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Should there be a sense of urgency?

(25 Posts)
NoseyHelen Mon 17-Aug-09 12:13:34

We have to be out of our current house in 13 working days time. With our purchase, all our solicitor has received is a 'draft draft' contract and the HIP. The surveyor has requested further reports (asbestos and tree) to be undertaken this week. He also noted that we need to see building regs for various bit of work and a look at the council's register shows no building regs.

I have told our solicitor what is going on - well I e-mailed her on Thursday night and have had no response. DH rang this morning and left a message but no response. DH says we have to leave her to it and be 'nice'.

Am I being over the top thinking that with only 13 days to get the reports in, bank to approve these reports and approve mortgage, vendors to admit no building regs and then argue about providing an indemnity, exchange contracts and complete etc etc that actually we shouldn't be leaving everyone to it because everyone else will not be homeless with a 1yr old and 2yr old?

Floopy21 Mon 17-Aug-09 12:50:44

It's never going to happen in 13 days unless you badger the s* out of everyone concerned...and even then it's unlikely. Sorry to be the harbinger of doom...

PfftTheMagicDragon Mon 17-Aug-09 12:56:41

Well.....We are supposed to be completing in 13 days, all that is left to do is exchange and wait for the other solicitor to sort out their loose ends and we are being told that it is unlikely we will be able to complete in that time. We have pushed, pushed pushed all the way and have been lucky that our solicitor is quick and tells us what is going on. Some of them are useless. You should not be sitting back and letting them do what they need to, at this point with all that left to do, you need to be on their back and making sure they know that this is urgent!

Good luck in getting it done, I will say though, I hope you are not in our chain, completing in 13 days with all you have left to be done!

NorkyButNice Mon 17-Aug-09 13:22:35

My solicitor told me that our bank require a minimum of 10 working days to release the funds, so I'd say you're going to be hard pushed to get it all done in time.

Good luck!

mejon Mon 17-Aug-09 13:59:28

Are you in rented accommodation or have you exchanged on a sale before your purchase? Whichever, I'd be either be looking to see if you could stay on in your rented accommodation for another few weeks/month or looking for short-term rented accommodation as it is very unlikely you'll be able to complete on your purchase in 13 days with all the work left to do. Ring the solicitor and don't get off the phone until you speak to them personally. The time for 'being nice' has long since passed!!!

NoseyHelen Mon 17-Aug-09 14:19:25

We've completed on our house so must leave in 13 working days.

I'm not worried about funds - this only usually takes 5 working days but can be done quicker than that for a fee.

Obviously DH did take in what I said. He has spoken to solicitor who is talking to vendor's solicitor to ask if they believe they can work quick enough.

What's more infuriating is that we only exchanged on our sale and agreed a completion date because the vendor wanted a quick move, wanting us to complete by last Friday. It's such a joke. They only let our surveyor in 4 days before they wanted to complete.

Rebeccaj Mon 17-Aug-09 14:39:08


You need to be seriously JUMPING on your solicitor (and theirs) for this to happen.

We were supposed to exchange 10 days ago; we haven't yet, due to the incompetence of our buyer's solicitor. We are supposed to complete this friday, which we are about to refuse to do!

Your timescales are possible, but ONLY if everyone is really on board and prioritising you over everything else. The problem is there are so many things you (or your solicitor) don't have control over - the surveys, the bank, the vendor, their solicitor...

I would definitely have a contingency. We had to stay with the ILs for a fortnight the last time we bought/sold as we couldn't tie them together, and it looks likely again!
Best of luck!

NoseyHelen Mon 17-Aug-09 23:43:14

I was wrong to think DH had taken on board what I said. He did not ensure that solicitor came back with answers today so I am not sure that any progress was made today.

So I shall have to ring her tomorrow (with 2 sscreaming children) and insist she calls back within the hour.

Why must I do everything? For a hot-shot business man he is so rubbish at delivering what is required. Being nice has got us nowhere so far.

rebl Tue 18-Aug-09 08:17:06

Oh dear, not good dh. I would go and camp in the solicitors office with 2 screaming children. They'll deal with you pretty quickly I'm sure just to get you and the kids out and peace and quiet restored to their offices.

