Grhhhhh Just what I need...............NOT!

Discussion in 'UK Community Board' started by Janice, May 20, 2002.

  1. Janice

    Janice Super Shopper

    Aug 18, 1999
    We have had a nightmare day with my solicitors assistant phoning me at 5.10pm to tell me that our buyers have signed their contracts - and paid their deposit, but now want us to provide an indemnity insurance for some rooms that have been put in the roof. These rooms were put in at least 20 years ago - were there when we bought the place 15 years ago. We have all agreed on a completion date of June 7th - now I dont know where I stand. They came round a short while ago (just what I need when I am trying to finish up office stuff, sort out dinner, pack my mum off to my brothers for a weeks holiday, and Pack for my weeks holiday!!) and were here a couple of hours talking and talking. I said I cannot believe that their solicitors have let them sign contracts ready to exchange tomorrow - then throw this spanner in the works. Having said that I really dont know too much about house buying/selling etc. I know that we had a full structural survey done when we bought the house 15 years ago - our buyer said he couldnt afford it??????????????? Hellooooooo!
    your paying £180,000 for a property and you cant afford to make sure there are no structural
    defects (which I hasten to add there aren't any).

    GRRRrrrrhhhh - does anyone know anything about this sort of thing. I could do with some words of wisdom. I know that we have never had a problem, getting mortgages etc on the property. I mean he has his mortgage all sorted out - the Mortgage surveyor came round and did a survey and then they offered them the money!

    Sorry to sound off but I just couldnt take much more!

    If anyone around tonight knows anything about this sort of thing I would appreciate any help. I can see me on the phone to solicitors in the morning whilst Shirley is hopping round Duty Free! OMG - no I cannot let that happen!

    ;) - calm - keep calm! LOL
  2. SpottyDog

    SpottyDog Guest

    It seems to be the 'order of the day' in house buying for everyone to cover their backs and I think that's what the buyer's solicitor is doing- simply adding as much 'security' to the deal for his clients as he/she can.
    It's a dirty trick to bring it up at this late stage though IMHO.
    Not sure how you could buy an indemnity insurance as you'll not be the owners after the event so I assume they mean for you to sign an indemnity clause whereby you and Chris agree to foot any structural repair bills should they be relevant within a certain period of time.

    I don't envy you the dilema.
    Dig your heals in (understandably) and you risk losing the sale.
    The buyer might sense reluctance (now the solicitor has put the fear there) to comply with something to hide.
    As the property is sound the indemnity is only an assurance - but what if something happens? And could you be sure it was not caused by the new owners?

    If you had time, one sollution might be for you and Chris to provide the full structural survey and so show the whole structure to be safe.

    Like I said, I don't envy you the dilema and hope it gets resolved amicably.

    Now go get on with yer holiday- Chris can cope!
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  4. Karyn.Phil

    Karyn.Phil Earning My Ears

    Mar 17, 2002
    God I hate moving house....I am not doing it again for ages...forever if possible.

    These indemnity policies are getting to be a pain and they crop up for loads of things, old rights of way, old extensions and alterations etc. They are as much to cover the lawyers handling the conveyancing as anything else. My partner had one apply to his old house relating to the right to walk horses up the lane at the side of his house because there was once a brewers stable yard at the back of the property!

    They actually tend to be not too expensive and are a one off payment that your lawyer can source and sort out for you. It shouldn't really delay things but their solicitor should have mentioned it a lot earlier, back when the property information form and fictures and fittings forms were filled out.

    You just feel your stress levels rising when you get that sort of phonecall late in the afternoon and you can't do anything about it (sympathy).

