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First Time Buyer - Reasonable Requests?

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  • First Time Buyer - Reasonable Requests?

    Good evening. The frau and I are about to take the plunge and buy our first property. Due to our current employment circumstances, we will be letting the property for the foreseeable future. The survey contains Red 3 sectors relating to the lack of Certification relating to both the Electricity and Gas, and the local Radon gas levels. Excerpts below:

    Mains electricity is connected. There is no recent test certificate relating to the wiring and fittings. A specialist test of the system is recommended every 5 years or upon change of ownership. Instruct a qualified NICEIC/ECA registered electrical contractor to test the electrical installation and report as to its condition together with a quotation for any repair/renewal.

    A mains gas supply is connected with a meter located in an external box. There is 3 no recent test certificate relating to the gas appliances and fittings. In view of the safety risks associated with gas installations you are advised to obtain a report and quotation from a Gas Safe registered engineer in respect of the installation.

    Pressurised systems of this type require correct servicing and maintenance to
    ensure efficiency and safety. If no test certificate is available from within the last 12 months a precautionary safety check is essential.

    The Health Protection Agency has identified this area as one in which in more than 1% of the dwellings, the estimated level of Radon gas entering property is such that remedial action is recommended.

    There has been an element of 'pushing back' from the vendor after we have requested resolution of the aforementioned. Are we being unreasonable for requesting they pick up the liability for the utility Certification and Radon test? No previous certificates can be produced and the house in only 8 years old. Should I be concerned?

  • #2
    Re: First Time Buyer - Reasonable Requests?

    Ive not come across many valuers requesting this sort of action with a purchase, they mainly say the wiring may need attention with regard to the age of the property. I think personally, if I was selling a property that is only 8 years old I would not be agreeing to pay for electrical testing or gas servicing etc. The radon gas element may be cause for concern but surely that came up in the first place when they purchased the property. Has there been any other houses sold close by to this one? Perhaps its worth a call to another agent.
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    • #3
      Re: First Time Buyer - Reasonable Requests?

      The new form of Homebuyer's Report requires surveyors to flag up Electricity and Gas issues as important because in a small minority of cases people have had problems.

      The reality is that hardly any owner occupier ever has an electrical test - let alone one every 5 years. How many of your friends who own their own houses (and are not letting them) have regular electrical tests? So a seller will tell you where to go if you ask for one.

      Gas is a little more serious- you should at least see evidence of a recent boiler service by a properly qualified engineer.

      Most people are not concerned about radon where it is expected that 1-3% of dwellings in an area may have a level over the minimum advised level. If you are that concerned about radon don't go to Cornwall on holiday!
      RICHARD WEBSTERwww.rwco.co.uk
      As a conveyancing solicitor I want to be helpful (England/Wales only) but can't accept liability for this.


      • #4
        Re: First Time Buyer - Reasonable Requests?

        It's a bit of a moot point really, you say that you are going to let out the property so you have a duty to get the gas and electric certified before letting the property out anyway. Practically no homeowners get these certificates done it's just the surveyor ass covering
        Adam Long



        • #5
          Re: First Time Buyer - Reasonable Requests?

          Don't worry about the Radon issue. From 1997 it was a requirement in Building Regulations that Radon protection measures were installed in all new properties where it was deemed that they were required.


          • #6
            Re: First Time Buyer - Reasonable Requests?

            I'm surprised none of this is covered by the original homebuilder? Has your solicitor mentioned this at all?
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