When Selling My Property, Do I Have To Have The Boiler And Electrics Tested?
As part of the buying and selling process, the property conveyancing solicitor, acting on behalf of the buyer, raises what are known as additional enquiries. These enquiries are the opportunity for the buyer to carry out their due diligence, and request responses to specific queries about the property, before proceeding to Exchange of Contracts. Exchange of Contracts makes the matter legally binding and, therefore, all necessary investigations should take place, and be satisfied, prior to this. For more on Exchange of Contracts, and what this means, see here.
The conveyancing enquiries play an extremely important part within the transaction and are raised, following receipt of the draft Contract papers. See our blog, in which our Preston solicitors discuss the significance of these enquiries, and how they can assist your transaction, here.
One common enquiry can relate to the servicing of the boiler, and the testing of the electrics at the property.
The Conveyancing Protocol, which can be viewed here, requires that only specific enquiries are raised. When raising conveyancing enquiries, your property conveyancing solicitor will be deliberating on a number of matters. For more information on exactly what is to be considered, see our blog, here.
When discussing requirements in respect of the boiler, and electrics, your conveyancing solicitor will be looking at the following:
1. When was the boiler installed? If the boiler is new, there would, evidently, be no need that the same be serviced, provided that the relevant Building Regulations sign off can be supplied, evidencing that the installation meets regulatory standards.
2. Have issues with the boiler been revealed? Where boiler issues have been revealed, it may be deemed necessary to enquire as to whether the seller would be willing to have the same tested, in order to confirm that any such issues have been rectified, and will not go on to affect the buyers when they move in.
3. When was the last evident service? If the boiler has not been serviced for some time, it may be reasonable to ask that the same be attended to by the seller, to confirm that there are no issues.
1. Have any electrical works been carried out? The Property Information Form will assist in confirming whether any electrical works have been carried out. As above, if there has been a recent full re-wire of the property, then a test on the same may not be deemed necessary. Your property conveyancing solicitor will, of course, review the Form, and advise you accordingly in this respect. For more on the Property Information Form, and it’s importance, see here.
2. When were the electrics last tested? As discussed above, if quite some time has passed where the electrics have not been tested, nor have any electrical works been carried out, it may be advisable to request that the electrics are tested, prior to Completion of the matter.
3. Are there any visible/disclosed issues? If, of course, there are any issues that have been revealed or, indeed, disclosed, it would be worth having the electrics tested to confirm that the same have been adequately resolved.
There have, in addition, been recent updates in respect of electrical testing on privately rented properties. The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020, which can be viewed, here, stipulate that five-yearly electrical safety checks are now to be a legal requirement, as of 1st July 2020. This is set to affect all new tenancies, as of this date, and all existing tenancies, as of 1st April 2021.
The Regulations note that the electrics must be tested by a suitable individual, for example an individual registered under the Competent Person Scheme, before a tenancy begins. For more on the Competent Person Scheme, see here. The same must then be tested, at least, every five years, and a copy of the report given to the tenant. Where such report reveals issues, there will be a set period of 28 days for repairs to be actioned and, where specified by the report, may demand that testing is carried out earlier than at a five-yearly interval.
So, what about for residential properties?
When raising such enquiries, there is no guarantee that the seller will be willing to attend to the servicing of the boiler and testing of the electrics, as, strictly speaking, this is not a legal requirement. Should the seller not be willing to attend to such matters, there are a number of options for you, as the property purchaser. These can include the following:
- You may elect to arrange the testing of these services yourself. This can be arranged via the estate agents, or by simply enquiring with the seller and obtaining their agreement to this taking place. The sellers do not, usually, have any objection in this regard, however, will insist that the visit is supervised. This is why such matters are directed via the estate agents, who are able to allow access to the property, for such propose.
- You may, however, be willing to take a view on the matter. You should consider how important these issues are to you. For example, purchasers who plan to totally transform a property would, assumingly, not consider this an issue. You should consider the matter in respect of your unique circumstances.
- In addition, it would be useful to revert back to your physical inspection of the property and consider: were any issues apparent, what state did the services seem to be in, were there any comments made by the seller/agents in this respect? It may also be useful to request a further visit to the property, prior to Completion, in order to inspect in this regard, and make an informed decision as to how you proceed.
As you can see, the way in which the services affecting the property are approached can differ. Our property conveyancing solicitors are, of course, on hand to assist you in this regard, and provide you with all of the relevant information you require in this respect.
So, if you are unsure of what is expected of you, or indeed required, in this regard, contact our team of solicitors in Preston today, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively, if you have any other conveyancing query, submit your enquiry online today, here, where our local solicitors will be on hand to assist.