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LondonlawyerJ
LondonlawyerJ, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 778
Experience:  Solicitor with over 15 years experience.
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my solicitor has allowed me to exchange contracts for a property

Customer Question

my solicitor has allowed me to exchange contracts for a property I am selling - its a shop - without warning me that Nat West have a charge over it. It is an ancient charge which I have paid. But completion is on 28 February and from past experience with Nat West I am worried they won't return the deeds with the charge removed in time. I have spoken with them three times and on each occasion they have traced the file and agreed to remove the charge, three people have told me this is in process, but I feel very worried about it - I remortgaged the shop before on a separate loan and it took months to get the deeds off Nat West. I am furious with my solicitor and don't know what to do. I will keep her in my employ because it is too late to change now but I want to know if she actually had any right to let the exchange go ahead.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 2 years ago.

LondonlawyerJ :

Hello I am a solicitor with over 15 years experience and I will try to help you with this.

LondonlawyerJ :

You are keeping your solicitor due to the lack of time before completion. What has your solicitor said about this apparent error on their part? Do you anticipate suffering any loss because they didn't notice the existence of/ advise you about the entry on the chatges register?

JACUSTOMER-wrtcthem- :

I have only just challenged her to explain why she didn't bring this up before. She did notice but didn't bother to act on it. yes I do anticipate a loss if I can't complete on time. Can you answer my question,which is is it actually legal to allow exchange to go ahead when there is a charge. I would like to sack her now but it is so late and I don't want to pay twice.

JACUSTOMER-wrtcthem- :

Well I feel there is no point getting rid of her now as it will only cost me more money and there would obviously be a greater delay. I have only just challenged her this morning to explain why she didn't raise this before and am waiting for her reply by email. Yes I do anticipate maybe losing the sale ? or at least my buyer seeking some sort of compensation if there is a delay. The repercussions could be quite serious and I need to know my position. I no longer trust her. Can you answer my question, which is was it legal for her to allow exchange without warning me and the buyer that there is a charge over the property?

LondonlawyerJ :

There is no legal bar on exchanging contracts if there is a charge registered. You say it is “ an ancient charge which I have paid” so your solicitor needs to get the permission of the charge holder for the title to be transferred or for the charge to be removed ASAP. I hope she is doing this. She should obviously have sought your instructions on this before exchanging and is probably in breach of her professional duties. Presumably the purchasers solicitor is aware of this charge and still exchanged. It is up to the 2 solicitors to sort this out. Reading between the lines your solicitor doesn’t seem to be worried about it what advice has she given you?

JACUSTOMER-wrtcthem- :

ok so neither solicitor seems to have brought this up. as far as I am aware the buyer's solicitor is not aware of the charge, if they were I feel sure they would have demanded it be removed. should they have noticed it on the deeds? my solicitor did not tell me there was a charge until the day after we exchanged, which was around 2 weeks ago. She sent me an email saying we have exchanged etc and "I will obtain a redemption statement from Nat west". alarm bells rang in my mind but I could not believe she would neglect to do this. not having heard from her I emailed her last week - she had done nothing. I have since pursued nat west myself and she seems to be happy to let me do this, I think she's very embarrassed and rightly so. I wonder if she may be going through some trauma, the fact is I don't care, I am selling my shop for 575,000 and I want the money and to be out by the 28 feb as per the contract. in the circumstances I will have to manage this myelf from now on. what may the buyers solicitors say do you think if there is a delay? I think next week I will actually instruct Bridget, - that's my solitior - to pursue Nat WEst as well as it is a legal matter she may have more success than me, although now frankly our relationship has broken down and I don't trust her

Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 2 years ago.
Why not instruct her now? Solicitors respond to pressure and the fear of a complaint/action. If the charge has been cleared a redemption certificate shouldn't be a problem. Yes the buyer's solicitors should have noticed.

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