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LondonlawyerJ
LondonlawyerJ, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 791
Experience:  Solicitor with over 15 years experience.
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I believe the buyer of my property is in breach of the

Customer Question

I believe the buyer of my property is in breach of the Standard Conditions of Sale of the Law of Property Act 1989. The Buyer is refusing to release £10,000 of retained net sale proceeds. The money was retained on the basis of a Special Condition 7, attached to the Property Sale Contract. I have provided evidence required by the condition from my insurance company, through my conveyancer, several times to the Buyer and his conveyancer. However, he is refusing to release the money to me. He says there have appeared, after six months, some defects in the flooring and wall decoration, where the insurance works took place. However, the building contractor says that because there was pre-exisitng damp in the property - which the buyer already knew about - then he cannot accept liability to redo the decorations, as the root cause of the damp needs to be sorted out and this is outside the scope of the insurance works that I commissioned with the Insurance Company. I understand the Insurance Company position in terms of liability is the same as the contractor. SUMMARY OF FACTS ON WHICH THE CLAIM IS BASED I agreed to sell my property at 12b Downs Road, London E5 to the Buyer. The Property Sales contract was signed on 10th January 2014. Because there were insurance works taking place at the time of the sale, there was a Special Condition attached to the Contract, in relation to these insurance works. Special Condition 7 refers to an undertaking that the insurance works schedule was completed, and that such works are signed off by the insurance company and any papers from the Insurers are provided to the Buyer. These were all properly done and given to the buyer. Is his intransigence unlawful. As the insurance company and contractor refuse liability for any repairs, is it down to me to repair his damp problem?

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 2 years ago.
Customer:

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

Customer:

can you tell me what works the insurers have paid to have carried out please?

LondonlawyerJ, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 791
Experience: Solicitor with over 15 years experience.
LondonlawyerJ and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

You have not really answered my question. You have only asked for more information about the insurance works.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Can you tell me when you might be able to respond to my question?

Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 2 years ago.
I am finding it a little difficult to understand your situation. If your position is that the works that were the subject of the retention have been done then yes the buyer has no right to retain purchase funds. IF there is a dispute between the various parties about what should be done due to pre-existing damp then the situation is much less clear. Your solicitor should have made sure there was absolute clarity in the sale contract. What is their view on this situation?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

My conveyancer does not deal with litigation at all. So effectively left it all up to me. However, there is nothing in the undertaking to state that the buyer has a right to veto the insurance company's decision.

I need you to advise on this matter of dispute in terms of a point of law. Where does liability lie? My insurance company insists that it satisfactorily fixed the insurance claim, as the water leak was repaired. However, some months later on, there are evidently repair issues. My legal assumption would be that the Buyer has to prove that the defects are directly attributable to either: a, the leak has not been repaired or b, the works were definitely not done properly from the start. In my view, option a, is not possible as the pipes were removed. Also, b, is not possible because when the Buyer accepted the property, it was totally acceptable.

Isn't this covered in Law by Caveat Emptor - in that the Buyer was aware of damp existing in the property, prior to taking possession of it - and in the six months period since taking possession, has not rectified sources of damp, which he was told about by me and my builders? Can you address these points of law?

Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 2 years ago.
Your solicitor drafted/agreed the contract. The fact that he is not a litigator does not mean that he can not advise on whether the contract has been complied with by the buyer. You should ask him directly.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

the buyers solicitor drafted the clause.my conveyancer accepts that I complied with the contract - and the buyers conveyancer has not responded to my claims that the contract has been met. but the buyer refuses to accept this - on the basis, that he claims there are imperfections in the insurance works. so it is the buyer who is refusing to release the funds - not the conveyancers

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

You have said the situation is much less clear. But there must be some guidance with regards ***** ***** - the situation must have arisen before - or a situation like this? Since I have been writing, the Buyer's Conveyancer has not formally responded - so I understand that the Buyer is acting independent of his solicitor's legal advice, in so much that I have complied in full with the terms of the contract as set down. So, is he retaining the net proceeds of the Sale unlawfully or not?

Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 2 years ago.
On the basis of what you have told me the buyer is in breach of contract and should pay you the money. You should instruct a solicitor to write letters before action to him and his solicitor and if necessary commence proceedings at court.

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