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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25358
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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My solicitor with-held £7500 when I purchased my house. The

Customer Question

My solicitor with-held £7500 when I purchased my house. The reason for this was because the vendor (a builder) had accidentally cut a tree down that had a tree preservation order on it. The vendor/builder said they had a letter from the planning authority stating that if they would be excused cutting the tree down if they planted 6 similar trees on the property. The money was with-held until we received this statement.
The builder/vendor went into administration the following year. It has now been 3 and a 1/2 years since I purchased the property. My solicitor states that he must hold this money indefinitely an has refused to release the money to me. Should I seek further legal advice?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 3 years ago.

Joshua :

Thanks for your question. Please kindly RATE my answer when you are satisfied

Joshua :

Did the solicitor withold this money without your consent please?

Joshua :

Who is the solicitor witholding the money from - the seller?

Joshua :

I will be offline until just after 9am but will reply as soon as possible if thats ok.

JACUSTOMER-883hu1nn- :

The solicitor took the money from me and with-held it from the seller. He with-held it with my consent, but is now saying he must keep it with held until the required document from planning service is produced. I do not believe there is such a document

Joshua :

I am very sorry for the delay in reverting to you. I am available for the rest of the day now save for a short appointment early afternoon.

Joshua :

From what you say your solicitor likely negotiated a retention to be held on exchange of contracts. If he did then the money is retained according to the term(s) in the contract he negotiated on your behalf. If there is no date provided for as to when the seller must produce the document in question then the retention must be held until the contracts limitation period expires which is 6 years from the date of the contract.

Joshua :

Your solicitor is responsible to you for any money he holds in his client account on your behalf. You can ask that he pays you interest on the money and ask him to confirm the date he intends to return it to you. If he claims he must hold it indefinitely you may mention the Limitation Act and ask him to advise why he believes that the money needs to be held for more than 6 years.

Joshua :

If you are unsatisfied with his responses then you can advise him that you intend to make a formal complaint to get to the bottom of the matter whereby a partner in the firm will independently look at the matter for you.

Joshua :

Ultimately if you are unsatisfied with the firms response to your complaint you can refer the matter to the Legal Ombudsman for an independent decision.

Joshua :

http://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/consumer/

Joshua :

Is there anything above I can clarify for you?

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