Q&A: Boiler broken three months after buying house

Q.  I bought a house recently and the seller assured me that the gas boiler / hot water system was in good working order and had been tested regularly.  However, three months after we moved in it stopped working altogether, and the engineer says it is past repairing and we will need to instal a brand new system.  Can I reclaim the cost of this from the seller?

A.  You may be able to recover this cost if you could prove that there had been a misrepresentation to you.  In this case you would argue that you were led to believe everything was in working order and would continue to be.  However if no misrepresentation was made for example that the boiler system had been regularly tested and was in good working order when it was sold, and you were given evidence to this effect, however subsequently failed due to age, then there is no way to recover the cost of the repair.  When property is bought, the principle of ‘let the buyer beware’ applies and that the property and its contents are sold as seen.  Therefore the sellers will not be liable for the cost of replacing the boiler system once the sale has been completed.

Andrew Hornsby, Solicitor

This article was previously published in the Stamford Mercury.