Buying a narrow boat from insolvency practitioner

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in House Buying, Renting & Selling
8 replies 995 views
RebeccaPlantRebeccaPlant Forumite
10 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in House Buying, Renting & Selling
Hi everyone,

First time poster on MSE Forum! Sorry if this post is quite niche but thought I'd give it a shot anyway.

My partner and I are actively searching for a narrow boat to buy and live on. We have found one that's for sale as a liquidated asset after a hire company went bust.

I've spoken to the IP on the phone and he's pushing for a quick sale and is therefore not keen on buyers wanting a boat survey done due to the time considerations of arranging that. Our friend is a talented and experienced boat engineer and is coming with us to do an inspection of the boat so he should be able to flag up any major, obvious issues, such as the hull leaking or the engine being broken.

If everything looks ok, we are hoping to put in an offer lower than we would usually pay, in order to account for costs of potential repairs, etc.

I was wondering if anybody could offer any advice on any special conditions that may be attached to the sale, or if there's anything we should be aware of or look out for? Are there any considerations we should make since we're dealing with the insolvency practitioner?

Thanks so much in advance,



  • theartfullodgertheartfullodger Forumite
    12.4K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Ask seller for his conditions of sale. Probably with limited come-back if problems found but, perhaps, such conditions might be ruled "unfair" and non-enforceable.

    But, remember, he will have better & more expensive solicitors than you can afford...

    Buying any property is a gamble: You never know until 2-3 years later if it was a good idea or not...
  • ReadingTimReadingTim Forumite
    3.7K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts
    The only thing I can think of over and above what you've said already (pushing for a quick sale, not keen on waiting for a survey) is that the IP has a duty to get the highest price for it they can for the thing. So if at the 11th hour, someone offers more, they'll dump you for them.

    Similarly, you might not necessarily get a bargain on account of the cost of potential repairs - make an offer, it's sold as seen, take it or leave it.
  • steampoweredsteampowered Forumite
    5.8K Posts
    Eighth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    An insolvency practitioner will not offer you any special conditions or contractual protections.

    An insolvency practitioner will only offer "limited title guarantee" rather than the "full title guarantee" you usually get from sellers. This is probably fine in the context of a houseboat, but have a search to find out what it means.
  • lincroft1710lincroft1710 Forumite
    15K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    I'm highly suspicious of any vendor who tries to steamroller a sale without allowing a survey or similar professional inspection. If it is a hire company presumably there are/were other boats. Narrowboats aren't usually bought on a whim like a bar of chocolate, so a prospective purchaser is not likely to rush into this without due diligence. The IP would therefore be lucky if he achieved a sale in the the timescale he expects.

    You may be able to call the IP's bluff and insist on a proper survey.
  • ratraceratrace Forumite
    953 Posts
    Seventh Anniversary 500 Posts
    dont let your heart over rule your head
    People are caught up in an egotistic artificial rat race to display a false image to society. We want the biggest house, fanciest car, and we don't mind paying the sky high mortgage to put up that show. We sacrifice our biggest assets our health and time, We feel happy when we see people look up to us and see how successful we are”

    Rat Race
  • queengothqueengoth Forumite
    135 Posts
    Hi boat owner for the last 18 years, live aboard for the last 10. Questions I would ask.

    Having spent my savings years ago on a boat that turned out to have been sunk previously I would be very dubious not to have a survey done. Does the boat have a current safety cert ? Is it currently in the water (craning in costs quite a bit)
    Do you have a residential mooring already or are you prepared to continuous cruise ?
    Have you previous boat experience ? I find a lot of people in love with the idea but unprepared for the reality of boat life. It can be stressful having 2 people in such a small space, it's not called cabin fever for nothing.
    How is the boat set up in terms of hot water, heating ect are there any records of servicing.
    When were the batteries last replaced ?

    If you have any doubt over the condition of the boat, walk away trust me there are plenty out there.
    Shady pines ma, shady pines
  • NeilCrNeilCr Forumite
    4.4K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper

    I wouldn't buy without a survey

    I'm sure you've done your research - but I did get a lot of good advice on this thread. Hope it helps

    In the end I didn't buy. I found out there were no permanent residential moorings which, immediately, made the decision for me

    Good luck!
  • GDB2222GDB2222 Forumite
    19.7K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    "I've spoken to the IP on the phone and he's pushing for a quick sale"

    What a surprise! :)

    If you are paying pocket money, it's fine to do without a proper survey, but otherwise you need to protect yourself.

    Don't pay extra because it's on a nice mooring unless it's 100% secure, and even then you have to think about it. And bear in mind all the extra costs of living on a boat.
    No reliance should be placed on the above! Absolutely none, do you hear?
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