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  • FIRST POST
    • Bossworld
    • By Bossworld 7th Oct 16, 6:30 PM
    • 255Posts
    • 147Thanks
    Bossworld
    Fixtures and fittings form - vendor breach of contract, next steps?
    • #1
    • 7th Oct 16, 6:30 PM
    Fixtures and fittings form - vendor breach of contract, next steps? 7th Oct 16 at 6:30 PM
    I'll try and keep this short.

    Moved in last month after a long and protracted purchase, elderly vendor was uncommunicative throughout and some rather odd behaviour and comments via solicitors. Ended up exchanging on the 7th and moving in on the 9th.

    The fixtures and fittings form stated that:
    * The fridge, washing machine and dishwasher were included
    * The form also states 'fittings will be replaced with ceiling rose...' which isn't the case for a wall lamp in the lounge which has been left as dangling flex.
    * 14.4 of the TA6 form states that 'all rubbish is removed.../the property left in a clean and tidy condition' ticked Yes,

    in the process of them removing the white goods, the cold water valve for the washer had been turned off, but was leaking and worn, leaving a pool of water on the floor which I had to cap off temporarily. The socket beneath the gap for the washing machine does not work and there was a section of 3 core flex literally just cut off and not terminated properly, which I've had to rewire from another spur.

    We've also been left behind a loft full of old junk items, along with a selection rather out of date food in the kitchen (talking 10 years plus).

    The entire house hadn't been cleaned and was grimey to say the least.

    Finally, and worst of all in my view, about a week and a half before we finally moved in, we received a call via the solicitor advising that he'd never heard this before, but the house 'comes with a cat'. A handful of days before the move, we received another call via the vendor's friend advising that the cat would be outside the back door at 6am for his food. The vendor left circa. 20 tins/pouches of food behind. We had heard various stories about this cat up to this point (about it being a stray that he fed). From speaking to the next door neighbours after we moved in, it transpired it was about 18 years old, had been his wife's while alive, and quite clearly wasn't a stray. We had to arrange via the Dog and Cat Shelter to take it in to be rehomed which was upsetting to say the least.

    --

    So, I emailed our solicitor on the 9th, they replied on the 12th, and we finally received a reply from the vendor's solicitors (from his son) on the 21st, stating that the removal of the goods had been a mistake, and offered to arrange with the storage company to redeliver them (no mention of reconnection). Also mentioned an offer of 100 'to assist with the cost of property clearance.'

    Needless to say, I hit the roof - we're a family of three (with a 2 year old) and to expect us to go nearly a fortnight without a washing machine or a fridge is unacceptable. Due to their own lack of communication, I purchased a new washing machine (and bought a dishwasher at the same time) on the 15th as we couldn't wait any longer. Luckily we'd kept our old fridge, but I haven't mentioned that. There is also at least two skips' worth of clutter left behind, so 100 wouldn't go near covering it.

    I emailed back explaining that:

    * I had let our old appliances go to our buyers at a much-reduced rate assuming the details on the fixtures and fitting form were accurate, otherwise I'd have kept ours.
    * That the state of the house (wiring left bare, the old food, and the lack of cleaning) was unacceptable and I wouldn't dream of doing the same to anyone else. (I know the junk and cleaning are probably par for the course, but just want to check).
    * I requested 500 to resolve the matter, assuming a fair market value of 100 for each appliance, and 200 towards the cost of skip hire.

    So, the reason for the thread. Come Monday, it will be a month since we moved in, and I've heard nothing since my last email back, which the solicitor edited as appropriate and sent to the vendor's solicitors. I didn't even mention the cat as between myself and my partner we were rather upset at his situation.

    I'm going to call our solicitors back on Monday morning but to be honest, it's no longer their problem is it?

    So, does the fixture and fitting form have any legal consequences (via the small claims court) ? And, by declining the original offer (return of the white goods (no mention of reconnection) and 100 towards clearing up), am I now in a position where I've no come back?

