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Seller took out a personal loan for home improvements, can I be held liable?

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  • GDB2222
    GDB2222 Posts: 24,653 Forumite
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    edited 13 November 2023 at 7:10PM
    user1977 said:
    baccalad said:
    There's been quite a bit of back and forth between my solicitor, the seller's solicitor and the estate agent. With my solicitor saying how can you expect my client to purchase a property with outstanding credit, and if the seller can't afford to pay it off outright, then it should either be deducted from the sale proceeds and put in their TA13 or as an allowance on completion.

    The seller's solicitor saying that they've explained the situation several times to the client and their answer remains the same, that they will not be paying it off, as it's a personal loan and she wants to pay it off gradually.
    if, say the boiler is on hire purchase (HP) and she refuses to pay off the debt with the sales proceeds, then she effectively sells you the property but not the boiler. I would simply ask her to then remove the boiler and deduct the costs of such boiler from the price as she is not selling it to you (she cant as it is still under HP)

    But as far as we know, nothing is even on HP. Like I said, it's rarely encountered for things you'd find inside a house, and wouldn't be competent for items which are incorporated into the building (when have you ever heard of somebody having their boiler repossessed?!).

    On the contrary, the vendor has said categorically that some items in the house are subject to credit or HP agreements. That may well be incorrect, but that's what the vendor has said. 

    I expect this is all a storm in a teacup, and it will turn out that the vendor answered incorrectly, and it is a personal loan without any connection to any items in the property. However, I don't think the OP should just ignore the issue. 

    No reliance should be placed on the above! Absolutely none, do you hear?
  • baccalad
    baccalad Posts: 14 Forumite
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    edited 13 November 2023 at 7:12PM
    Hoenir said:
    baccalad said:


    The seller's solicitor saying that they've explained the situation several times to the client and their answer remains the same, that they will not be paying it off, as it's a personal loan and she wants to pay it off gradually.


    Initially you said. 

    The seller of the house I'm in the process of purchasing has a personal loan of around £15k which was taken out for home improvements. I believe it was for fitted wardrobes, a conservatory roof replacement and possibly a new boiler.

    Whereas now transpires the boiler is on some form of hire purchase agreement. Therefore unlikely that there is just the one loan arrangement in place. There may well be a clause in the HP contract that the debt has to be settled if the property is sold. Does the finance agreement cover breakdown cover and annual servicing costs? 

    As the buyer you can play hardball as well. Effectively you are paying for something the seller doesn't own outright. 
    I've only been told that it is a single personal loan with a value of around £15k, I'm not sure if that was the original amount or the outstanding amount. I asked the estate agent what it was for and they said fitted wardrobes and a conservatory roof replacement. I'm not sure if it included the boiler, but I inferred that it could be for the boiler too, as the boiler is around 2/3 years old.

    I've asked the estate agent if I can see any documentation relating to the loan to show that it is a personal loan that is unsecured, with the amount outstanding. They replied that the title of the property is clear which confirms there is no loan secured against the property.

    I've asked my solicitor if they're in receipt of any documentation relating to the loan, and I haven't been given a clear answer, other than that they raised the enquiry asking if any items in the property are subject to any credit or hire purchase agreement, and the seller's solicitor replied about the loan.
  • Jonboy_1984
    Jonboy_1984 Posts: 1,221 Forumite
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    Boxt hold a lien over their installations if unpaid:

    1. All goods supplied remain the property of the Company even though installed, by way of a lien, until fully paid for and the Company reserves the right of re-entry to remove any such goods whether fixed or otherwise, which remain unpaid for.


    I’m assuming if they have passed a straight loan referral to a finance partner it is only until they get their money from the finance provider, but it looks a lot  less clear if via their subscriptions that include servicing.


    You have the right to terminate your BOXT Life agreement after the initial 18 months and would be obliged to pay an Early Termination Fee and enable us to remove and return the boiler. The Early Termination Fee is based on our installation and termination costs. Here is an example of how the early termination fee would work for a £35 per month subscription on a Worcester 2000 30kw boiler: £630 after 18 months, £412 after 48 months, £150 after 60 months and thereafter (all incl. VAT). In addition, you would be required to pay a Removal & Recycling Fee of £250 in the event of you failing to have the Boiler removed and returned to us. If you have any questions, please reach out to

  • Hoenir
    Hoenir Posts: 2,017 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper
    edited 13 November 2023 at 9:37PM
    user1977 said:
    Hoenir said:
    baccalad said:


    The seller's solicitor saying that they've explained the situation several times to the client and their answer remains the same, that they will not be paying it off, as it's a personal loan and she wants to pay it off gradually.
    Whereas now transpires the boiler is on some form of hire purchase agreement.
    Where are you getting that from?
    Deduction. There's far more to this than has been disclosed to the buyer.  A solicitor isn't going to going to respond affirmatively to an enquiry without due cause. If there's nothing to hide the seller can very quickly dispel all doubts. 
  • Grumpy_chap
    Grumpy_chap Posts: 14,872 Forumite
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    Like others, this thread (and the Solicitor's position) seems very odd. 

