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  • FIRST POST
    • Harry_harrington
    • By Harry_harrington 15th Mar 17, 9:22 PM
    • 11Posts
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    Harry_harrington
    Do estate agents have a duty to dislose non-standard construction?
    • #1
    • 15th Mar 17, 9:22 PM
    Do estate agents have a duty to dislose non-standard construction? 15th Mar 17 at 9:22 PM
    Hi all, we recently had an offer accepted on a house that the survey later revealed was of Laing Easiform construction. In the end we decided to pull out as the price did not reflect the construction type and we were aware this could put off buyers in the future.

    The estate agent told us it was "obviously concrete" when we rang them and have now relisted the property again without mentioning construction type. During viewing we asked very directly if there was anything we should know about the house.

    Having done lots of reading about these house types, I know there is not necessarily any problems with them structurally and they do probably get a bad rep but it does without doubt impact on future saleability.

    We've complained to EA requesting they reimburse us cost of survey although they haven't responded within their stated timescales. We're thinking about taking it to ombudsman now

    I don't expect anything to come of it really but what are people's thoughts/experiences on this? Should EA have informed us as they admitted they were aware, is it worth pursuing, does this count as 'material information' we needed to make a decision as stated in regs?

    Thanks in advance
Page 1
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 15th Mar 17, 9:32 PM
    • 14,789 Posts
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    AdrianC
    • #2
    • 15th Mar 17, 9:32 PM
    • #2
    • 15th Mar 17, 9:32 PM
    Laing Easiform is "non-standard", but it's not "defective", so you wouldn't have had any inherent problem in mortgaging it or reselling it. As such, no, they didn't have any onus to inform you.

    "Anything we should know" is such a broad request that it's almost impossible to cover every base.

    I think it unlikely you'll get the EA to pay for your survey, simply because you didn't like what it told you, and took the decision to pull out of the sale.

    How was the price, relative to other similar but standard construction properties?
    • always_sunny
    • By always_sunny 15th Mar 17, 9:32 PM
    • 3,314 Posts
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    always_sunny
    • #3
    • 15th Mar 17, 9:32 PM
    • #3
    • 15th Mar 17, 9:32 PM
    I would have thought the EA is representing whatever their client has supplied and usually their adverts come with a disclaimer saying solicitors will convert the details.

    Giving the current buying process in England that till exchange there's no real commitment, accountability of EA information on websites is the least of the problems!

    Do you have proof that the EA misled you on purpose?
    Expat with an EU passport
    • Harry_harrington
    • By Harry_harrington 15th Mar 17, 10:57 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Harry_harrington
    • #4
    • 15th Mar 17, 10:57 PM
    • #4
    • 15th Mar 17, 10:57 PM
    Sorry can't figure out how to quote on my phone, but...

    I don't feel price was reflective and the survey said the price agreed was at the very top end of the acceptable range.

    I think your both probably right but it's frustrating because we wouldn't have bid had we known and it just feels like its complete waste of everyones time and money. Although it is not inherently defective I think it does impact on sell-on - We're in bristol and these property types are certainly not shifting anywhere near as quick as others.

    In terms of evidence they told me when I rang they knew it was concrete. When we looked around we asked why it had been on the market so long and they said previous buyer had failed to get a mortgage - I suspect they pulled out for similar reasons.
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 15th Mar 17, 10:59 PM
    • 14,789 Posts
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    AdrianC
    • #5
    • 15th Mar 17, 10:59 PM
    • #5
    • 15th Mar 17, 10:59 PM
    ...the survey said the price agreed was at the very top end of the acceptable range.
    Originally posted by Harry_harrington
    Surveys usually just give the price you've offered and has been accepted - it's shorthand for "Yep, this is an acceptable price".
    • Tumtitums
    • By Tumtitums 17th Mar 17, 8:20 AM
    • 167 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    Tumtitums
    • #6
    • 17th Mar 17, 8:20 AM
    • #6
    • 17th Mar 17, 8:20 AM
    estate agents are just there as adverts and the ones i have come across often have very little qualification in anything. This is the sort of thing i would expect to be picked up by a surveyor doing your survey
    • societys child
    • By societys child 17th Mar 17, 10:05 AM
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    societys child
    • #7
    • 17th Mar 17, 10:05 AM
    • #7
    • 17th Mar 17, 10:05 AM
    During viewing we asked very directly if there was anything we should know about the house.
    Don't know what you expected from that?
    The answers could be endless . . .

