Builder won't provide guarantee for new build property

Hi all,

I went sale agreed on a property about 4 weeks now ago and there is a hold up which I would like some advice on. The seller of the property is a doer-uper who renovated the house beside it and built the house we are trying to buying to in the garden beside it. He is refusing to sign an indemnity to guarantee his works for a certain period of time, but he has given us a homebond certificate.

There is a damp patch in the downstairs WC which the seller has told us was caused by spilling a bucket of water in the upstairs bathroom when they were cleaning it. This doesn’t sound believable to me as the bathroom should be sealed watertight at the floors. We have asked the EA to get clarification on the matter.

Anyway, our solicitor has strongly advised us that we need a guarantee from the builder, despite having a homebond cert in place.

Any advice would be appreciated as we are flummoxed at the moment.


I’d follow the advice of your solicitor.
What did your surveyor say on the matter ?

His exact words were:

We have noted staining to the ceiling in the ground floor guest WC below the level of the bathroom. We recommend a competent plumber be asked to insect the bathroom for any minor leaks as a precaution. This is considered a maintenance item only.

On a side note, it’s worth keeping in mind the limit of liability under Homebond is €30,000 per dewlling. … d-warning/

Blue Horseshoe

Unless you are signing a building contract and thereby part funding construction, I would be very surprised if the builder were to provide an indemnity for the sale of a built house, especially a one off house. I would expect the builder to resist at all costs and tell you to survey the house if you had any doubts. You should also note that the indemnity is probably worth shag all to you in reality unless the builder has assets and you are willing to fund a high court action against him.

The solicitor was asking for an 18m guarantee for major works, 6m for minor.

No bathroom has watertight sealed floors… unless it is tanked?

I agree that getting a plumber/engineer to look for a leak is better. Usually a leak from upstairs stains a ceiling underneath it as it dries.

If it’s a damp patch the leak is ongoing or maybe something bigger.

I think the real question is is the seller a builder who built a house OR a person who had a spare site/cash and built a house.

The odds of the house being alright are slightly higher with a builder … only slighly :smiley:

I think you’ll never get the guarantee - get it surveyed in every way possible.

If you are uneasy about it - pull out.

@daisy, +1. It was up to the vendor to sign a contract with the builder BEFORE the building work commenced. Without a contract I can’t imagine why the builder would volunteer to enter one now. The price needs to reflect this reality.

The only argument a purchaser might have is if the house was advertised as a new build. In that case a purchaser could say they were expecting to buy on the usual new build terms including the normal warranties included in a building contract.

Under what time frame?

Bit of a waste if you ask me. Builders go bust all the time. Blood from a stone.