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    • asbestosguy
    • By asbestosguy 10th Aug 18, 6:42 AM
    • 3Posts
    • 0Thanks
    asbestosguy
    Exchanged contracts, then found out house was contaminated with asbestos
    • #1
    • 10th Aug 18, 6:42 AM
    Exchanged contracts, then found out house was contaminated with asbestos 10th Aug 18 at 6:42 AM
    Hi, i have problems with an house i'm buying, i'd viewed the house, all looked ok modern brick buiding with out dated kitchen/bathroom, i was going to refurb and update the fittings while living there, i exchanged contracts, then went to have a look round the outside the next day as it was empty, i got talking to the woman across the road who informed me the house was wood frame and asbestos, the brick was just built in front of the old building to join two extensions buit in the 80'S.

    I contacted the estate agents who contacted the seller, who said the bungalow had been rebuilt on a new footprint around the existing structure and removed, i got survey done that confirmed what the woman had said the existing contaminated buiding was still there, they said walk away too expensive to repair.

    I had a meeting with my solicitor, i told him i didn't want go ahead an complete, he told me i'd loose my deposit, have to pay there legal cost and a bit of interest, as i'd already paid the deposit that was the bulk the remaing would be around 2k, i'd already informed the estate agents of the results of the survey as they phoned me while i was driving to the solicitors office, i expect they passed on the info to the seller.

    I asked the solicitor should we contact them to inform them i won't be going ahead and offer to pay the expenses and settle, he said no let them try to complete on the date and when it doesn't they will try 10 days later, then settle. This was two weeks ago, i'd just about come to terms with loosing my deposit.

    I received a phone call from the solicitors office yesterday, i'm Mr A, i will be handling your file Mr X is on holiday, you should get a survey done if your worried, i told him i'd got one done and i wasn't going through with purchase, he tried talking me into it, i told him there was no way i was going to complete, he told me along with there legal fees they may also try to recover any future difference in the price of sale may be 100 to 150k, i told him if that happens i will go bankrupt as i'm not borrowing money to buy a contaminated house, he then said we should write to them to negotiate and made an appointment for me to go over the details of the letter.

    So whos advice is correct the first solicitor thats on holiday or the solicitor now looking after the case.

    I know one thing i will never go ahead no matter what happens, should i send the sellers solicitor an email to say i'm not going to complete as the house is contaminated with asbestos, short ans sweet, don't know what to do now with change of solicitor who doesn't really know the facts he got the property address wrong and didn't know i'd had a survey done, What should i do i need help.....Thank you for reading my post
    Last edited by asbestosguy; 10-08-2018 at 6:45 AM.
Page 1
    • haras_nosirrah
    • By haras_nosirrah 10th Aug 18, 7:00 AM
    • 1,567 Posts
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    haras_nosirrah
    • #2
    • 10th Aug 18, 7:00 AM
    • #2
    • 10th Aug 18, 7:00 AM
    Oh dear.
    Could you get an asbestos company around to check if the property is safe or can be made so.

    The time for getting the survey was before you exchanged but hindsight is a wonderful thing.

    It may be cheaper to buy it and sell it on yourself (or rent it out if the surveyor confirms it is safe but you still don't want to live there)
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 10th Aug 18, 7:07 AM
    • 25,939 Posts
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    Doozergirl
    • #3
    • 10th Aug 18, 7:07 AM
    • #3
    • 10th Aug 18, 7:07 AM
    I think you need some proper advice on the asbestos from a specialist and quotes to fix it. The surveyor won't have been able to provide a genuine price.

    The surveyor may well have told you to walk away, but by rule most people have surveys before exchange, at a time when they are able to walk away relatively unscathed.

    This is more than just losing a deposit. Simply digging your heels in is not going to limit the damage.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • anselld
    • By anselld 10th Aug 18, 7:12 AM
    • 5,908 Posts
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    anselld
    • #4
    • 10th Aug 18, 7:12 AM
    • #4
    • 10th Aug 18, 7:12 AM
    The second Solicitor is correct in that the damages for which you may be liable in failing to complete the contract may well exceed the deposit.

