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Negligent Solicitor? help please!

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Negligent Solicitor? help please!

Postby idlethumbs » Wed Jan 04, 2017 9:54 am

I bought a flat, a purchase condition was that imminent/current works to a roof and the hallway were already paid for / would be paid by previous owner.

I told my solicitor I needed to ensure this, he forwarded emails from seller's solicitor offering to retain £2k of sale for works. I instructed that I was happy with this arrangement.

Ever since I have trouble getting information from my solicitor (or the seller's) about these funds. I have now ( a few months on) received the bill for these works and my solicitor is slow to respond and only with 'I will / have written an email'.

The bill needs paying this week and it looks like i will be forced to pay it to avoid late fees, this seems very unfair. What can I do? can I involve the legal ombudsman?
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Re: Negligent Solicitor? help please!

Postby Hairyloon » Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:38 am

Which solicitor is it that you suggest is negligent, yours or theirs? If theirs has not responded, then what is it that you want yours to do?
If the agreements are properly in place, then whoever it is that has caused the delay in payment ought to be liable for the late payment fees: you should probably put that point to your solicitor and see what advice he gives...
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Re: Negligent Solicitor? help please!

Postby idlethumbs » Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:40 am

Mine is not forthcoming on the matter, has not said that he is chasing theirs. I suspect that he has not ensured that the agreement is properly in place. Surely if it is only that the other solicitor is causing a delay then mine would have informed me that he shall be liable as you suggest.
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Re: Negligent Solicitor? help please!

Postby Hairyloon » Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:58 am

idlethumbs wrote:I suspect that he has not ensured that the agreement is properly in place...

If he hasn't and he should have done, then wouldn't that make him liable?
Quite possibly not because you may have not instructed him quite how you needed to, but I'm fairly sure it would be a lot less work for him to deal with this problem than it would for him to demonstrate why he isn't liable for not having done so.
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Re: Negligent Solicitor? help please!

Postby idlethumbs » Wed Jan 04, 2017 11:08 am

Hairyloon wrote:
idlethumbs wrote:Quite possibly not because you may have not instructed him quite how you needed to

Not being a legal expert, I have relied on him to ensure that the agreement was suitable. I informed my solicitor that I did not want to pay for the works that were required on the property and he responded by asking if their solicitor retaining funds for it would be suitable (also sending a forwarded email of this offer from the solicitor). Do you think that my instruction following this should have been more explicit than simply to agree to this arrangement?

Regarding dealing with the problem, would your advice be to inform the property management company that I am trying to discover who is liable for the payment, I would like to be confident that it is not me!
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Re: Negligent Solicitor? help please!

Postby atticus » Wed Jan 04, 2017 11:17 am

You need to get facts. Request a copy of the contract so that you can see the retention provision.
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Re: Negligent Solicitor? help please!

Postby idlethumbs » Wed Jan 04, 2017 11:28 am

I will ask, supposing though that there isn't a retention provision - as is my suspicion, what would by my recourse?
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Re: Negligent Solicitor? help please!

Postby Hairyloon » Wed Jan 04, 2017 11:33 am

idlethumbs wrote:Regarding dealing with the problem, would your advice be...

The only advice I ever give here is to not take advice off some fat hairy ape you found on the internet. We discuss legal issues here and hopefully such discussion will help you find solutions, but advice is strictly against the rules.
If I were to give advice, then I might suggest you contact the builder explain the situation and ask for more time.

atticus wrote:You need to get facts. Request a copy of the contract so that you can see the retention provision.

If the payment is due this week then there is not much time for dithering: would he be best off to phone the solicitor and ask for the contract to be faxed over straight away?

idlethumbs wrote:
atticus wrote:You need to get facts. Request a copy of the contract so that you can see the retention provision.

I will ask, supposing though that there isn't a retention provision - as is my suspicion, what would by my recourse?

They have offered and you have accepted: if there is nothing else, then that is the contract.
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Re: Negligent Solicitor? help please!

Postby dls » Wed Jan 04, 2017 11:35 am

You simply do not yet know enough to say anyone (or who) has be negligent. That does not mean that you are not entitled to a better answer.

Stick at it.

Such arrangements (retentions) are common in conveyancing. Unfortunately, when they do misfire, they can be a bugger to sort out.
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Re: Negligent Solicitor? help please!

Postby atticus » Wed Jan 04, 2017 2:02 pm

Hairy - the offer and acceptance are likely to have been subject to contract.
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