Probate property - dodgy electrics?

Discussion in 'Electricians' Talk' started by Ceebee, Jul 17, 2021.

  1. Ceebee

    Ceebee Active Member

    Thanks for the advice, I'll relay all the advice given here to the relative and see what their thinking is afterwards, thanks everyone, I really appreciate the help.
  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Screwfix Select

    I've recently sold my late parents house, and faced similar issues.
    Do NOT attempt any modifications etc, as the buyer will be aware of buying a sixty year old property will have issues.
    Obviously complete any issues affecting the water tightness ie leaking pipes, blocked gutters and down-pipes etc. Roof slates missing ?
    UPVC windows with no FENSA certs - tell the truth no certs, friend of the family installation.
    Internal wall removed (Lounge-Dining room), no building regs held.
    Asbestos in the garden, shed roofs, cold frames and raised planters, path edging, etc. - purchaser informed.
    When completing the purchasers legal questionnaire, reply honestly, often with the comment 'I have not personally lived here, no documents traced' etc.

    The new buyers will probably gut the property, rewire, re-plumb etc.
    Get the property onto the market asap, properties are selling very rapidly at present (Stamp duty savings).

    I had a lengthy delay due to Covid delays (shouldn't be an issue now), but lengthy delays due to money-laundry checks - all clear in the end.
    ( I had to pay full general rates, whilst the property was empty, £160 per month, but I have now discovered, too late, that if the house was inhabitable no rates would have been payable - ie remove the kitchen and/or bathroom fittings !)

    Driving by the house today, I can see a builders lorry parked up, all chimney stacks removed ! Kitchen ripped out, loft insulation removed, etc etc, yet the house was lived in just weeks prior to the house going onto the market.

    Best regards
  3. Ceebee

    Ceebee Active Member

    Thanks Tricky,

    More valuable advice, especially regarding the rates issue - I'm in no doubt the kitchen will be ripped out but wasn't a job on our radar for obvious reasons - wouldn't taking it out pre-sale make it unmortgagable though?

    For us it was more a case of sorting the missing roof tiles and slipped flashing round the dormers to make it watertight, sorting water leaks on the newish boiler (job for a gas reg plumber) and toilet etc, and changing a couple of blown sealed units but am definitely going to have a serious chat on Monday with the relative - I think it's been a traumatic experience for them already having lost a loved one suddenly and before their time. I'll try and steer them in the most sensible direction given the circumstances, thanks again.
  4. Tony Goddard

    Tony Goddard Screwfix Select

    As tricky says, be honest on the property form, but brief.

    You do have to be a little hard ball with property, if the sellers want surveys, EICRs, asbestos surveys etc. fine, but they pay the costs of that - never pay for that yourselves.

    A good friend has just made that mistake when selling a property in need of renovation, and that the buyers intended to pull down, they had him spend thousands on this survey, that inspection, then mucked about and pulled out. They wre builders, so knew what they were buying without surveys, they were just time wasters.

    Be fair, but firm, don't let a buyer pressurise you, its a sellers market right now, so if someone starts messing around, put it right back on the market.
  5. Tony Goddard

    Tony Goddard Screwfix Select

    The original faceplates are probably better than the more recent ones, the old 60's ones were built like tanks and just go on and on - so long as there are no cracks or burn marks they are not an immediate issue.

    The tingle is very likely not a shock from the socket, but from your relative to the screw head. static is readily formed especially on older nylon carpets and will give you quite a thwack if you touch a socket box screw. The number of call outs i've had over the years to folks convinced they have a fault, and all they have is very good earthing!

    Attached Files:

    Bogle Crag likes this.
  6. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Screwfix Select

    Thanks Ceebee,
    After the sale had been agreed, and with the new purchasers agreement, we could have removed the kitchen fittings etc.
    The house was purchased by first time buyers, and it took a while for funds to be collated and money-laundering checks to be made.
    Emptying the house, garage, brick outhouses, sheds and storage 'sheds' took time whilst memories where rediscovered over fifty years of storage.
    It was a great shock when my father died, in the garden one day and the next day a major stroke, clarifying the legal ownership of the house and then
    still sorting his will with 21 beneficiaries to satisfy, only a few to go now.
    Get the house on the market, and sold, as there will be more duties to be undertaken.
    Kind regards
  7. Ceebee

    Ceebee Active Member

    Thanks Tony,

    I hope to goodness they don’t get messed about in the same way, my son has just experienced similar but as a buyer - he lost thousands after being strung along til the seller decided to stay put. Hopefully the relative will let me stay involved in the conveyancing to a certain degree, they are young to be dealing with this kind of loss and an only child with no-one to share the load. I’d like to think at my age I can add a few words of caution and encouragement where necessary. Fingers crossed for a straightforward sale.