    However, you do need to get a Solicitor you have confidence in because a bunch of people on the internet are not going to be able to resolve this. Your best hope is probably to get you Solicitor to go through the documents and hope to find some material deception in the vendor's replies to enquiries.
    • asbestosguy
    • By asbestosguy 10th Aug 18, 7:27 AM
    • 3 Posts
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    asbestosguy
    • #5
    • 10th Aug 18, 7:27 AM
    • #5
    • 10th Aug 18, 7:27 AM
    The house is not mortgageable the surveyor siad, no one will lend on it so i cannot borrow the money to buy it no matter what the seller does i cannot go ahead, i will have to look into going bankrupt, the money i had went for the deposit, my tenancy is up at the end of this month so will have to move no matter what, things don't look good.
    • 00ec25
    • By 00ec25 10th Aug 18, 7:29 AM
    • 7,067 Posts
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    00ec25
    • #6
    • 10th Aug 18, 7:29 AM
    • #6
    • 10th Aug 18, 7:29 AM
    did you really exchange before you had a survey done? Wow.
    How did you reach the point of being able to exchange without a mortgage survey having been done?

    yes, potentially the vendor can sue you for more than just your deposit...
    the seller issues you with a notice to complete, giving you X days to do so.
    you refuse
    the seller, as the "injured" party therefore has the right to "rescind" the contract and claim compensation
    compensation can include "the difference between the sale price under the rescinded contract and if it is less, the eventual actual sale price together with additional marketing costs etc."

    to defend aginst that you ought to have a specialist asbestos survey carried out detailing the precise costs of any works required
    also of course if the property is as bad as you think then that would presumably affect its mortgageability and thus, to an extent, its value.

    you will need to be prepared to counter any claim and to do that you will need reports from professionals who understand they may end up in court defending what they said.

    http://www.hip-consultant.co.uk/blog/failure-to-complete-following-exchange-of-contracts-123/

    * EDIT I note you claim the property is unmortgageable. On that basis its value should be less than you offered so the chance of them securing a sale at a price higher than your offer is slim. But until you have the reports done that is just speculation.
    Last edited by 00ec25; 10-08-2018 at 7:34 AM.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 10th Aug 18, 7:32 AM
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    Doozergirl
    • #7
    • 10th Aug 18, 7:32 AM
    • #7
    • 10th Aug 18, 7:32 AM
    You're talking about borrowing money to buy it - so what was the result of your mortgage survey? What did they think it was built from? If they've made a grave error then their surveyor may have some questions to answer.

    You should also go through the SPIF and answers to enquiries made with a fine tooth comb.

    It should be a different solicitor that you deal with, I'm pretty sure, as it moves from conveyancing to litigation. Clearly, it won't be included in your original quote for a hassle free sale and you will be liable for your own additional fees as well - in excess of 200 an hour where I am - another good reason for not just point blank refusing to complete. The solution needs to be more creative and you need to work with people.
    Last edited by Doozergirl; 10-08-2018 at 7:38 AM.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • haras_nosirrah
    • By haras_nosirrah 10th Aug 18, 7:43 AM
    • 1,567 Posts
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    haras_nosirrah
    • #8
    • 10th Aug 18, 7:43 AM
    • #8
    • 10th Aug 18, 7:43 AM
    You're talking about borrowing money to buy it - so what was the result of your mortgage survey? What did they think it was built from? If they've made a grave error then their surveyor may have some questions to answer.

    You should also go through the SPIF and answers to enquiries made with a fine tooth comb.

    It should be a different solicitor that you deal with, I'm pretty sure, as it moves from conveyancing to litigation. Clearly, it won't be included in your original quote for a hassle free sale and you will be liable for your own additional fees as well - in excess of 200 an hour where I am - another good reason for not just point blank refusing to complete. The solution needs to be more creative and you need to work with people.
    Originally posted by Doozergirl
    It depends if he had a survey or a valuation.
    I am a Mortgage Adviser
    You should note that this site doesn't check my status as a Mortgage Adviser, so you need to take my word for it. This signature is here as I follow MSE's Mortgage Adviser Code of Conduct. Any posts on here are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as financial advice.
    • haras_nosirrah
    • By haras_nosirrah 10th Aug 18, 7:55 AM
    • 1,567 Posts
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    haras_nosirrah
    • #9
    • 10th Aug 18, 7:55 AM
    • #9
    • 10th Aug 18, 7:55 AM
    Do you have a mortgage offer you can draw down?
    I am a Mortgage Adviser
    You should note that this site doesn't check my status as a Mortgage Adviser, so you need to take my word for it. This signature is here as I follow MSE's Mortgage Adviser Code of Conduct. Any posts on here are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as financial advice.
    • asbestosguy
    • By asbestosguy 10th Aug 18, 8:01 AM
    • 3 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    asbestosguy
    It sounds like it will get very expensive in professional fees, money i will never get back, i'm not going to sink another penny into this, they can sue me for anything they want, i will declare bankruptcy, i don't have the money my savings have virtually gone, just got enough to pay my current legal fees then i'll have to sack my solicitor, i'll be sleeping on a friends sofa at the end of the month.
    • kazwookie
    • By kazwookie 10th Aug 18, 8:02 AM
    • 10,040 Posts
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    kazwookie
    Why did you not have the survey before exchange?

