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  • Property-a-holics

    Boiler leaking before completion, what to do?

    Hi all

    I have exchanged last week on a property I am selling with completion next week.

    I have just discovered a leak coming from my boiler.

    Got my gas engineer to take a look and he has identified the leak is coming from the heat exchanger. He advised it could be around £200-300 to fix but as it's an old boiler (11 years old) maybe it may be worth replacing the boiler. 

    What would you do in this situation:

    1. Keep quiet and pretend you did not notice the leak
    2. Keep a jug under the link (which I am already doing) and a note explaining the leak just happened and where the leak is coming from (heat exchanger). Maybe add a box of chocolates and a bottle of wine with it?
    3. Get it fixed
    4. Any other option?

    I am thinking no.2. I am not certain what they are going to do with the property but the vibe I got from the agent was that they may refurb it completely as it does need a bit of work. If so, maybe replacing the boiler is something they may be prepared to do, but this is just an assumption.

    Also, with no.2, do I open myself up for potential liability if the buyer sues for compensation?

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    Legally I believe the buyer becomes responsible for the structure on Contract Exchange (hence need Buildings Ins from that date).

    As to whether you should contribute to boiler repair/renewal on purely moral grounds may depend on how close to asking price the buyer is paying.

    I certainly would not replace boiler as new owner would maybe have a different choice of boiler/location etc.

    Plus every single Gas Safe engineer I have spoken to says the now mandatory condensing boilers are no more efficient in practice than a conventional boiler.

    A quick call to your conveyancing solicitor should clarify legal issue.

    Overall a buyer is taking a chance on functionality of heating system/property electrics/plumbing - unless they have elected to get those systems checked over by a professional.

    Roughly how old is boiler?



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    Hi LandyLordy

    The boiler is 11 years old.

    Interesting point about the buyer becoming responsible upon exchange (although I guess it would be hard for either to prove when the leak started).

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    11 yr old boiler should have many yrs of life left (after the replacement of heat exchanger)

    As you also say buyer is an investor then just leave them to get on with refurb as they see fit

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    We are all different but I just sold a property in october to a family .

    All was signed and then we found the boiler needed a new print board .

    We wouldnt of wanted to move into a house and have to sort the boiler out

    so we replaced the print board.  Just the way I am .


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    Yeh there is definitely the moral angle.

    The difficulty is as it is a big part, the engineer advised to change the boiler, and there is no way I would do this as like LandyLordy states, they may choose something different.

    If it was a small repair I would do it in a heartbeat. 

    There is still hot water and heating though, but it does need to be fixed. Funnily enough, the first property I bought had no hot water. The boiler needed replacing. I didn't think too much of it and just got the boiler replaced. I liked the fact that the boiler was new and I would have no issues with it. Maybe the seller may think the same, who knows.

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    Take no notice of me . The property I have just sold was my own home few years ago which

    I then rented out .Lovely large family home . Different feeling to some of my rentals.

    You do what you feel right I am not judging you .

    If it has the boiler working atm and you say its an old boiler then no dont replace it .

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    Also, another point to add, might help, might not. The buyers did not get an independent survey done, just a lender's valuation.

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    Lender's mortgage valuation is of course the cheapest of the 3 broad valuation types.

    Completion next week means not a lot of time to get boiler repaired anyway - esp as GS engineer needs to order the part.

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    The same thing happened to me earlier this year.  The boiler sprung a major fault and the gas man (who had been doing the annual certs and repairs for years) said a repair would just be throwing good money after bad.  The house was being sold to another landlord who was taking on my lovely tenants, so a week before completion I paid £1200 to have a new boiler fitted.

    In your case, I do think you should own up, and the sellers information form is a binding document.  Maybe agree to go halves with the new owner?

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    I'd fix the part mentioned and take it out of the profit. The seller may not have known about the leak so for £200-300 I'd get it fixed for good karma. Definitely no new boiler needed, that seems to be the default answer these days!

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