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Can I get the seller to pay for my broken central heating?

  1. David from Leicester
  2. Conveyancing questions and answers

Question

A few months ago, I moved in to my new home. Everything had been going well until the recent cold weather meant I had to turn on the central heating. However, when I tried to do this, nothing happened. I went around checking the radiators and letting out the excess air, but it made no difference. I then called in a heating engineer. He informed me that the pump in the boiler was broken and that I'd need a new one. This is going to be very expensive, so I was wondering if there is any way I can get the person who sold me the house to pay for it as he must have known all about the problem.

Answer

Unfortunately when you are purchasing a property it is your responsibility to carry out a survey and to follow the recommendations of your surveyor.  Most Chartered Surveyors recommend that you have any gas appliances tested by a suitably qualified and regulated engineer and that you have the electrics tested.
 
The phrase 'buyer beware' applies.  When you are purchasing a property you need to rely on your own tests, surveys and inspections.
 
The only exception to this would be if you had raised a direct question with the Seller and they had provided a deliberately false statement.  If, for example, you had asked the Seller 'is the central heating in good working order?' and they replied 'yes it works perfectly', then potentially you could have a claim for breach of contract due to the misrepresentation made by the Seller.
 
This would, however, be difficult to prove and most sale contracts limit the liability of the Seller to statements made in writing via the Conveyancers acting for the Seller and the Buyer.  You should therefore speak to the Conveyancer who acted for you and ask whether the Seller gave any written warranties regarding the boiler.  If so you could potentially have a claim under the small claims procedure.
 
If not, unfortunately it would be for you to meet the costs of the boiler repairs yourself.

Caroline Gardner

Caroline Gardner

1st Property Lawyers

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Comments (1)

  • Pauline

    posted on 17 Nov 2012

    I found this useful as I am going through something Simla but in my case they said on the property information form that they had not claimed on any Guarantee but they did not tell the truth, we bought the house in July this year and they had called the heating people out six times between April and July we have not been able to sleep in the main bedroom since we moved in and have just found out that a pipe had been leaking and they new it needed to be repaired but they failed to do this, we have had to top the boiler up every 24 hours we also need to replace all the radiators, pipes, re decorate, replace the carpet and bed as it is all damp and mouldy where do I stand ? what should we do next???

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