In England, there are many rules that need to be met in order to sell a property including meeting lending criteria if a mortgage is required, organising an Energy Performance Certificate and complying with anti-money laundering, but is the condition of a boiler an issue when you are trying to sell your property?
This article will cover what you need to know about the legal position of selling a a property with a broken boiler.
What are the Rules Regarding Selling a Property with a Condemned Boiler?
There is actually no legal requirement that stipulates that a boiler must be in working condition when a property is sold, however a condemned boiler must be declared to the buyers.
In such a scenario buyers will likely reduce their offer price for the property in order to account for the cost of replacing the boiler themselves.
Often homeowners may choose to repair or replace a boiler that is not working in order to attract potential buyers by portraying that the property has been kept in a good state of repair.
In addition, a new modern boiler may help improve the energy efficiency rating of the property which will also be attractive to potential buyers. Let’s progress to discussing further what an Energy Performance Certificate is.
Energy Performance Certificates or EPC’S
An Energy Performance Certificate is a document that confirms the energy status and therefore environmental impact of a property.
Properties are accessed by qualified professionals who rate each property on a scale of A – G, where an A rating equates to the highest level of energy efficiency.
The certificates guide new property habitants regarding the condition of the property in relation to insulation and overall energy efficiency which also impacts household energy bills.
Legislation was brought in requiring all domestic properties with four or more bedrooms that were to be sold, to require an EPC as part of their home information pack or HIP, in August 2007.
This legislation was altered over time to remove the HIP requirement however the requirement for an EPC remained as well as extending the size of the property that requires an EPC in order to be sold.
Typically, new builds will have the best energy performance whereas older properties tend to have lower ratings due to being less energy efficient in both construction and insulation.
EPC’s last for a duration of ten years, however should significant changes be made to the property including the installation of any eco-friendly measures or heating systems, it would be advisable to arrange a re-assessment to ensure that the latest grading reflects the improvements made.
Does the Boiler Service Need to be up to Date Before Selling the Property?
Getting the boiler serviced on an annual basis can help with monitoring the condition of the internal parts of the boiler, provides an annual safety check as well as ensuring that the boiler runs as efficiently as possible.
In addition, these annual safety checks are a legal requirement for properties that are rented out, however when selling a property, the status of the boiler’s service is not a legal matter and will not prevent the sale completing.
Potential buyers may enquire about the last boiler service when touring the property or later on during the sale however and ensuring that the boiler service is up to date will again illustrate that the property has been well maintained.
Will a Surveyor Check on the Boiler?
A surveyor is likely to request details regarding the condition of the boiler and the date of the late service, however they are not tasked with testing the boiler out themselves.
If the last boiler service was a while ago, the surveyor may report that it would be advisable for the potential buyers to arrange a boiler service themselves before completing with the purchase of the property.
Please note that boiler services should only be undertaken by Gas Safe registered heating engineers.
Should a Boiler be Replaced Before Selling a Property?
As we have discussed, ensuring that the boiler is in full working order before selling a property is not a legal requirement, however if the boiler is broken or condemned, it will likely put off potential buyers as they will see further costs needed in order to make the property habitable.
In addition, a broken boiler may also ring alarm bells for some, questioning what other elements will not be functioning such as plumbing or electrics.
However, there is not a set answer as to whether or not a homeowner should invest in a new boiler before selling a property.
For example, if the property was due to be renovated or developed for flats for example, a property developer is unlikely to be concerned regarding the status of the boiler in situ.
Whichever option the current homeowner decides, the important element is to be transparent with any potential buyers regarding the condition of the property and boiler in order to protect from the new owners making a compensation claim following the completion of the sale.
How Much Will a New Boiler Cost?
New boilers will vary in cost depending on the type of fuel that the boiler operates on, the size of the boiler and the location of the property as there are slight differences in costs nationwide.
As a rough example, a new combination boiler will cost between £650 and £2,150, whereas conventional boilers that require a water tank are often priced between £500 and £1600.
We have explored the legal requirements for selling a property in relation to boilers, and the considerations that a homeowner may factor when deciding whether to replace a boiler prior to selling; including the final price that potential owners will be willing to pay and the effect on the EPC.
Whether or not a homeowner decides to replace a boiler ahead of the sale, the condition of the boiler should always be clear to potential buyers to protect from any compensation claims following completion of the sale.