GOod luck, I think its cutting it extremely fine now I'm sorry to say.

NoseyHelen Tue 18-Aug-09 11:53:33

I rang tday - got the voicemail as usual but made my requirements clear and that I wanted certain thing achieved by 4pm today (giving an hour for me to chase when they fail to call me back by 4pm). DH wanted me to say close of business but you can't chase them after close of business - doh! The secretary rang to say that the message is being acted upon and that I should get a call back today. I told her I expect that to be by 4pm.

If we do not get a completion date today I am going to tell the vendors that our offer price is reducing by £160 per day, i.e. the cost of temporary accomodation and storage.

NoseyHelen Tue 18-Aug-09 22:14:54

It goes from bad to worse:

I spoke to the asbestos surveyor today who will produce his report by Friday. He said that the roof space is riddled with broken asbestos and is a serious health hazard. He asked the vendors not to opend the hatch again, including not removing any boxes therein because it would contaminate the rest of the house. They were insistent that they be able to remove their belongings so that they could dump the items themselves and anyway the asbestos is fine because they've been there for 30-odd years and are still alive. The surveyor gave us a benchmark price for removal of c.£5k.

I spoke to solicitor about the legal points. Not only have they no building regs but the restrictive covenants say that any additions need consent from the charitable organisation that sold the land back in the 1930s. Apparently the trust are very 'hot' on this. My solicitor told their solicitor that they would need to contact a certain organisation to arrange retrospective planning permission for extensions and this could take some weeks. She checked with them today on their progress and they haven't begun to address this at all, not so much as picked up the phone.

So, in conclusion, we are not sure if we want to buy the house, if we do we want a price reduction which we know will be declined and we'll have many weeks of ultra expensive but rubbish temporary accomodation to arrange.


rebl Wed 19-Aug-09 09:00:39

Sounds like a complete nightmare. I think I would be looking for somewhere else now and certainly requiring a significant price reduction if you did go with this house. Sounds like the vendors solicitors are not doing their job very well.

neversaydie Wed 19-Aug-09 10:08:42

Or the vendors hoping to panic you into going through with it by delaying the survey so long?

It is not a decision I would want to make in a hurry. Good luck with what ever you decide.

NoseyHelen Sat 22-Aug-09 23:47:02

An update:

The asbestos report came back - it was so bad it's incredible. The report included pictures of the asbestos which has been walked on so often that it has been ground into a powder (and then presumably walked though the house). The new ball park figure is £10k and it would require Health and Safety Executive liaison and will take c.6weeks to resolve. If it was a public building it would have to be closed down.

So, obviously our enthusiasm has waned (sp?) considerably. If we were idiotic enough to go for it we'd still have to sign a 6 month rental whilst it's being fixed so we'e looking for a rental now (we have to be out of here a fortnight on Monday - aaaaaargh).

So, we're going to say to him, we'll proceed only if he accepts a price reduction of £24k (covers asbestos removal, rental contract and replacing contaminated soft furnishings such as carpets) or £14k if he wants to arrange to do it himself, obviously providing correct certification. The vendor will decline either offer so we're assuming it's a no and have told our solicitor to stop incurring costs.

'tis a shame - that house was perfect for us and only 3 houses have come up in that area in 20 months

As an aside, I'm sure he'll tell people we were just trying to get more money off and I'd like to ask him when his daughter (whose children stay in that contaminated house every weekend) asks what happened, what he's going to tell her our reasons were for walking away - if he truly believes the asbestos is not an issue he wouldn't worry about telling her the truth but I suspect he'll tell her we were being greedy.

NoseyHelen Fri 04-Sep-09 11:27:18

Just to update:

We'd asked the vendors if we could complete by today some time ago. Well today has arrived and the vendors have just requested that we complete in 2 weeks time. I wonder where they think we are living for the next 2 weeks (and who will be paying for it).

