will not go through with it if they don't agree.

How attached are you to the house?

They might agree to a 50/50 split of costs.

Redhound Tue 23-Feb-16 23:28:12

It's an investment property, so not attached as such but it would be hassle and wasted money to pull out now, plus my job is low paid, so I need the rental income asap. 50/50 might work depending upon how much it is. Thanks for your further thoughts.

specialsubject Wed 24-Feb-16 14:26:39

if it is going to be a rental you MUST replace that boiler and make sure all is cleaned out/working. You don't want it failing with tenants in.

so budget for that.

Icouldbeknitting Wed 24-Feb-16 16:09:21

I know someone who was buying a property that had been empty for some time and when they viewed they couldn't get the boiler to come on. The vendor's agent agreed to pay for a gas safety check as no-one could give any assurances about the heating system. As the only person available during the day my job was to sit in the freezing house and wait for the gas man. The result was that he condemned the boiler, I took lots of photos and the vendor reduced the price by the cost of the work that needed doing.

Redhound Wed 24-Feb-16 16:58:02

Thank you Icould, that is a very similar scenario to mine. Sounds like you get all the best jobs!!
Specialsubject I cannot see any point immediately replacing a perfectly good boiler just because it is old. If it is gas checked and serviced annually, that seems perfectly reasonable. Obviously it's poor form if it fails on the tenants though, so I would seek advice from a plumber on whether/when it did need replacing.
An update anyway; the system has not totally been condemned but there are very dangerous C02 issues which my plumber can resolve, so I have asked him to quote for doing this and hopefully the vendor will knock it off the bill; sounds as though it might only be a couple of hundred quid or so. The system itself is adequate but old and will need upgrading at some stage according to the plumber. Thank you for the thoughts on this matter.

specialsubject Wed 24-Feb-16 17:36:37

silly me, I read 'major problem' in your OP and so assumed it was not a 'perfectly good' boiler.

and now you are saying you have CO issues (not CO2, important difference!).
That is not adequate. I'd get banned for saying what I thought.

I'm a landlord. MN hates landlords. Sometimes I understand why.

Redhound Wed 24-Feb-16 18:40:12

Er what is your problem Special subject?! I supplied all the information I had at the time, the message from the plumber was that things were bad so I assumed the worst and sought advice accordingly. Oh how awful that I called 'carbon monoxide' Co2 not CO. I know what carbon monoxide is and what the current legislation requires. So, spelling it incorrectly makes me a bad landlord!? And my minor error makes you want to swear and get banned!? Sorry but you have issues! The other posters managed to be helpful and non-antagonistic. I give up!

specialsubject Wed 24-Feb-16 19:27:51

I also give up.

good luck in the business, and your opinion that an old boiler leaking a lethal gas can be fixed by some passing cowboy. Boilers now have a very limited life. Of course if you are in London, you can rent anything in any state.

many on here don't know their basic science, I assumed that rather than a spello. You may just be missing the main point.

still, at least you had the balls to reply on here. And I suggest you stay off landlordzone where you WILL find out what it means to have your arse handed to you on a plate.

Ragusa Wed 24-Feb-16 19:35:12

Mmm.... kinda siding with Special here. Unless you ate renting to people with not much choice, a 30+ year-old boiler may not exactly sell your place to tenants. Aside from safety, it is going to be very inefficient. People are bothered about this these days because fuel costs money. We had a landlady who had a similar outlook to you and, um, we left.

It doesn't make financial sense either, most probably. High energy costs = tenants who will turn heating off = problems with damp usually.

You might need the rent but it's going to be the tenants's home.

Redhound Wed 24-Feb-16 20:30:13

Hmm who said it was a cowboy plumber!? It's a very good, experienced plumber! I will go with his opinion on whether to replace the boiler, I am awaiting his report. If he recommends replacing it I will do so. I certainly am budgeting to replace it within the next year or two.
I am afraid you have jumped in aggressively assuming the worst based on one question which I dashed off quickly before work.
You also went off on a tangent as I was not asking about the boiler, I was asking about the financial implications for the sale.
Both Special and Ragusa are projecting heref for some reason, I have no intentions of being a short-cut landlord-quite the opposite. I have been a landlord previously and I made sure I fixed everything that wanted fixing even if it wasn't technically my responsibility as I wanted to keep my tenants happy. I also didn't raise the rent as they were good tenants.
I have read up about the legal implications and take them seriously. I have excellent advice from a good plumber, solicitor and letting agents. I really don't see what more I could do and I don't know why you think jumping on people like that helps matters, as it makes people less likely to come on here and seek advice. I think it's a real shame frankly.

Ragusa Thu 25-Feb-16 07:55:37

Ok.... well sorry if I offended. Not my intention.

Boiler is unlikely to be the only thing that needs redoing in a probate sale, especially with a 30 yo boiler. Have you looked at the electrics? There is no requirement to have annual checks on this but again if anything goes wrong you still have a duty of care in law. Does the house have any insulation at all?

You can try for money off; we bought a house in similar circs and took the view such issues were fairly obvious and offered accordingly.

Redhound Thu 25-Feb-16 08:16:14

Thank you Ragusa. I perhaps didn't phrase my original question well.
I already have a good electrician lined up for the electrical test. I want to be 100% happy that everything is safe. I run a little caravan site and this has to be electrically tested every year.
I have also asked my plumber for advice re; the legionella assessment as the property has a tank and has been empty a while.
I will see what my solicitor thinks regarding the money off; I offered being aware of course that the property was dated, but when I last bought and sold houses the solicitor did not request an inspection of the heating system before exchange. I was therefore not expecting this and I cannot see why I was told to do so if there are no implications.

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