    It would be reassuring to think this might have been the cause, the carpet is definitely nylon but I’m not sure I could trust it to be the case though, we shall proceed with caution to be on the safe side.

    The original faceplates can stay, after reading the previous advice I guess it presents the house in a more honest way, no point wasting the time and money trying to disguise the fact this is a probate sale.

    Thanks again, really appreciate you taking the time to offer advice.
  8. Ceebee

    Ceebee Active Member

    Thanks Tricky,

    I can see what you mean about the kitchen now, will bare that in mind for the future, I will ask them though if they’ve looked at possible rate reductions that they might be entitled to.

    I’m sorry to hear about your dad, it’s turned my relative’s world totally upside down to put it mildly in every aspect of their life and it’s hard to watch the turmoil they’ve been in since it happened, it was so unexpected. We’ve pretty much cleared the house now and probate has been granted so I’ll encourage them to get it on the market ASAP and hopefully it’ll lessen the burden if they can sell it quickly and without too much stress although I have a feeling that may be wishful thinking, fingers crossed.

    At least forewarned is forearmed thanks to the good folks on this forum, thanks everyone.
  9. stevie22

    stevie22 Screwfix Select

    it's always a bad time. My sister died suddenly and unexpectedly last September leaving me (130 miles away) as sole executer

    Her house was only 20 odd years old but in a terrible state (think extreme hoarders on cable). I filled 1x12 and 3x8yard skips, the house clearers another 2x8 yard and this on top of the mass of stuff that went to charity shops. No maintenance of any kind for at least 10 years I guess.

    I went soul searching about what work to do and in the end apart from getting in a professional cleaning service (well worth the pretty modest charge) and getting a small leak in the roof repaired I left is as it was. I looked at house prices (thanks Zoopla), estimated what I'd have to spend and set my sights accordingly. I was very fortunate to find a sensible estate agent who was totally realistic.

    In the end a couple of the neighbours bought it as an investment so they wnew exactly what they were getting.

    One other thing: the question of council tax suspension does seem to vary from council to council both time and status (ie just unoccupied or unlivable). Also the house insurers and stats were happy to continue supply and only get paid once the property was sold.

    Good on you for helping out Ceebee.
  10. Ceebee

    Ceebee Active Member

    Thanks Stevie,

    Really sorry to hear about your sister, these last couple of months have been tough going but at least the property is close by for my relative, it’s given us the opportunity to do the clearing and tidying as and when they’ve felt able.

    Lots of soul searching here too, I guess it comes with the territory sadly. Reading all the previous responses I’m starting to look at this from a slightly different angle, I get the feeling the relative is maybe wanting to do more to the house than they probably should more for the loved one they’ve lost rather than putting their own well-being first? Not sure if that makes sense or not.

    More soul searching tomorrow no doubt as I’ll have a gentle chat with them and try and work out what’s going to be the best outcome for them in the long run.

    thanks again for the kind words.
  11. FlyByNight

    FlyByNight Screwfix Select

    CeeBee ...

    It looks as though you ae trying to guide them through and they are still taking the strain. If you are willing to, they can pass the responsibility to you even if they are the named executors and allow you to sort it out, get it with an agaent and negotiate - all they need to do is have confidience in you and sign the documents. It may make it simpler all round and you may well make a better decsions - not stalling "well it was mums/dads favourite chair" or being too hasty and accepting a silly offer.

    No where near as large a problem as yours but with two family deaths recently I have just taken a significant task and dealt with it relaying just teh essential back to the others which took weight off them.
  12. Ceebee

    Ceebee Active Member

    Thanks Fly!

    That’s a really good idea and worth serious consideration, not sure whether they’ll see it as a ‘cop out’ though? They’ve dealt with so much already (complicated estate) and coped admirably considering and despite the grief they’re going through. I will suggest it as an option and see what the response is. At the moment every day seems to bring a new challenge and I can see a decline in their mental health which is worrying to say the least.

    Thank you x
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2021
  13. FlyByNight

    FlyByNight Screwfix Select

    It would not be a cop-out for them - it is about making a sensible decision. They will employ an estate agent to actually market the property, a solicitor to do the conveyancing, &c so they will already be planning to offload those aspects, so why not the preparation for sale and day to day work on it?

    And they don't know what will come next.

    Put the message across that it is becasue: you want to help, you don't want to see them suffer unneccessarily with worry, stress and overwork, point out you friendship/fondness/love/connection with te deceased and them and you know the deceased would not mind you helping in the difficult time.

    And will you want paying for it? NO - just a momento or two and a decent bottle or two of wine.

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