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    • Jcakes
    • By Jcakes 16th Apr 17, 11:29 PM
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    Jcakes
    Vendor doing work after exchange
    • #1
    • 16th Apr 17, 11:29 PM
    Vendor doing work after exchange 16th Apr 17 at 11:29 PM
    Hi All,

    New to these forums & after a bit of advice as feeling very stressed over house move.

    On Friday exchanged on property that is being sold & also on property that we are buying with completion date in 2 weeks.

    Today drove past property that we are buying & noticed a skip on the drive that appeared to have building materials in there. Upon driving around side of house discovered that the vendors have cut a hole out of the side wall going around the property & have erected some sort of wooden gate. It seems that this has been done the last day or two so after exchange. Surely they are not allowed to make any changes to the property after exchange. Also we have now insured the building so wouldnt we be liable for any damage.

    When we first viewed the property in Feb the estate agent mentioned they were planning on doing it if they hadn't decided to sell & no mention has been made of it since. I just find it strange that they would go to the expense of doing it given they had sold the house.

    Are they allowed to do this or can we insist they rebuild the part of the wall?

    Many thanks in advance for any advice.
Page 2
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 17th Apr 17, 1:03 PM
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    Cakeguts
    Go and knock on the door today so that you know what to say to your solicitors about this tomorrow.
    • robatwork
    • By robatwork 18th Apr 17, 5:02 PM
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    robatwork
    Do let us know how it went - this isn't something I have seen come up here before.
    • Jcakes
    • By Jcakes 19th Apr 17, 1:39 PM
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    Jcakes
    Apparently they went ahead and done the work as they were advised to do so by their estate agent. They seem to think that we requested for the work to be carried out which we didn't as it was only mentioned in passing during a viewing that they planned to do it if they weren't selling.


    Been informed that the work was completed about 6 weeks ago which we know it hadn't. Bit disappointed as don't want the gate there and it currently serves no purpose as cant use it as an access point so guess will now just have to sort it out at our expense once moved in.


    Just waiting for clarification form solicitor that there is no comeback to us on this work eg. that no planning permission was needed and that it doesn't break any of the restrictive covenants.
    • SuzieSue
    • By SuzieSue 19th Apr 17, 2:53 PM
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    SuzieSue
    Apparently they went ahead and done the work as they were advised to do so by their estate agent. They seem to think that we requested for the work to be carried out which we didn't as it was only mentioned in passing during a viewing that they planned to do it if they weren't selling.


    Been informed that the work was completed about 6 weeks ago which we know it hadn't. Bit disappointed as don't want the gate there and it currently serves no purpose as cant use it as an access point so guess will now just have to sort it out at our expense once moved in.


    Just waiting for clarification form solicitor that there is no comeback to us on this work eg. that no planning permission was needed and that it doesn't break any of the restrictive covenants.
    Originally posted by Jcakes
    This is exactly why we communicated directly with the vendor. We did not speak to the EA after our offer was accepted until we picked up the keys.
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 19th Apr 17, 6:04 PM
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    Cakeguts
    Why would an estate agent tell someone to put a gate into a wall that goes around a house that they had just sold? The estate agent isn't interested by that time they aren't going to get any more money for selling the house.

    They know that you didn't request the work to be carried out. They didn't ask you if you wanted it.

    Do you have any photos of the house from 6 weeks ago that prove that this statement is a lie?

    I would suggest that you go round to the house again soon to make sure that they haven't done anymore work to this gate because they can't at present use it and it would have cost them money to put it there. (Skip hire etc) They obviously aren't very truthful about doing this work so they may not be very truthful about continuing it. Take photos of the condition of the garden around the gate so that they can't alter it and then say that it was like that when they put the gate in.
    • mysterymurdoch
    • By mysterymurdoch 19th Apr 17, 8:29 PM
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    mysterymurdoch
    I'd be asking things to be returned to the way they were when you viewed/offered
    • GDB2222
    • By GDB2222 20th Apr 17, 6:52 AM
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    GDB2222
    Apparently they went ahead and done the work as they were advised to do so by their estate agent. They seem to think that we requested for the work to be carried out which we didn't as it was only mentioned in passing during a viewing that they planned to do it if they weren't selling.


    Been informed that the work was completed about 6 weeks ago which we know it hadn't. Bit disappointed as don't want the gate there and it currently serves no purpose as cant use it as an access point so guess will now just have to sort it out at our expense once moved in.


    Just waiting for clarification form solicitor that there is no comeback to us on this work eg. that no planning permission was needed and that it doesn't break any of the restrictive covenants.
    Originally posted by Jcakes
    I imagine the vendors think they are doing you a big favour by completing the work they probably did start before exchange of contracts. Would you rather they stop now and leave it half built?

    Maybe, after you've lived in the house for a few months you'll come round to the view that the gate is useful after all?
    No reliance should be placed on the above! Absolutely none, do you hear?
    • Rain Shadow
    • By Rain Shadow 20th Apr 17, 7:43 AM
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    Rain Shadow
    We did knock on the door there was nobody in.
    Originally posted by Jcakes
    Probably sneaked out through the side gate.
    You can pick your friends and you can pick your nose but you can't pick your friend's nose.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 20th Apr 17, 8:06 AM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    Guess there might have been some mis-communication going on. It never ceases to astonish me how many people don't listen properly to what is being said to them - and either havent heard it or have mis-heard it. Lots of people have their own thoughts going on in their heads rather than listening properly and/or are getting distracted by a young child nearby persistently trying to be "centre of attention".