    Many thanks for any advice.
Page 2
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 8th Oct 16, 9:10 AM
    • 23,186 Posts
    • 65,110 Thanks
    Doozergirl
    Those things have happened, but at least they're in the past. Starting proceedings against the vendor will only place them in the future as well...
    Originally posted by Davesnave
    Perfectly phrased. That's why you're my favourite

    Letting go can be hard, even though it's simple. Learning to do it is a life changer.
    Last edited by Doozergirl; 08-10-2016 at 9:12 AM.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • Sootoo
    • By Sootoo 8th Oct 16, 9:16 AM
    • 19 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    Sootoo
    I think what Bossworld was asking was "does the Fixtures and Fittings form mean nothing" and it seems that it does mean nothing if the house was left like it was and he has no comeback. So what's the point of filling in a Fixtures and Fittings form if it doesn't form part of the legal contract?
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 8th Oct 16, 9:28 AM
    • 23,186 Posts
    • 65,110 Thanks
    Doozergirl
    I think what Bossworld was asking was "does the Fixtures and Fittings form mean nothing" and it seems that it does mean nothing if the house was left like it was and he has no comeback. So what's the point of filling in a Fixtures and Fittings form if it doesn't form part of the legal contract?
    Originally posted by Sootoo
    It's not about it meaning nothing, it's about the value of the breach versus the cost of proving and enforcing the breach.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • marksoton
    • By marksoton 8th Oct 16, 9:31 AM
    • 16,510 Posts
    • 36,534 Thanks
    marksoton
    I think what Bossworld was asking was "does the Fixtures and Fittings form mean nothing" and it seems that it does mean nothing if the house was left like it was and he has no comeback. So what's the point of filling in a Fixtures and Fittings form if it doesn't form part of the legal contract?
    Originally posted by Sootoo
    It does mean something.

    But in the real world you have to choose your battles. I don't know about you but a few knackered white goods and a bit of elbow grease really isn't worth fighting over.

    Especially if i had a 2 year old again!
    • Sootoo
    • By Sootoo 8th Oct 16, 9:38 AM
    • 19 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    Sootoo
    I understand that and that it's probably not worth pursuing - the conclusion being that the F & F form is not worth the paper it's written on so why bother with one?
    • Bossworld
    • By Bossworld 8th Oct 16, 9:42 AM
    • 255 Posts
    • 147 Thanks
    Bossworld
    You mention 'soon to be inheritance' so the owner is either dying or has died? Presuming, and sorry if I am wrong, this was all going on while you were buying instructing a removal company to leave X y z would have been at the bottom of their list of issues. The cat well it's not ideal but you have dealt with that too.

    Do you really want the second hand white goods? Who knows how clean they were or problems they bring with them. Whenever we have moved and been offered someone's old white goods I've always turned them down. I don't want their problems and dirt. They are all so cheap now to buy new for a temporary fix if you are changing the kitchen and can be sold back on as nearly new if they are there short term.

    The skip of stuff is annoying but not at all unusual, again I've always found stuff left around the house generally where people forget to last look lofts and garages. Sometimes it's junk other times it's not. The house we live in now was previously owned by a girls school, we found amazing 50s school desks and Ercol chairs in one of the outbuildings. We let them know and they said we were welcome to keep them. We didn't have need for 60 desks and chairs so sold them all and shared the money with the school.

    Try to move on would be my advice and start enjoying your new house.
    Originally posted by lush walrus
    We rarely got a straight story from the vendor's solicitors, indeed if you look at the 'waiting to exchange' thread you'll see it change from he was moving into a home, to he was moving in with family, to finally he was planning to buy a flat 200 miles away (this was about 4 months into the transaction).

    My understanding via the EA was that the son was arranging the removal but was difficult to contact (funny how when we were making offers they were replying very quickly...). I suspect we will never from them again.

    I mention 'soon to be inheritance' flippantly because the vendor himself was elderly, though to my knowledge, not on his way out. I thought he was quite a lot older, but when I went to update the electoral register info, it stated he wasn't over 75. If my own father (72) was in a similar situation, there's not a chance I'd have acted in this way.

    With regards to the above, I take on board your points about time and removals, but when you have nearly 5 months to arrange and resolve this sort of thing between accepting the offer and moving out, even if you're incapable of doing it yourself, do you not think paying 230 to a cleaner prior to moving (0.1% of the purchase price) would have been a reasonable thing to do?

    Re: white goods - my own ones at the old house were purchased in 2012 and 2014 - if I'd have known there wouldn't be any here when we moved, I'd have simply taken my own with me and saved 700 of expense.

    With regards to the cat, we have two of our own and so we couldn't take it on. If he had intended for it to be 'left with the house' then he needed to provide for its future care financially and provide a straight story. We were told it was a stray that just came here for food as well - meaning it didn't get fed for about 4 days at first - we felt absolutely rotten when we found out, and fed him up until a few days after when the Dog and Cat Shelter could take him in. Again, he or the son should have seen that the cat was taken care of.

    I understand the 'let it go' comments and I'm at the conclusion that there's F all I can do about it, but as Sootoo has put, what on earth is the point of the F&F forms at the end of it all? Seems as though we could have saved ourselves a tonne of time and effort and not bothered cleaning or tidying our old house before leaving, or leaving them a card and bottle. One just hopes that what goes around, comes around, and something bites our vendor's family on the !!!! at some point in the future.

