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Remus2004, Barrister
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 71132
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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I bought a ground floor apartment in a converted block on 20.12.13. There

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I bought a ground floor apartment in a converted block on 20.12.13.
There were no property particulars for the property and non were forthcoming after I asked for them.
Before exchange, among other queries regarding the apartment, the estate agent assured me verbally that metal railings would be installed around the patio area. The metal railings were to match all the other railings fitted to every other apartment in the block.
Although there were no particulars for this apartment there are internet details and photos of the other apartment on the ground floor which has a patio and in those photos it clearly shows railings around the patio.
In February I was chasing the development/management company as many snagging issues had still not been completed in the apartment, one being the railings which had still not been installed. I have an e mail reply from them that did not challenge railings being fitted and advised they would be fitted mid February. However, last week a crude wooden fence has been erected around my patio. It is not anchored to the floor, is made of untreated wood and cobbled together remnants of “decking” which has obviously been left over from the patios. The upright posts are not anchored to the concrete floor on the outside of the balcony but screwed into place using the patio decking as a support – the base of most posts do not actually touch the floor. My query is not the crude assembly of the fence rather it is that I was told I would have metal railings to match all other flats in the block. Can you tell me where I stand legally to get this fence removed and the promised railings installed.
Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

Have they confirmed that this is the final job or have they done it as a temporary safety measure?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

This is the final structure not a temporary one


If your property fencing is different than all the others I think you have a claim in misrepresentation because you could reasonably assume that your property would be the same as the others.

You also have a claim against the developers/sellers for breach of the provisions of the Sale of Goods Act in that the goods are not of satisfactory quality and not fit for purpose.

However its likely to be a waste of time pursuing the seller. I would therefore tell them that they are in breach and that if they do not get this railing done to your satisfaction and in accordance with all the other properties on the development, you will get the job done yourself and sue them for the cost in the Small Claims Court.

Doing it that way is going to be much quicker and seeking an order to make them do the railings.

A letter from the solicitor who dealt with the purchase, threatening the legal proceedings if this is not done by, the end of April might bring the desired result but there is absolutely no point in exchanging lots of letters before issuing proceedings. I would not send more than one and I would not exchange any.

You can easily issue Small Claims Court proceedings here

Can I clarify anything for you?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

That's great, thank you. The builders/developers are the same company who own the freehold for the apartment - I bought the apartment off them so that should make it a bit easier would you think?

Yes it does, because it means that they are unlikely to be able to put the company into liquidation after completing the development which seems to be a tactic used by many smaller developers to escape future liabilities

No problem and all the best.

Remember that I am always available to help with your questions. Even if I am in Court I will usually pick up a question within 12 hours. For future information, please start your question with ‘For Jo C’.
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