    So I guess benefit of doubt that there might have been some of that (courtesy of EA as intermediary) - but I would be feeling wary about being told it had been going on for 6 weeks - when it hadnt been at all.

    There is some marginal possibility of miscommunication there - in that they might be referring to 6 weeks because that's when they booked for the work to start. Whereas you are referring to when the physical work on ground actually started.

    Either way - you need to have another go at catching them in - to see if you can talk about this in person.
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 20-04-2017 at 8:10 AM.
    ploughing my own furrow...the rain begins with a single drop...

    #I'mWithNoel
    • Jcakes
    • By Jcakes 20th Apr 17, 10:26 AM
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    Jcakes
    No don't have any photo's from 6 weeks ago, it appears they believe the work is completed but from what we could see you can't use that gate as an access point as the planted bushes are still in the way.


    Been unable to go back around so far this week as property not local as relocating, do have family in the area so see if one of them can go over as estate agent isn't returning calls.


    I do hope they believed they were doing us a favour as to be fair they have been really good through the whole process.
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 20th Apr 17, 10:36 AM
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    Cakeguts
    No don't have any photo's from 6 weeks ago, it appears they believe the work is completed but from what we could see you can't use that gate as an access point as the planted bushes are still in the way.


    Been unable to go back around so far this week as property not local as relocating, do have family in the area so see if one of them can go over as estate agent isn't returning calls.


    I do hope they believed they were doing us a favour as to be fair they have been really good through the whole process.
    Originally posted by Jcakes
    I would suggest that someone goes round for a look in case you would like to keep the planted bushes. Have you told the sellers not to do anymore work now that they have exchanged?
    • Jcakes
    • By Jcakes 20th Apr 17, 10:43 AM
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    Jcakes
    Going to try get someone to go around this week.


    Yes they have been informed not to do anymore work and not sure if they were moving out this week as apparently they were moving into rented or with family apparently.
    • Jcakes
    • By Jcakes 20th Apr 17, 11:10 AM
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    Jcakes
    So apparently the work carried out breaches one of the covenants and since we cannot prove if the work took place before or after exchange then we would now be the ones that would be liable if someone wanted to prosecute for breach of covenant.


    Apparently we should have gone around an inspected the property again the day before exchange and then refused to exchange due to the work being undertaken. I was under the impression that the property has to be in the same state as per the "sale particulars" and how it was when offer was made as this is what we were instructed on the property we are selling. I was unaware that a vendor could do what they like to a property while all the legal paperwork is going through.


    House moving is stressful enough without all this hassle.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 20th Apr 17, 11:15 AM
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    Davesnave
    So apparently the work carried out breaches one of the covenants and since we cannot prove if the work took place before or after exchange then we would now be the ones that would be liable if someone wanted to prosecute for breach of covenant..
    Originally posted by Jcakes
    If it's not a new or very recent build, that's unlikely.

    Most covenants like that are for the benefit of the builders.

    I would live there and then decide, if it's been done well . Bushes can be moved, paths created etc. It's not the nature of things to stay the same.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • Jcakes
    • By Jcakes 20th Apr 17, 11:27 AM
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    • 4 Thanks
    Jcakes
    Solicitor believes it breaches the covenant in relation to not making alterations to existing walls and now being told that this could effect mortgage and they could refuse to lend..........all over a gate put in a wall.


    Solicitor has asked if they will take out a special indemnity policy. Really wish didn't go past the property last week now and was currently in blissful ignorance of this gate, think I wouldn't really care if discovered it on day of completion.
    • GDB2222
    • By GDB2222 20th Apr 17, 12:23 PM
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    GDB2222
    So apparently the work carried out breaches one of the covenants and since we cannot prove if the work took place before or after exchange then we would now be the ones that would be liable if someone wanted to prosecute for breach of covenant.
    Originally posted by Jcakes

    You can't be prosecuted, as it's not a criminal offence. The very worst that can happen is that the covenant-holder will commence civil proceedings to have the wall reinstated. That would then be your responsibility as the new owner, whether the gateway was made before or after exchange.

    Really, unless this new door opens into someone else's garden or it's a conservation area, nobody is going to care. Nobody is going to take any proceedings for breach of covenant. And, even if they did, it's a minor cost to reinstate the wall.

    Your solicitor has a duty to the lenders, but this is a trivial problem for them, and taking out an indemnity policy is over-kill. Who organised the mortgage for you? I'd ask him/her to speak to the lenders and push this through for you. It's only a gate in the garden wall, after all, not an alteration to the house.

    If an indemnity policy is needed, my guess is that you'll have to pay for it, as the vendors will presumably stick to their version of events, namely that the hole in the wall was made before exchange.
    No reliance should be placed on the above! Absolutely none, do you hear?
    • Jcakes
    • By Jcakes 20th Apr 17, 12:50 PM
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    Jcakes
    Exactly, I don't think anyone is going to care about a gate that gives access to a shed that is basically covered by a bush.


    My solicitor is insistent that I take out an indemnity policy if they don't and I've informed the solicitor that they are basically being ridiculous and that nobody is going to take action.. Seems like a money making exercise for the solicitor and I am sure the mortgage company wont care and LTV ratio is low so only borrowing a small amount.


    Not sure if the solicitor has now informed mortgage company and if they will insist, mortgage was sorted out direct and not through a financial advisor.


    Just seems another way for solicitors to try get more money out of people.
    • m0bov
    • By m0bov 20th Apr 17, 1:58 PM
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    m0bov
    Ask the vendor to pay for the policy, or ask for the exchange to be reversed.
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