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Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34581
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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I bought a house in 2009 with my ex partner (non uk citizen

Resolved Question:

I bought a house in 2009 with my ex partner (non uk citizen at the time)
I supplied 98% of the equity – My ex chose the conveyance solicitor whom knew my ex partner previously, The solicitor wrote privately to my ex and discussed the tenancy options & ‘implications’ she has then instructed to put the house in joint tenancy.
The conveyance solicitor never confirmed the instruction with myself and never explained that tenancy in common even existed and what was involved.
The ‘implications’ were never outlined to myself
The conveyance solicitor knew the majority equity was my savings, as I have this in writing.
The second property purchased in 2010 the rental property acquisition made the above even more complicated due to a credit problem I could not go on the mortgae, as was the plan to be part owner in the property. The verbal message came back via my partner that if i could not go on the mortgage I could not go on the deeds, and behind my back my ex partner instructed the conveyance solicitor to purchase the house only in her name. So the solicitor knew we went from us trying to purchase it to only her owning it (this was not my preferred choice). The solicitor never wrote to me once (privately) to state my options. We were getting to the point where she would own 1.5 houses with virtually no equity. I was in a panic.
They appear to have written privately where the comment has been discussed that in order to get her off the first house, I would be paying the entire deposit / equity / legal fees / all taxes on the second house. While my ex whisked me off on a 3 day birthday holiday to morocco the money cleared my account into the client account. With no advise in the matter just before we left, I asked her to sign a loan agreement for the money she agreed and promptly reneged upon our return.
I was for a year written into the tenancy agreement as joint tenant for a house rented at £1000 pcm, however she wrote me out of the tenancy document behind my back. I did not benefit financially from this in any way. I spent £1000's to improve the property as i thought we might get married at some point.
in 2012 we split up, I have since tried to get the money back through my solicitor, she failed to attend mediation due to varied ' viable reasons a judge might accept' that process has been very disappointing, i do not think my solicitor is up to the task and am in the process of letting him go - I have been suggested to go straight to the small claims court.
I don’t know how to proceed, I don’t know the best type of solicitor to get, mediation seems totally inappropriate.
also
I raised a complaint with the conveyance solicitor. I sighted neglect of care of duty, and professional incompetence, to which they responded they have done nothing wrong, there response does not match the history of events, regarding the evidence they do not know I have at this time.
Under data access request I asked for the file notes on the two properties, only the second property has been provided and the incriminating private instructions omitted.
I am in the process of preparing a complaint to the ombudsman and instruct them to raise professional misconduct with the SRA.
I am out of my depth and I need a solicitor to take over this process, in case I make a mistake that leaves me vulnerable.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
How much are each of the properties worth and how much is outstanding on the mortgages?
How much was your original investment?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hello Clare

The first house cost £175k I put in £40K equity - my ex partner £3k

I believe she has about £10k mortgage & over payments in here

Outstanding on this mortgage is £100k

The second house cost £207k i put in £35k she put in £2k

I doubt much has been paid down

The rent is £1k per month

After the issue of the first conveyance process the same solicitor effectively transferred her off the first house 'for no value'.

In their final response before i go to the ombudsman - they have claimed that I purchased the second house on her behalf in return for the above 'for no value'. They never put this in writing at the time.

I have also last night drafted a letter to the conveyance company, as in the file notes they submitted they have omitted all the private instructions & correspondence between themselves and my ex, which i believe implicated them for negligence and disregard of their care of duty to myself.

I don't know whether to purchase my ex or the conveyance first .

I spoke to Barclays legal last night, and as my previous solicitor messed around for the last two years, the six year statute of the first property bought March 2009 ends soon

regards

mark

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
I am sorry - who actually owns each property now?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hello Clare

I own the first property bought May 2009 - So i am concerned that the statute of limitation expires in 2015, do i need to just register the complaint with the ombudsman or do i need to sue the solicitor to avoid running out of time on this one.

My ex partner owns the second property bought dec 2010.

Further to my last comments I am in the process of a further data access request of the file notes from the conveyance solicitor as i believe they omitted private communications with my ex which included instructions and advise that caused me financial loss.

I have noted from their final response to my complaint, they say they have abide by the 2007 money laundering act. Though they never asked or recorded what quantum of investment either person made to each house, although i tried to tell them. However their T&C state that any deal over £10k they are mandatory obliged to "collect evidence of the source of the funds"

best regards

***** *****

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Is there an outstanding mortgage on the second property?
What is the extent of your loss?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hello Clare

I believe the second house mortgage might be in the region of £180k £190k

My losses are £35k deposit inclusive - legal fees / stamp duty on this house

£5k renovation after purchase

I might also consider 50% of the tenancy over the period as a loss

£12k per year - since Jan 2010 to present

regards

mark

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
What is the current value of the first property?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hello

I would say each one may have gone up by £20k

so

£200,000 for my property

£220,000 for my partners property

regards

Mark

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
So you own a property with an equity of £120,000 and she owns one with an equity of £35,000 - is that correct?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi

I own a property that cost £175,000 it had an equity injection of £40,000 of my money and may be now worth ~ £200,000.

I have since the split payed down the mortgage so £107,000 is owing

The other property cost £207,000 with £30,000 equity and may now be worth £220,000.

