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Asbestos survey after exchange?

edited 16 May 2019 at 8:46PM in House Buying, Renting & Selling
19 replies 1.3K views
smishsmish Forumite
11 posts
edited 16 May 2019 at 8:46PM in House Buying, Renting & Selling
I'd appreciate any pointers, similar stories and, fingers crossed, helpful solutions to a rather complicated issue.

We are selling and buying. Our sale is ahead and we've agreed a completion date with our buyer after a tricky negotiation - we gave them some money off in return for an extra few weeks to try to tie our sale to our purchase. The completion date agreed is 14th June.

They are in a chain and are moving out of their home in the gap between their sale and purchase completing and we don't feel we can ask them to extend that at all (without giving more money off which we can't afford).

Our purchase was going along OK. However, the surveyor identified a number of problems, among them possible asbestos here there and everywhere.

We have hired an asbestos surveyor and the plan is to either request a reduction from the vendor for any work required or, if it's really bad, pull out and look for something else.

We'd hoped to have the survey done today however the tenant living in the property is understandably concerned about safety and has insisted this happens after they vacate on 5th June. We need to exchange by the 7th.

We've rescheduled the asbestos survey to 6th June but their report will take two working days... With exchange due on 7th and completion on 14th it was always going to be tight but now it's seriously problematic.

The reduction we gave to our buyer essentially used the budget we'd set aside for renting and the extra removals costs if we couldn't get the sale and purchase to join up, so we really want to find a way to keep them linked if at all possible. We also have a delicate cat who won't appreciate being moved twice!

We do feel caught between a rock and a hard place.

Does anyone have any experience of such things? Any nifty ideas about how we could make this work?

We understand that the limitations are that the bank and solicitor need one week to draw down funds and the solicitor says we should get all surveys done before exchanging on our purchase.

Thanks for reading and thanks in advance for any thoughts you have.
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Replies

  • Alter_egoAlter_ego Forumite
    2.9K posts
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    Survey after exchange is pointless, you would only discover what YOU need to do and pay for.

    Listen to your solicitor!
    Loose means not tight, Lose means something is lost, simples no?
    Ignore me if you like, it's not the real me anyway.
  • AdrianCAdrianC Forumite
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    AFTER exchange?

    At exchange, you are both contractually bound to everything agreed - including price. By all means, have an asbestos survey after exchange, so you know what's there for sure - but you might as well have it after completion.

    BTW, you do know that the surveyor's "OOoh, there might be asbestos" is generic backside-covering on anything that's not so newly built the paint's still wet, right?
  • AnotherJoeAnotherJoe Forumite
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    A survey after exchange is pointless if its purpose is to enable you to ask for money off or pull out.

    You will have to exchange later (after the survey results) and possibly complete later depending what the seller says in response to your changed price. It doesn't help that your vendor is a chancer LL with a tenant there until the last minute. It seems they will be moving out, but what's Plan B if they haven't ?
  • edited 17 May 2019 at 6:52PM
    smishsmish Forumite
    11 posts
    edited 17 May 2019 at 6:52PM
    I was hoping people might have ideas and information I didn't already have. This is my fourth purchase, I'm 50, and it's the first time I've wanted to investigate an issue but have been unable to do so until after the planned exchange date.

    I know a survey after exchange is pointless form the point of view of negotiating a discount - that's exactly the conundrum I'm facing. I wonder if some of you read the full message or if you just responded to the title?

    Anyway, in case it's helpful for anyone else reading this, my partner and I have decided that we'll propose a fairly steep reduction to the seller on the basis that we can't know for sure whether there's asbestos or not until we get the report and as we can't that until after the planned exchange date we will have to accept the risk and the potential costs and disruption involved in that. The other options we considered seriously were to pull out or delay exchange and completion on our purchase (we can't delay any longer on our sale) and swallow the cost of moving twice and renting. These last two options are worse so we hope the vendor will agree to our reduction –!I'll update once we get a response.
  • AdrianCAdrianC Forumite
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    smish wrote: »
    Anyway, in case it's helpful for anyone else reading this, my partner and I have decided that we'll propose a fairly steep reduction to the seller on the basis that we can't know for sure whether there's asbestos or not
    To which the vendor will say "Not a hope, mate, but I'm happy to hold off on exchange for a few days to get the report in."

    Ball back in your court.
  • societys_childsocietys_child Forumite
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    my partner and I have decided that we'll propose a fairly steep reduction to the seller on the basis that we can't know for sure whether there's asbestos or not
    Are there any bodies under the patio . . have you asked?
  • staffie1staffie1 Forumite
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    There are countless houses of a certain age with asbestos. So what? Any future building works should be done with care by a qualified builder.
    God, Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.
  • ratechaserratechaser Forumite
    846 posts
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    Are there any bodies under the patio . . have you asked?

    Or dogs? :D
  • smishsmish Forumite
    11 posts
    OK. Not digging the vibes here. Was looking for help from people with experience not a load of mansplaining and arseyness. I'll leave you to your troll den.
  • correllcorrell Forumite
    76 posts
    It is my understanding that you can exchange and complete on the same day - so even if contracts are pushed back you may be able to keep completion date
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