can anyone assist in an unusual matter , We sold our house last December 2019 in France , the buyers found on the day before they signed that we had a leak from an upstairs window causing discolouration of a ceiling, The Notaire retained the amount that was given on the devis and contracts signed and all dusted,
We received a letter today 7 months after the new people bought it and moved in saying that they have now found more leaks in various places and would like us to contribute to repairs, What is the situation for us now , any advice on this please are we liable
I have no idea what the legal thing is - my feeling is bloody cheeky! All it takes is a slipped tile over the winter etc, fair enough the one that was there before they bought it. maybe call your notaire?
I know from ex neighbours that the water heater died within a few months of us selling the house and madame was not happy with us but no way was it our fault, we didn’t know it was going to blow up!
Is there a requirement for them to show that the condition of the property giving rise now to the leaks pre-existed before contract? I recall a notaire telling us that a property is sold as seen and an old property will always have « issues ». For example, we bought a ruin with no roof (or anything come to that matter) and it would be inconceivable that we could go back to the vendor 8 months later and ask them to pay to fix it! I think the only thing they can have you for is if you deliberately failed to disclose something material in the state of the property that they couldn’t reasonably be expected to have examined at or before the date of the compromis.
It is up to them to prove that these problems existed at the moment of the sale, and that they were not readily able to be seen. If they/you got someone to do a devis to repair one leak it seems entirely reasonable to me that any other leaks might have been noticed at the time.
I would have thought it would be very hard to prove that they were there at the time of the sale, and that it was not a result of deterioration over winter. Be polite and stand firm.
Thank you all the letter came out of the blue , bit of a shock really, I also think its a b@@@'y cheek and the problems would have shown when the devis was made , I am waiting now on an answer from the Agent who sold it and our friend but I think they buy as seen they inspected the house a day before they signed and I was there a week before and there were no problems at all, will let you know the out come thank you all
When we purchased our house the Notaire repeatedly asked the vendor ‘if there was anything that should be declared to (us) the purchasers i.e. were there any known problems that might not be apparent?’ One of the selling couple repeatedly dodged the question with fluff about old houses creaking etc. and the other seller said nothing. After a while we all gave up on getting a straight answer but nothing has suddenly fallen apart so all well and good.
The reason I mention this is that it seems there is (like the UK) a ‘need to disclose material facts’ but even if there is such a need the purchaser would need to show that a) you did know and b) you concealed.
As there’s no suggestion that you did a) or b) then I think you’re entitled to decline their offer to hand over the readies.
As a PS - We have one part of flashing that will let in damp if there are storms and monsoon down-pours but as it represents less than 0.1 % of the purchase price it’s easier to fix ourselves.
We also found that our gutters and down pipes weren’t enough to cope with the area of the roof during heavy downpours so we upgraded and installed high capacity gutters with extra downpipes running into better water evacuation channels - no I didn’t go back to the vendor.
Thank you Ray I cannot see how after 7 months they have a problem and want me to chip in with the payment, I shall just ignore the mail and not respond
Not necessarily the best plan as your silence could be misinterpreted.
Best to respond firmly with a « NFW » than let it rumble on
Thank you Graham excuse my ignorance but what is NFW please
No… Flipping… Way !!! (I suspect )
Thank you Stella
Well, “No <something beginning with F> Way!” at any rate, which is what I think Stella was alluding to with her
My “beginning with F” might be more colourful than Flippin’
I can assure you… that when I use those magic words… No flipping way ! … it comes over as extremely colourful…
but I appreciate that some of you use a different dialect…
Estuary English can be very colourful and leave little to the imagination
I wish we had an emojii of “hearty laughter” as well as the “heart” (like) … 'cos there are many times when I want to roar with laughter at someone’s post/reply…
Thank you all for the colourful answers I think we are all of the same opinion that NFW is the way to go I will let you know if there is any developements
I’m intrigued by this as I have an ongoing insurance claim made a few months after we moved in (damage caused by a leak in the gîte). The insurance company wrote to me a few months back asking if I had any details of the previous owner. I now have an appointment in a month with the insurance company assessor AND one of the previous owners. Is this normal for France?
(Edit: this answer is for @WandaBlue )
I suspect your Insurance is looking to see if they can recoup any costs by claiming against the previous owners’ insurance.
this would seem to be normal behaviour in any country…
I know, first hand, that Insurance will dig deep into the facts/history … before paying out…
Thank you Stella We do not have any insurance on the house in question as we do not own it , The owners bought the house last yesr, If they have any problems I think it is up to them to sort it out with their insurance , nothing to do with us
Hi George… I was replying to Gail Sweeney
should have made that clear… will amend so that it does make sense…