    Good luck with the move and remember it is like childbirth and in three months you'll remember it was awful and you don't want to do it again but you've got something nice now. Six months down the road from a year of moving houses, selling houses in two different parts of the country and building a new house with a moronic builder who didn't read the contract I am just so glad we did it :)

  5. UKDEB

    UKDEB Moderator Emeritus Moderator

    Jul 7, 2000

    Just wanted to say how sorry I am. My understanding of these indemnity policies is the same as Karyn's. My advice would be to phone your Solicitor and let him deal with it - that's what you're paying him for - and go away and enjoy your holiday and forget all about it until you come back. I've moved house more times than I care to remember and I don't think we've ever exchanged contracts at the first hurdle. Just remember that your buyers are every bit as keen as you.
  6. Hamther

    Hamther Earning My Ears

    Mar 4, 2002
    Can you not do what we do in Scotland? In situations like yours, even where a structural survey has uncovered something, both parties can come to a financial agreement (e.g. £500 off the price) and the matter ends there. This agreement is done legally between the parties via solictors. This kind of situation usually only arises where alterations have been done without planning consent.

    Perhaps you could also phone your planning department as they can still inspect work and give you a certificate to say that it is satisfactory, even if no planing consent has been obtained. In our last house, the loftspace had been increased by the raising of roof timbers by the previous owners. This was highlighted by the buyers solictors when we received an offer. As far as we could establish, the work had been done without planning permission but we called the planning department who sent an inspector and they checked it and gave us the certificate saying that the work was sound and met with their approval. The work had been done at least 15 years before we moved in. As a result of that, the buyers were happy to go ahead without any more being required. The certificates nowadays cost about £130.

  7. Sue's Mum

    Sue's Mum DIS Veteran

    Apr 29, 2001
    Aha, something I know a little bit about.

    It sounds to me as though building regulation and/or planning permission (if planning permission were required at the time) were not applied for/granted. Until fairly recently (in house-age terms) this did not matter. A local authority has one year to make objections to the householder in respect of anything done which required building regulation approval and which was not obtained, and four years for planning permission. After that time, to make a householder do anything about it is too late. However, and this is a big however, the lenders (banks, building societies, etc) are becoming more and more pedantic over what they want. It is the lenders that are forcing everone's hand - if a borrower does not do what they want, then the borrower does not get the money - and it is up to the solicitor to carry out the lender's wishes cos after all the lender is also the client of the solicitor. So the solicitor has to protect both "clients". The only way to deal with lack of buiding regulation approval and planning permission, short of getting retrospective consent, is for the seller to take out a policy. A seller can of course tell the buyer that he is not going to pay for the premium but then he runs the risk of losing his buyer. So you are now paying for what wasn't a mistake in the first place but now has become one! Sorry.

    I have done conveyancing for more years than I care to remember. It used to be quite simple and straightforward but, despite various government initiatives to make the conveyancing process quicker, the lenders seem hell bent on making it take longer. Some of this can be attributed to mortgage fraud and people like Osama Bin Laden (money laundering). For instance, in years gone by a purchaser (who was obtaining a mortgage) never had to produce proof of identity. Now it is mandatory. The lenders want to make sure that the person signing the mortgage deed is the same person who applied for the mortgage in the first place. So conveyancing has got even more difficult and it is the conveyancer in the middle whose job is just made more difficult, trying to keep the peace and keep everybody happy. You just can't please all of the people all of the time. In a legal practice, it is the conveyancing side which costs the practice the most in indemnity premiums because it is the area where the most things can go wrong - and just about everybody can sue the solicitor. The job is made even more difficult by clients wanting everything to go through yesterday. That is the way things get overlooked and mistakes happen.

    Sorry to gone on but I hope it has given you some insight and, hopefully, understanding.

    Keep calm, keeeeeeeep caaaaaalllllllllm! You'll get there in the end.
  8. athurstance

    athurstance Mouseketeer

    Aug 2, 2000
    My parents moved house last year and the person they bought off couldn't produce any evidence that she had had planning permission for her garage. My parents solicitor made her take out one of these idemnity policies in case at some point my parents lose out in some way because of it.
    It is really just a precaution and as I understand it they are pretty cheap. Its not really a bad thing from your point of view because they could still come back and sue you years later if it turned out there was a planning or building regs problem so these policies really protect both of you.
    I wouldn't worry about it too much as it shouldn't stop your sale going through. Hope it all works out - moving is just so stressful.


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