    It would normally matter not a jot whether the vendor had a personal loan to buy the wardrobe, conservatory roof, boiler.  The vendor has recovered the residual value by the betterment in the value of the house sale.  This assume simple, straight forward unsecured personal loan in which case the finance and the products purchased are unconnected.

    Given the concerns from the Solicitor, it has to be assumed there is other information that changes this position - perhaps there is evidence that the loans were in some way secured on the items purchased.  If the situation is that the vendor has not yet paid in full / taken full ownership of the items, then that may explain the Solicitor's caution.  It could mean that the vendor could stop repayments and the lender seek recovery from the OP after the purchase - how that would work in practice I don't know.

    This is an odd situation so the OP needs to speak again with the Solicitor to gain an understanding of what the concerns really are.  It is no use relying on internet comments about the "typical" situation as the Solicitor seems to see something "atypical" in this case.
  • user1977
    user1977 Posts: 14,008 Forumite
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    Hoenir said:
    user1977 said:
    Hoenir said:
    baccalad said:


    The seller's solicitor saying that they've explained the situation several times to the client and their answer remains the same, that they will not be paying it off, as it's a personal loan and she wants to pay it off gradually.
    Whereas now transpires the boiler is on some form of hire purchase agreement.
    Where are you getting that from?
    Deduction. There's far more to this than has been disclosed to the buyer.  A solicitor isn't going to going to respond affirmatively to an enquiry without due cause.
    I'm a solicitor who has deduced that the OP's solicitor doesn't seem to have a clue. But let's see if they can clarify their position.
  • meeemee
    meeemee Posts: 230 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    That’s just stupid of course you can’t be held responsible that like the seller buying lights and bathroom towel rail from next on the never never, leaving them at the house then expecting you to pay the bill if they default on it. 
  • housebuyer143
    housebuyer143 Posts: 3,321 Forumite
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    edited 14 November 2023 at 8:15AM
    meeemee said:
    That’s just stupid of course you can’t be held responsible that like the seller buying lights and bathroom towel rail from next on the never never, leaving them at the house then expecting you to pay the bill if they default on it. 
    What about brighthouse and places like that where you buy house things on credit and pay them monthly? If you don't keep up the payments they very well can and will come back for the items because you don't own then until you make the final payment. I don't imagine the solicitor is an idiot so they probably know something the OP doesn't Inn this case.
  • user1977
    user1977 Posts: 14,008 Forumite
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    meeemee said:
    That’s just stupid of course you can’t be held responsible that like the seller buying lights and bathroom towel rail from next on the never never, leaving them at the house then expecting you to pay the bill if they default on it. 
    What about brighthouse and places like that where you buy house things on credit and pay them monthly? If you don't keep up the payments they very well can and will come back for the items because you don't own then until you make the final payment. I don't imagine the solicitor is an idiot so they probably know something the OP doesn't Inn this case.
    Brighthouse has gone bust, hasn't it? Not sure if there is anybody similar on the go - but yes, if the vendor had thrown in an overpriced telly on HP, that would potentially be an issue. But it wouldn't be relevant to the OP's mortgage lender (as their charge doesn't cover moveable items).

    From many previous threads here (and my professional experience) I can readily imagine a solicitor being, if not an idiot, at least woefully misguided about some legal principles.
  • Olinda99
    Olinda99 Posts: 1,240 Forumite
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    edited 14 November 2023 at 10:20AM
    there is a very big difference between a personal loan and hire purchase

    if you buy something on HP then you are basically hiring the goods for the duration of the finance agreements and then you get the option to purchase them for a very small amount typically a pound at the end of the agreement. this means that during the agreement the goods most definitely belong to the finance company as you are simply hiring it from them

    with a personal loan the bank or finance company or whoever simply lend you the money and you can do what you want with it. the finance company therefore has no way of getting any goods back that you use the money to buy.

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