    How have you managed to get a mortgage before a survey or was it a MIP

    Whole thing is most odd.
    Sun, Sea
    Slinky is back on!
    • tlc678910
    • By tlc678910 10th Aug 18, 8:18 AM
    • 701 Posts
    • 1,122 Thanks
    tlc678910
    Hi,
    Because you exchanged before your finances were in place I'm guessing you may have bought at auction?

    If this was an ordinary residential sale (not at auction) you could try writing to the solicitor telling them that if you don't get your deposit back in full within 7 days the sellers will find themselves plastered all over the local media as shysters trying to pull a fast one selling a house that they had disguised serious problems. The mere thought would be mortifying to most people and their future house sale would then be a nightmare.

    If as I suspect you bought at auction there is a greater expectation that you know what you are doing and investigate the property thoroughly or, if you do not, you take on a greater degree of risk.

    Properties are usually sold at auction because they have problems (maybe unmortgageable) or because they have been repossessed in which case the seller might know next to nothing about the property and can answer not known for a lot of the questions.

    If you can find the seller lied that will help you (although not knowing is not the same). If you bought at auction I expect you will lose your deposit if you cannot find clear evidence of lying about the property. Hopefully after that though the sellers will choose to remarket and move on. If they did try to sue you for a drop in value you would be arguing (in court?) that there was no drop in value but your offer was unrealistic due to the problems being concealed and the property was already worth less than your offer.

    Good luck.

    Edit: from looking back at your first post it sounds like you did not buy at auction (you mention estate agents) so go with option A. Threatening your "sad face" pictures in local media of losing your deposit and being homeless because they concealed problems with the house and your mortgage was pulled after exchange.
    Last edited by tlc678910; 10-08-2018 at 8:25 AM.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 10th Aug 18, 8:20 AM
    • 25,939 Posts
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    Doozergirl
    It depends if he had a survey or a valuation.
    Originally posted by haras_nosirrah
    Even if it's a valuation, they're supposed to be checking that the house provides proper security for a lender. If it doesn't and the mortgage company has issued an offer based on it being traditional construction, then there's a real issue.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 10th Aug 18, 8:24 AM
    • 25,939 Posts
    • 70,147 Thanks
    Doozergirl
    It sounds like it will get very expensive in professional fees, money i will never get back, i'm not going to sink another penny into this, they can sue me for anything they want, i will declare bankruptcy, i don't have the money my savings have virtually gone, just got enough to pay my current legal fees then i'll have to sack my solicitor, i'll be sleeping on a friends sofa at the end of the month.
    Originally posted by asbestosguy
    Is this a wind up? I'm surprised you posted if you're not interested in helping yourself. Yes, there are fees but some work with your solicitor might find how this happened and turn it back on the vendor. Or, you might find that the house isn't so much to panic about.

    Bankruptcy would affect your life heavily for the next several years and isn't to be taken lightly. It's not the end of the world, but it's not fun.

    The end of your tenancy is a whole other issue that people can help with. Who gave notice to whom?
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • Soot2006
    • By Soot2006 10th Aug 18, 8:35 AM
    • 1,284 Posts
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    Soot2006
    Do you have a mortgage offer, or not? On what basis was it issued?
    • Thrugelmir
    • By Thrugelmir 10th Aug 18, 8:40 AM
    • 60,018 Posts
    • 53,377 Thanks
    Thrugelmir
    It depends if he had a survey or a valuation.
    Originally posted by haras_nosirrah
    The remit from the lenders perspective is that the property provides suitable security for the advance.
    Financial disasters happen when the last person who can remember what went wrong last time has left the building.
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 10th Aug 18, 8:51 AM
    • 7,052 Posts
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    eddddy
    This can't be the whole story.

    You make it sound like you found this property via an EA, and went on to exchange contracts in 'the normal way', but before securing a mortgage.

    Your solicitor would have almost been 'screaming in your face' about how risky that is.


    So if you explain more of the circumstances of how you bought the property, you might get some better advice. (For example, was it a pre-auction offer?)
    • m0bov
    • By m0bov 10th Aug 18, 9:05 AM
    • 1,377 Posts
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    m0bov
    School holidays......
    • CocoLouie
    • By CocoLouie 10th Aug 18, 9:44 AM
    • 67 Posts
    • 55 Thanks
    CocoLouie
    • theartfullodger
    • By theartfullodger 10th Aug 18, 9:51 AM
    • 9,814 Posts
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    theartfullodger
    If it's only white asbestos and if it's not interfered with, not a problem. Blue asbestos is a problem though.
    Last edited by theartfullodger; 10-08-2018 at 9:54 AM.
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