    Agents sell, surveyors survey. It's nothing to do with the the agent what type of survey you have done or even if you have one at all, certainly not down to them to pay for it.
    Last edited by societys child; 17-03-2017 at 10:09 AM.

    • stator
    • By stator 17th Mar 17, 11:35 AM
    • 5,720 Posts
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    stator
    • #8
    • 17th Mar 17, 11:35 AM
    • #8
    • 17th Mar 17, 11:35 AM
    They do have a duty to disclose anything relevant, if you ask, but it would be up to you to prove that they knew.
    Estate agents aren't expected to know the construction type, so if a previous buyer has pulled out then they would know and should tell you upfront, so you can check about the mortgage
    But Lain Easi-form is a grey area. Some lenders and insurers consider it to be standard, because it's concrete walls and a tiled roof. The only difference is that it's poured concrete rather than concrete blocks.
    Changing the world, one sarcastic comment at a time.
    • Harry_harrington
    • By Harry_harrington 17th Mar 17, 7:23 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Harry_harrington
    • #9
    • 17th Mar 17, 7:23 PM
    • #9
    • 17th Mar 17, 7:23 PM
    Hi all, just thought I'd give an update. We had a response from our complaint today and the EA has upheld it and agreed to refund entire cost of the survey! Obviously really pleased with this as did feel they wasted ours and the vendors time by not stating this (they told us they knew when we initially raised it) and can't see how this is a good sales tactic.

    In the response they stated:

    I agree that a construction issue such as this is important enough to be brought to the attention of an interested party whether by making it known on the property details or advising individual applicants when they have expressed an interest in the property. I confirm that on this occasion the branch did neither as far as you were concerned. I have advised that going forward all interested parties should be made aware of any issue that might alter someone’s transactional decision, as it has done in your case.

    I would apologise for the inconvenience this matter has caused and to reflect what has occurred and in the interests of treating customers fairly I would like to propose reimbursement of your full costs.


    Anyway, good result and I thought i'd share in case it's of use to others.
    • Harry_harrington
    • By Harry_harrington 17th Mar 17, 7:30 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Harry_harrington
    Don't know what you expected from that?
    The answers could be endless . . .

    Agents sell, surveyors survey. It's nothing to do with the the agent what type of survey you have done or even if you have one at all, certainly not down to them to pay for it.
    Originally posted by societys child
    I agree it's nothing to do with the EA what survey is done but our issue was with the fact they knew this info and did not share. Had they not have known then fair enough, as you say it's not their job, but from the response it seems they do have a responsibility to share this.
    • stator
    • By stator 17th Mar 17, 9:02 PM
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    stator
    Frankly I am astounded that the EA has upheld the complaint!

    I would expect them to reject the complaint and then you have to escalate it to the ombudsmen before you get any serious offers.

    Congratulations
    Changing the world, one sarcastic comment at a time.
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 17th Mar 17, 9:25 PM
    • 14,789 Posts
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    AdrianC
    Frankly I am astounded that the EA has upheld the complaint!

    I would expect them to reject the complaint and then you have to escalate it to the ombudsmen before you get any serious offers.

    Congratulations
    Originally posted by stator
    A few hundred quid to make it go away.
    • Harry_harrington
    • By Harry_harrington 17th Mar 17, 9:29 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Harry_harrington
    Frankly I am astounded that the EA has upheld the complaint!

    I would expect them to reject the complaint and then you have to escalate it to the ombudsmen before you get any serious offers.

    Congratulations
    Originally posted by stator
    I know, exactly what we were expecting too! I've never successfully complained before.
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