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485 posts

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#268088 27-Feb-2020 12:00
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Having just bought a new property, I am surprised to find my solicitor was not familiar with the impact that an Internet connection can have on settlement day.

 

When you purchase a home the usual instrument is a 'sale and purchase agreement' that either your solicitor or the selling real estate agent presents to you.  There is a standard agreement the REINZ uses, and this includes a requirement that on settlement day the vendor is required to render the property to the purchaser in a 'vacant possession' state - i.e. empty except for specified chattels.

 

The issue at hand is whether internet access is included.  If the vendor has an active internet connection, I would say that if the vendor has not arranged for that connection to be relinquished on or before settlement day so that the purchaser can arrange to use that connection with their RSP of choice on or after settlement day, then the vendor has not met their 'vacant possession' obligation.

 

The problem here is that all RSPs that I am aware of require 30 days notice of disconnection, therefore the vendor needs to advise their RSP of termination or relocation at least 30 days prior to settlement date.  If they do not do so, the internet connection cannot be used by the purchaser until the connection is relinquished. Potentially the purchaser has to go without an Internet connection for up to 30 days.

 

Has anyone had a problem with getting an internet connection at their new property, caused by the fact that the existing connection is still owned by the vendor after settlement day?





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  #2428145 27-Feb-2020 12:07
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I think you might be overthinking it just a tad. Even if it was argued the vendor hasn't met their obligations by not disconnecting the internet, what are you realistically going to gain from that? Would you walk away from the sale?... doubt it. Was it worth the extra lawyers fees to argue the point?..doubt it.

 

Regardless, Chorus have a procedure for abandonment. It takes maybe 7 days or so. Your RSP needs to log an abandonment, and then Chorus will check the with the RSP of the current connection if it is ok to disconnect.


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  #2428151 27-Feb-2020 12:18
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I think the OP maybe suggesting that sale and purchase agreements need to have some sort of wording to state that the broadband account wont be active for that property on settlement day. 

 

In this day and age with fibre connections isnt it possible to have two accounts on the same ONT?

 

That in mind... perhaps the OP could make a suggestion to the real estate body that creates the templates for sale and purchase agreements who in turn could then drive change to make this a standard condition of S&P ? (else you just manually insert the condition)?

 

I agree with previous poster.... its swings and roundabouts and IMO, if you are looking at a property at least ask the vendor if the line will be free on settlement date. 

 

 


 
 
 
 




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  #2428152 27-Feb-2020 12:27
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That was my approach - talking to the vendor about the need for them to give their ISP 30 days notice of their move.  They were clearly unaware of this and would not have done so otherwise.

 

My question is more about the vendors solicitor giving their client the right advice on what 'vacant possession' means in respect of their Internet connection (as well as everything else).  This was not done.  I would not like it at all if there was a significant delay to me (as the purchaser) getting my connection caused by the negligence of the vendor and/or vendors solicitor.





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  #2428154 27-Feb-2020 12:29
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I recently had exactly this issue but had a Fixed Wireless backup in case of such situations which I just used instead for a few days... Anyway, it was my fault for not specifying it as a specific condition.

 

Cheers - N

 

 





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Please note all comments are the product of my own brain and don't necessarily represent the position or opinions of my employer, previous employers, colleagues, friends or pets.


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  #2428173 27-Feb-2020 12:38
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It's a good point, and one that Solicitors, and probably Real Estate Agents should make clear.

 

 

 

There is a lot to do when you've sold your house, and it is perfectly understandable that you would forget to do it until the last minute.

 

The ISPs have to play along as well. From the vendors point of view, they might give their ISP a disconnection  date with >30 days notice, then the ISP might just go and disconnect them straight away, or on some random date (heard of it happening).


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  #2428176 27-Feb-2020 12:41
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OldGeek:

That was my approach - talking to the vendor about the need for them to give their ISP 30 days notice of their move.  They were clearly unaware of this and would not have done so otherwise.


My question is more about the vendors solicitor giving their client the right advice on what 'vacant possession' means in respect of their Internet connection (as well as everything else).  This was not done.  I would not like it at all if there was a significant delay to me (as the purchaser) getting my connection caused by the negligence of the vendor and/or vendors solicitor.



Write to the law societies in the hope they might pick this up and publish as an educational bulletin?


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  #2428179 27-Feb-2020 12:51
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Most LFC's will provision your service on another port. Chorus are currently discussing a change here.

 

There is nothing stopping a provider from taking your 30 days notice and billing you for that but setting the disconnect RFS on that day. generally does require a few extra steps though.





#include <std_disclaimer>

 

Any comments made are personal opinion and do not reflect directly on the position my current or past employers may have.

 


 
 
 
 


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  #2428193 27-Feb-2020 13:23
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Internet service is in the same category as any other utility service: electricity, gas, post delivery, rubbish collection. If you want S&P agreements to specify conditions you want for any utility, put them in. The vast majority of sales participants would just get on with it.





BlinkyBill




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  #2428203 27-Feb-2020 13:43
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hio77:

 

Most LFC's will provision your service on another port. Chorus are currently discussing a change here.

 

There is nothing stopping a provider from taking your 30 days notice and billing you for that but setting the disconnect RFS on that day. generally does require a few extra steps though.

 

 

May be true for Fibre, but copper (xDSL)?





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  #2428246 27-Feb-2020 13:47
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I've just sold a property in NZ. Settlement is next month.

The internet connection availability was mentioned in the "Conditions" of sale, along with another couple of things - like completing a boundary survey.

Purchaser obviously wanted to be sure about it.


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