Area of law: Conveyancing
Complaint reason(s): Failure to advise; failure to follow instructions
Remedy: Compensation of £2,500 towards expenses incurred and £300 compensation
Outcome: Ombudsman’s decision accepted by complainant
Mr R purchased three flats from the same developer. He had a survey done on each flat and the surveyor’s report said that Mr R’s legal advisor should do some further investigation into the boiler certificates.
The firm asked the developer a number of questions before the purchase, including whether the boilers had been changed and for a certificate of installation to be provided. The developer replied with some details of the boilers and installation dates, but no certificates.
The purchase went ahead and it wasn’t until some time later Mr R became aware that one of the boilers had been fitted incorrectly. He discovered that the boilers in each flat had been installed by a non-Corgi registered fitter. This resulted in a number of issues that needed to be resolved urgently and Mr R was put to expense to complete the required work.
He contacted the firm to complain because he felt they should have done more investigation. If he had known of the boiler issue at the time of the purchase he felt he could have negotiated a lower purchase price. As it was, he was now stuck with the bill to put things right.
The Ombudsman agreed that the firm did have a responsibility to take further action on this point. There was evidence to show that Mr R would have been able to negotiate a better purchase price, we did decide that the firm should contribute to the repair work Mr R had done. We also felt that an additional payment to compensate for his inconvenience would be appropriate.