I don't know what the £12k year rent has paid down the mortgage by though

regards

Mark

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Sorry - I am not sure whether you have confirmed that what I said is correct or not and it is important
Have I stated the position correctly?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hello
The equity in my propery is in the region of £63,000
£40,000 initial injection my money
£3,000my ex partners money.
£10,000 Mortgage
£10,000 Overpayments
-----------
£30,000 of my equity in the second house
£35,000 total equity as of June 2012
Regards
Mark
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
That is not how the equity is calculated
The equity in the property is determined by how much the properties are worth after the deduction of the mortgage (and sometimes sale costs)
Bearing that in mind is the calculation I have set out correct -
you own a property with an equity of £120,000 and your ex owns one with an equity of £35,000?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dear Clare

If i say my house is now worth £200k as risen from the purchase price of £175k and I owe to the mortgage company £107

then the equity in my house is ~ £93k

-----------------------------------------------------------

On the house that my ex partner ownes

If we say its now worth £220k as risen from the purchase price of £207k.

The money owed to the mortgage company at june 2012 was ~£175k

Therefore the equity in the house today including mortgage payments for two years could be (value today £220k) - (£170 on mortgage) = £50k

of this £50k equity £30k to £35k was my money in the form of a deposit

Also at the present I have a restriction placed on this property with land registry

regards

Mark

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
I am sorry but that is not the way that property law works.
You purchased two properties together.
Since you could not be part of the mortgage on the second property you were not on the Title deeds, but it seems clear that your ex acknowledged your investment in the property.
It would appear that you put invested a total of £75,000 into the properties and your ex only £5,000 - a percentage split of 93/7 (although it need to be acknowledged that without her involvement the purchase could not have happened)
The eventual split however appears to be 65/35 in your favour.
Since she never signed any loan agreement in respect of the balance you cannot use the small claims court, you can only use Property law to pursue a claim against the house that is in her name to recover the £40,000 you believe she owes you
In assessing the claim it is likely that the court will wish to take into account that without her you could not have purchased the second property and accordingly are likely to say that for that she is entitled to a larger percentage of the split - increasing her overall claim on the properties so that the percentage contribution split should in fact be more like 80/20 - making your claim against her more in the region of £22,000 (please remember that these are only the roughest of guides)
IF your ex will not mediate then you need to find a solicitor who specialises in Property litigation and Family Law
A firm involved with the latest case on the subject was
http://francisthatcher.org.uk/
With regard to the Conveyancing firm there is certainly an issue about their failure to act in your interests and to inform you of the implications of the transactions which does indeed amount to potential misconduct - although I cannot see any incompetence since it appears that the transactions were completed properly.
However you may in fact have a claim in the Small Claims Court against the solicitors for the £22,000 which their actions have cost you.
This is an issue of Professional negligence which has caused you a monetary loss.
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Sorry

I have had better advice from Barclays legal that this

The above misses out the salient points of my dispute.

If a solicitor thinks that private correspondence and advice to one party leading to instructions does not disadvantage me.

sorry this advice is worthless to me.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
I am sorry that you feel that my advice was not helpful meaning that I get no credit for my time and which is not necessary for and does not trigger a refund.
I have confirmed the type of claim that you have against your ex. I appreciate that it is not for the amount that you were expecting - but it is a realistic assessment of your position.
I have also confirmed that you do indeed have a clear claim against the solicitor - not for incompetence as it appears that they completed the transactions appropriately, but for negligence in their dealings with you and their failure to advise you to take independent advice
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hello

Sorry This is not good value for money - I am not paying to hear what i already know. I have had a solicitor for two years and I already know this the comments above

In order to get for money for this I need to know the following

1) Based on the amounts outlined above can i go the small claims route

2) do i need to do mediation before (1) Do i need a solicitor to mediate

3) Based on the house purchased in 2009 - how long do i have to act against the conveyancing solicitor / my ex partner before the statute limitation runs out

4) does not going on the mortgage preclude me from owning a property i.e going on the deeds

5) Will the complaint to the ombudsman against the conveyance lead to a claim on their insurance.

6) Will the ombudsman refer it to the SRA for professional misconduct or do i need to do that now

regards

***** *****

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
I am sorry but the way you presented the figures led me to think you had NOt had any advice to date - my apologies.
1. You cannot go against your ex using the Small Claims route as in fact it is a TOLATA claim and must be dealt with as such Whilst you could potentially go ahead on the basis of the Oral agreement it would be a claim that you could struggle to win - wasting money and time - when you actually have a reasonably sound TOLATA claim
You can go ahead against the Conveyancing firm using the Small Claims Court
2. It is always best to offer mediation first as otherwise the Court can place the claim on hold until it has been attempted. You do not need to use a solicitor
3. TOLATA Claims do not have time limits as such - but in general terms the sooner you act the better
4. Yes it does - however your interests should have been protected by a Declaration of Trust
5. Only if the Ombudsman finds in your favour and you decide to make a claim
6. That depends if it actually run be solicitors or not - if so you should certainly report the matter yourself.
Again I am concerned that the solicitors dealing with this for you to date have failed to cover these relatively basic points
Clare
Clare and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hello Clare

Thanks for your response above, I think this has really clarified my position for me.

I am very interested by your last point about my until very recent - current legal provision, I have achieved more in the last 2 weeks then has been achieved in the last year and half.

Clare I am able to do some of this myself and will have to outsource some of this it has been suggested i find a guide - you seem to know this as well as a few others now. Are you interested to offer future advice in a more structured way than this site

Finally - are either just answer or yourself able to provide me with a vat receipt for this this work.

best regards

mark