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Jenny
Jenny, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 6305
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor specialising in Employment Law and general legal matters. Please start your question For Jenny Only
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My parents are elderly and had some land to sell so employed

Resolved Question:

My parents are elderly and had some land to sell so employed a land agent to handle all business with a large building company. To cut a long story short I've only just looked at the contracts he advised them to sign and I think he has totally misled them into contracts that I would have never signed. Also I think he has the same solicitors as my parents so I feel we can't trust either of them. Is there anything we can do about the matter of professional trust with the land agent as already they have paid him large amounts of money and will probably end up with a small amount for the land.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jenny replied 2 years ago.
taratill :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I am happy to help you today. Can you explain in what way you believe they have been misled?

Customer:

I have only just collected the paperwork and contracts. I think he is in with the builders for a cut but can't prove that at the moment, also he has bullied my parents into contracts I would never sign without legal advice however the solicitors have just let the agent get on with it. As you can imagine this is very complicated.

taratill :

Has he said anything to them which is untrue about the terms of the contract?

Customer:

From the small amount I have read yes he said things like you will save more tax wise if you let the builders pay for a ransom strip then take it off the final offer. My parents are in there eighties and are going to end up with nothing

taratill :

ok thanks when and how did they enter into this contract?

taratill :

To be clear was it in their home?

Customer:

The agent got them to sign an option with the builders which also is poor and can't believe solicitors would advise this through the agent

Customer:

Its not their home its a large amount of land.

taratill :

Ok I understand it is not a contract about their home but where did they enter into it was it at the agents place of business or were they visited at their home to sign the contract? When was the contract entered into?

Customer:

Yes signed and posted from their home to the agent .This has been ongoing for over 5 years and now the builders want to build but now my sister and myself have control over matters

taratill :

Ok when did you and your sister first become aware of the situation?

Customer:

We had limited knowledge as my parents signed a confidentiality clause so we could'nt communicate with agent or solicitor they are old and trust people.

taratill :

So one of the terms of the contract was that they could not discuss it with anyone (even family members? )

Customer:

Yes the agent got them to sign this

taratill :

could you please tell me the exact wording of that clause?

Customer:

Trying to find just one moment please

Customer:

Niether party shall not without the express written consent of the other disclose to any other party details of this agreement or any other information disclosed pursuant to it save only such information as it shall be necessary to disclose to such of its professional advisors who have given a written undertaking not to disclose such information to any other party.

taratill :

do you know why they would want to keep the terms of this confidential?

Customer:

Think its because I know the agent. But not as a friend just through various circles my sister doesn't know him at all

taratill :

You are right that this is a complicated situation. The fact that your parents are elderly does not make the contract void, it would only be void if they were of unsound mind (which I do not think is the case here). The fact that there is a confidentiality term may amount to an unfair term under the Unfair Contract Terms Act but this would not render the contract void, only the clause itself, in the event that the remainder of the contract is workable.

taratill :

This means that the only real recourse will be on the basis that you can demonstrate that the contract was enterred into on the basis of a misrepresentation of the Agent.

taratill :

If your parents suffer a loss as a result of a misrepresentation then they will potentially be able to bring a claim against the Agent.

taratill :

In addition they should complain to the Solicitor/ Solicitors Regulation Authority if the solicitor is acting for them and the Agent and their is a conflict of interest as this is clearly against the Solicitors Code of Conduct.

taratill :

As this is complex it is likely that your parents will need legal representation. If they have house hold insurance this may have legal expenses insurance attached to it.

taratill :

This may be worth exploring.

Customer:

I thought when he advised them to go with his solicitors it didn't seem right. Should I get them to move solicitors or is that to complicated. Also there are other complications which I could talk about all day but I won't.

taratill :

I there is no problem with them changing solicitors. They can just approach a new firm and the files can be transfered.

taratill :

They should also complain to the Managing Partner that there has been a conflict of interest.

Customer:

Ok thanks for your advice

taratill :

They can also raise a complaint to the legal ombudsman. The details are at www.legalombudsman.org.uk

taratill :

If you have any further questions please do ask. If I have answered your question I would be grateful if You would take the time to rate my answer. Thank you and all the best to your parents. I do hope you can resolve matters.

Customer:

Thanks and goodbye

Jenny, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 6305
Experience: Qualified Solicitor specialising in Employment Law and general legal matters. Please start your question For Jenny Only
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