Previous owners lied about works done - just found out!

More about my loft conversion / survey report (see above threads).....
In investigating my suspicions that the loft conversion isn't supported well enough and not having these details picked up by a full building survey, I have just quizzed some neighbours about the previous owners.
It appears that THEY did the conversion themselves, maybe some 13 or 14 years ago. However we have a letter from their solicitor stating that the loft conversion was there when they moved in in 1991 and the owners previous to them had done no works in the previous 4 years.
So it appears that they lied to us. If we had known that they had done the conversion so recently we would of course had asked for building regs approval - their denial made us believe the structure was older and long-standing.
I wonder what course of action to take now. It may be difficult to prove that they did the works as the owners previous to them have since passed away, so I guess our neighbours statements are our only chance.
Or do I just leave it - there does not appear to be any subsidence or sagging to the loft, plus I know the previous owners are pretty poor and I wonder how much compensation we could get anyway. Do we use their solicitors statement to show the age of the conversion to our benefit when we sell up?
Any other similar experiences?
Regards
Earl
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Now that you know that the work is unsatisfactory you are going to have to disclose the fact if you sell. Therefore you need to get it sorted for that reason quite apart from the safety aspect. The problem in seeking redresss from the previous owners is dependant on adeqaute proof. If it came to a court case then you would have to prove that the previous owners lied to to you. It would be worth having a quick word with your solicitor to see if he confirms my feelings.
Peter Crosland
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Surely if the property was surveyed, the claim is against the surveyor? Not much point in having one done otherwise?
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*Many hamsters only blink one eye at a time *

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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On Sun, 12 Jun 2005 09:27:31 +0100, "Dave Plowman (News)"

Basic building society evaluation "survey"?
Get-out clauses?
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.andy

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Even the most basic survey should have thrown up warning signs about this sort of conversion?

Yes - the BS one is for them, even although you pay for it, so in theory you have no comeback.
--
*Despite the cost of living, have you noticed how it remains so popular?

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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Could be worth a browse through all the papers stuffed in with the deeds. You might, for example, find the estate agent's sheet describing the property back then, or something else which might be useful.
In my house, at some stage someone removed the bottom of a chimney, and made that area into a doorway into a bathroom. In browsing back through the deeds, I can tell this was done before 1974, because there's an application for a home improvement grant in 1974 which outlines that area just as it is today. (Interestingly, the home improvement grant was paid, but not all the work described on it was done.)
I think you should be able to get your deeds back from the building society now, as they are no longer of any value to determine ownership or charge on a property if it's registered at the land registry. Some building societies are sending them all back to the owners anyway now (Nationwide for one, ISTR).
--
Andrew Gabriel

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wonder how much compensation we could get anyway. Do we use their solicitors statement to show the age of the conversion to our benefit when we sell up?
They've defrauded you. They misrepresented it and it's worth less than you paid them for it. That doesn't justify your misrepresenting it when you come to sell up. Assuming it's still standing.

And any other neighbours who've been there that long, or any previous neighbours you can trace, and the 2nd last owners, if you can trace them. Look in the old register of electors in the central library for names. Ask a solicitor if it's worth the effort.

sagging to the loft, plus
You need a surveyor to survey it. It may be unsafe. What else might they misled you about?
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well
previous
I have just visited the Velux website to find that they have a serial number for all of their windows. I've sent them an email with this windows details so hopefully this should ascertain when the window was fitted - and hence the loft conversion date.
In response to Aidens comment about me misrepresenting when I sell - I have a bad feeling the previous sellers have no money to compensate me so I could end up with no financial recompense. I am sure that most people would therefore keep quiet about this and hope a new buyer accepts the documentation I have showing the structure to be around 20 years old.
I think that does justify me misrepresenting when I sell - either I take a hit now for someone elses bad workmanship or someone else does. All hypothetical anyway until I get complete details about any extra works needed. I think the 350 I've been quoted for a structural engineer to inspect is worth it.
I have had a surveyor previously inspect the building when we bought and nothing was mentioned - I now however don't even trust his judgement as I've had the house in bits over the last 2 years.
Will keep you posted,
Regards
Earl
BTW, how many other DIY-ers out there have not told buyers about works they have carried out - many I am sure as it's part of the game........
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Earl Kella wrote:

What did they do with the money that you paid for the property?
There could be a considerable loss to you of their lies. Didn't one woman have to cough up 80k after she sold a property stating there hadn't been any trouble with neighbours, when in fact the neighbours were from hell and made the property practically unsaleable?
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On Sat, 11 Jun 2005 21:19:22 +0100, "Earl Kella"

<snip>
'scuse me 'cos I'm diving in mid-thread, but you had a survey done before you moved in that didn't highlight any problems?
Therefore if there is a structural problem, get an independant engineers report and sue the surveyor for damages?
Surely it doesn't matter who carried out the loft conversion in this case but the fact that it was 'mis-surveyed'?
sponix
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end up with no financial recompense.
Thay have your money, you paid more than it was worth.

Most people would. But are you going to do what 'most people would do', or are you going to make an weigh your conscience and make an individual decision? I'm interested.
Baa.

No. It would make you as dishonest as most people are.
Besides which, your neighbours know that you know.
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so I could

Don't really know what moral point you are making - this really boils down to a business decision - just in the same way Rover didn't tell it's clients and suppliers it was in trouble until it was too late and now they lose thousands.
Are you saying I should take this on the nose and not try to pass the buck to the next buyer of this house? What sort of business decision is that? Would you really do the same?
Earl
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Earl Kella wrote:

Your posts are in the public domain, on google no less, along with headers, detailed descriptions of the problem, history, and stated and explained intention to commit a crime. Your neighbours also know about it now, and may or may not talk to the next inhabitant.
You must be dumb as well as dishonest.
NT
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snipped-for-privacy@meeow.co.uk wrote:

Assuming he hasn't given a false name.
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In an earlier contribution to this discussion,

As a matter of interest, just how easy/difficult is it to establish the true identity of a poster. For example, where would I find the detailed headers for *this* message? Are they likely to show any or all of: * my News.Individual.net account ID * the IP address from which I posted it * my ISP * my logon account name * etc.?
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Cheers,
Set Square
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wrote:

true
In the instance for example IF I were to do nothing and sell on to a new buyer I think it is unlikely that anyone could match these posts with my real identity. If they new my newsgroup id they may possibly match this with rough location, but nothing definate. They would then have to get a solicitor I imagine to approach tiscali for my real name and account details.
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Earl Kella wrote:

anyone can track you to your ISP and within a limited area. To get name or house number would require ISP's cooperation, but they can be very cooperative.
As you say, although not difficult, its unlikely.
NT
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a
Then use DIYbanter.
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Doctor Evil wrote:

Which makes it much quicker and easier since it stamps all messages with the originating IP address.
Use it through a few proxies if you are that worried...
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Cheers,

John.

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snipped-for-privacy@meeow.co.uk wrote:

Many news server providers do not provide identifying information (IP, ...) but only an encrypted version of these, so essentially you can do nothing. For example, giganews.
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