Monthly Archives

July 2017

When an Eye For Detail is Essential – Log Burners

By | Barnes and Partners, Solicitors in London | No Comments

Want to know why above all things it is essential your conveyancer is thorough and has an eye for detail? Well I am here to tell you. The example I will describe actually happened at the end of last year but it clearly illustrates the point.

 

Front Door Country Home with Log Burner

 

I had a particular client who was purchasing a new property. She had found the place she wanted to buy and had her heart set on the house. She was thrilled that after house hunting for a while she had found her “dream home” and once her offer on the property was accepted she had got the ball rolling and appointed Barnes and Partners Solicitors in Ware. This woman wasn’t a first time buyer and had been through the process before so it wasn’t completely new or unfamiliar to her.

 

As you probably know, mortgages are approved subject to surveys and we as conveyancers have to also do a number of searches so that we cover off all potential red flags and issues.

 

I was carrying out the process as I usually would and found that this particular property had a log burner. Some conveyancers may not pick-up on log burners as an issue but I followed due diligence and looked into it. I found this log burner had been installed but at first it was unclear when exactly.

 

After some digging, the team managed to trace back that the log burner was installed sometime in the late 1980s to early 1990s. However, no HETAS certificate was available.

 

The following is official HETAS information that is applicable to log burners:

“A HETAS Certificate of Compliance (Building Regulation Compliance Certificate) demonstrates that the installation complies with the relevant Building Regulations. The information on the certificate is used to record your installation, and in England & Wales it is used to notify your Local Authority Building Control Department (LABC) of the work that was undertaken.

 

HETAS Notice Plate

Additional Information

 

Where a hearth, fireplace, flue or chimney is provided as part of the work information essential to the correct application and use of these facilities should be permanently posted in the building. A way of meeting this requirement is for the installer to provide a Notice (or Data) plate.”

 

Obviously, we raised this with the seller’s solicitors and they said they would insure with an indemnity insurance policy. They also stated that the seller would pay for this.

 

Our client seemed satisfied and some firms may leave it at this but we argued that although the indemnity policy would hopefully cover local authority enforcement action for lack of building regulations/HETAS certificate that it would not cover faulty workmanship or improper installation.

 

 

I advised our client (buyer) to gain a specific log burner inspection, which she did. The log burner was then found to be faulty – incorrectly installed and breaching building regulations due to incorrect flue linings and leakage of carbon monoxide – the plumber actually condemned the log burner!

 

The vendor had to pay £1,500 to rectify this and then the sale went through. Everyone was happy and it was a good outcome for all.

 

Just a month later, our local paper reported news of a cottage fire caused by a log burner nearby, which new buyers of this home had lit for the first time since moving in.

 

The article can be read here

 

Fortunately no one was hurt, but the home was destroyed. Obviously there are no pointing fingers and we don’t know exactly how or why this happened. Potentially all necessary checks were followed through and showed nothing but this devastating news really shocked us and drove the point that the details really are so important.

 

We were so thankful that the log burner inspection was carried out thoroughly for our client and all preventative measures were taken.

 

If you have a question for and are buying or selling a home in and around Ware contact Andrea on 01920 460823.

– Andrea Greenwood, Senior Conyevancer, Ware

Staff Spotlight Charlene Boyaram

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Our Staff Spotlight is a monthly occurrence where we shine the spotlight on a member of our Barnes and Partner’s Solicitors team. From receptionist to finance team, conveyancing to employment law – we give you an opportunity to learn more about us. We have a wonderful dedicated team across all of our Barnes and Partners Solicitors branches and every month they vote for who will be featured in the Staff Spotlight.

This month we would like to introduce you to Charlene Boyaram who works in conveyancing. Colleagues say she is a “ray of sunshine” and she is a proactive and dedicated member of our Barnes and Partners team.

Charlene Boyaram Conveyancing

 

Read on to hear more about Charlene in her own words:

I am so pleased that I won the Staff Spotlight this month – it was such a wonderful surprise!

I started working at Barnes and Partners in October 2012 doing work experience a few hours a week and after a short time I was offered a job as a full time paralegal and from there I was eventually given a training contract.

I am fortunate to have worked with amazing members of staff who have been supportive and have taught me so much. I am a mother of three amazing boys Kairo aged 9, Noah aged 8 and Elijah aged 6. I am so grateful that the firm has made it possible for me to still be a fantastic mother to them.

I want to especially thank Wendy Gudgeon, Karen Newman, Andrea Greenwood, Kim Boylett and Anna-Marie Whelan for the amazing training that they gave to me whilst I was doing my training contract. In -fact all of the Partners have been wonderful. Without them I would not be where I am now.

Since qualifying as a solicitor last October I have worked in the E-move department as a Team Leader and I am now working between a couple of offices assisting fee-earners with their busy workloads.

I am currently having a great time working in the Ware office where the staff are all pleasant and amazing to work with. I am due to leave here in a couple of weeks to cover a member of staff in our Crouch End office. Whilst I am looking forward to my new adventure I will thoroughly miss the team in Ware.

A day in the life of me:

I am woken to the wonderful sound of a 6-year-old requesting a “mummy hug”…great start to the day and the best motivation any person needs to get up and go to work!

After washing, dressing and feeding my boys (in between sorting myself out) I do then school run and get myself to work.

As for a lot of us in law, work is always busy…phone calls, emails, exchanging contracts and completions. At the end of the working day I look forward to collecting my boys and then taking them to their extra-curricular activities (football, music lessons etc.) and whilst they are busy I take out my files again to squeeze in a little bit more work #addictedtothejob

My best part of the day is when I put my boys to bed, then put my feet up and gently sigh (with a glass of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc in hand)…then think “I’ve got to do this all again tomorrow”

In my spare time I love to play the piano, I enjoy listening to a variety of music and socializing with my friends (catching up on all the things that I have missed!)

I am also a member of the Athena networking group, which is a group of ladies who support each other in our businesses and career paths.

However, nothing beats spending quality time with my boys. They give me my drive and motivation. I work hard so that I can be a good role model to them and so that I can give them the best in life…everything that they deserve.

Thank you to everyone who voted for me xxx  

 

 

Thanks to Charlene for sharing with us and for her heart-felt words. Charlene is a fantastically dedicated conveyancing solicitor and such a valuable member of our team.

If you have a conveyancing query for Charlene or would like to appoint a conveyancer for your property sale or purchase, please call on 0208 370 2800