We've told their solicitor and EA that we will not proceed until mortgage provider advise us further as a result of the additional reports they wanted. No one seems to understand what we mean by this. We know the surveyor has advised the mortgage company that we should not proceed until the vendors have rectified the asbestos issue but need bank to actually tell us something in writing so we can go back with revised offer.

All very frustrating...

rebl Fri 04-Sep-09 16:55:33

So you're still going ahead with it then? I guess you have little choice though if you have exchanged. When do you think you'll be hearing from the mortgage company in writting? I can't believe the terrible asbestos situation and that they're not accepting it to be such a big problem.

NoseyHelen Fri 04-Sep-09 17:17:19

We have no choice to complete on our sale - so we're now tied into a 6 mth rental anyway.

The bank have all the info they need to make a decision, they are just waiting for someone in the company to make that decision.

HouseHunting Mon 07-Sep-09 15:04:25

So, you have completed on your own sale & are now waiting to hear from your bank so you can decide whether to go ahead with your purchase? What a stressful situation, I really feel for you. (((hugs)))

NoseyHelen Tue 15-Sep-09 00:13:50

I thought I'd update. Bank finally said we could buy the house but they would retain some money until the asbestos had been cleared, which had to be done immediately and before habitation.

DH and I sat down to discuss our offer. The asbestos would take £11K+ to clear, then 2 ceilings would need to be reinstated (£1-2k?) and there was a chance that we'd have to replace all of the carpets (£3-4k?), together with the £10k rental contract that we've incurred due to everyone else's tardiness. We offered £17k less than the original offer which was fair given the above amounts totalled £26k and the survey brought up about £30k of other work.

The vendor came back today saying he could get it all done for £4k (!?!?!?!) and would do it himself and not accept a lower offer from us. We're going back to him tomorrow pulling out - we've had enough and have fallen out of love with it.

The negatives of the house have built up over the weeks - north facing garden, badly built conservatory study and garage, no building regs on the additions, too small bathroom, gas system that has never been serviced and I've noticed a box van parked outside it every day that I know would annoy me over the next 20 yrs.

So, back to square 1 after only 20 months of searching. Am relieved and frustrated all at the same time, and we've spent £2.5k not buying a house!

rebl Tue 15-Sep-09 09:24:29

I think you've made the right decision tbh. The vendor is living in cloud cookoo land by the sounds of it. I hope you have managed to settle into your rental OK and you find somewhere quickly so that you are only in for the 6months you are tied in for.

NoseyHelen Tue 15-Sep-09 10:05:02

To be fair, the rental is very nice indeed (new kitchen and bathrooms etc) - not giving us much impetus to move.

fruitstick Tue 15-Sep-09 22:41:59

Nosey, you have made the right choice. And you can get quite comfy in rented after a while.

Something will come along (she tells herself)

Also to hijack, Rebl - is your purchase going through?

Am thinking of starting a self-help group for househunters on here.

willowstar Wed 16-Sep-09 06:12:43

sorry just reading this out of nosiness. we just bought a house in the last few months and it was so unbelievably stressful. Looks like you have had it too...sorry it didn't work out but the vendor is crazy to think he will get a better offer than yours with the asbestos situation he has. something good will come along for you and you will be glad this one fell through. frustrating though innit?

faraday Wed 16-Sep-09 15:39:25

Fruitstick, can I join your self-help group? I may need serious counselling if my bl**dy vendor doesn't exchange SOON!

And I think Nosey has made entirely the right decision. You know how if you break a glass you find shards of glass months later? Well who can say the house is asbestos cleared?

One tiny point: Is it the 'bad' asbestos'? I believe there are 2 types, white and blue and one is bad, one isn't considered a problem but a lot of dodgy contractors are making a song and dance about removing BOTH to get paid. And surely asbestos in a building is 'notifiable' and any clear up must be certified thus CAN'T be done by the vendor?

brettgirl2 Wed 16-Sep-09 21:57:27

You definitely made the right decision - there is no way I would have trusted him to get the asbestos removed shock

It certainly puts our problems into perspective. I hope you find something else soon.

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