    It's not so much the money, it's the sheer principle and inconvenience caused. Have to say I'm not particularly vengeful but if I was, I would have been keen to gift the vendor's family a delivery of a tonne bag of sand on their doorstep to deal with.
    • marksoton
    • By marksoton 8th Oct 16, 10:00 AM
    • 16,510 Posts
    • 36,534 Thanks
    marksoton
    I understand that and that it's probably not worth pursuing - the conclusion being that the F & F form is not worth the paper it's written on so why bother with one?
    Originally posted by Sootoo
    Of course it is. But how would you propose to enforce it?

    A compulsory retention on all property purchases maybe? But then that begs the question of who decides whether that retention is released?
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 8th Oct 16, 10:01 AM
    • 22,155 Posts
    • 86,568 Thanks
    Davesnave

    Letting go can be hard, even though it's simple. Learning to do it is a life changer.
    Originally posted by Doozergirl
    You're right, but in my limited experience, it's taken half a lifetime to learn!
    Working subliminally.
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 8th Oct 16, 10:42 AM
    • 5,152 Posts
    • 4,809 Thanks
    davidmcn
    With regards to the cat, we have two of our own and so we couldn't take it on.
    Originally posted by Bossworld
    Annoying/upsetting though the cat may have been, I don't think it is relevant to the fixtures and fittings or your contract in general.

    I understand the 'let it go' comments and I'm at the conclusion that there's F all I can do about it, but as Sootoo has put, what on earth is the point of the F&F forms at the end of it all?
    It gives you the right to pursue the case, if you think it's worth your time and money doing so. Same as any other legal rights.

    Seems as though we could have saved ourselves a tonne of time and effort and not bothered cleaning or tidying our old house before leaving, or leaving them a card and bottle.
    You're not legally, or even morally, obliged to provide a card and bottle!
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 8th Oct 16, 11:58 AM
    • 12,325 Posts
    • 33,559 Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention
    I can see why you couldnt take the cat on in the circumstances - with 2 of your own already. I know I can instantly think of a cat that simply won't tolerate any others around the place - so if one has one like that...then whatcanyado?

    I can see why others are advocating leaving it and it's entirely your choice, but I must admit I'd be all the more inclined to try and get my money back after all the messing-around you say he's done already.

    Found the link for the CAB leaflet on small claims:

    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/law-and-rights/legal-system/taking-legal-action/small-claims/
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 08-10-2016 at 12:00 PM.
    ******************
    • Bossworld
    • By Bossworld 22nd Nov 16, 8:50 PM
    • 255 Posts
    • 147 Thanks
    Bossworld
    Long story short, went back to the solicitors via email. A while later we had an email saying they'd had a response from the vendor's solicitors, advising they hadn't seen the last response from mid-September, but would go back to the vendor for an answer.

    Heard nothing up until the end of last week, was unable to obtain a forwarding address either. In the end, decided we had nothing else to lose (having weighed up the cost of small claims for 500 it would have still been worth it).

    Had a bit of a brainwave - we hadn't seen any post at all for the previous owner. So, I wrote a brief, factual latter to the vendor, and sent it to my own address last Friday.

    Today, we received a reply back, offering their apologies for the inconvenience and a cheque for the 500. Apparently they'd communicated back to their solicitor about my previous request - not entirely sure what to believe and possibly their solicitor is staggeringly incompetent, but at least it's all resolved.
    • Bossworld
    • By Bossworld 19th Apr 17, 5:03 PM
    • 255 Posts
    • 147 Thanks
    Bossworld
    Thought I'd bookended this thread, but about a month ago, I finally had the time, the warm weather and the inclination to take the stuff to the tip.

    Hired a high-top LWB transit, and filled it four times. That's excluding the countless trips in the car before that point, and the garden outbuilding is still full.

    Believe it or not, there was not a single thing of value in amongst all the junk. There were plenty of old carpet/underlay offcuts, rugs, double glazing panels, old sofa cushions, and other things that really should have made their way out of the front door years ago rather than going in the loft.

    - was the first load I moved down into the conservatory to maximise van time!

    Still, the main house is clear, I've had a couple more quotes for a rewire, and I feel better about it. Found a few keepsakes belonging to the previous owner while clearing out the loft (inc. things like a ration book from 1940) so forwarded them on.

    Oh - and we believe the Dog and Cat Shelter successfully rehomed the cat
    Last edited by Bossworld; 19-04-2017 at 5:04 PM. Reason: Cat!
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