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UKSolicitorJA
UKSolicitorJA, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 4312
Experience:  English solicitor with over 12 years experience
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We put our maisonette in London SE19 on the market last May

Resolved Question:

We put our maisonette in London SE19 on the market last May and received an offer immediately. As the buyer seemed extremely earnest we took the flat off the market as soon as their mortgage offer come through. The mortgage company Nationwide then proceeded to make the potential buyers jump through hoops and instructed them that they would first require a homebuyers report, then a structural engineer's report, then a drain survey then a tree survey which showed that some trees may have potential "to pose a theoretical risk of contributing to subsidence damage to the property". Unfortunately some of the trees named in the report are on adjoining neighbour's land. Also the tree surveyor's report is based on complete supposition and conjecture, not having done any test holes to establish the type of foundations, whether the property was founded upon shrinkable clays or subsoil of whatever type. Also the surveyor, who holds an interest in a landscaping and tree management company, has a huge conflict of interest in that he recommended that "he would provide advice.......etc".
I have spoken to my neighbours without any great response and am happy to get any offending trees removed at my expense. I am totally in favour of negotiating with all and realise that it would be more satisfactory to reach an amiable solution, however if not what do you think should be my course of action?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 3 years ago.
LondonlawyerJ :

Hello I am a solicitor with 20 years experience. I will try to answer this question.

LondonlawyerJ :

Is the house back on the market? I think you are in a difficult position. Your neighbour might be responsible if the trees on his land actually caused harm. However, if it is only a theoretical risk of future damage then they will not be responsible for anything to you and you will not be able to compel them to carry out any tree work.

Customer:

No,

LondonlawyerJ :

This sale sounds doomed it may be that a future buyer would not get tangled up in all this worry about trees. The less you know about the trees then the less you will need to disclose on the property information form

Customer:

No, we had to take the house of the market as we were receiving no income from rent or otherwise and have to pay the mortgage. Do we not have a comeback at the Nationwide or tree surveyor as they have basically blighted the property for selling at this moment, having taken the word of a surveyor through the contents of his report based on supposition and conjecture. I have attached a copy of his report.

Attachment: 2014-10-24_152041_48_victoria_cresent_trees_report.pdf

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LondonlawyerJ :

I can't really consider the whole document. If you have a remedy against anyone it is the surveyor you might have a claim against if he has been negligent or acted with a conflict of interest.

Customer:

I am disappointed that I asked for a detailed answer whereby I would be given a legal position which I was in the first answer. In addition I expected some original thought from the forum that would enable me to decide what I may have to do now to re-ignite the sale on a firmer footing.

Customer:

Also the whole survey document consists of about two actual pages of simple script which would not take a lot of understanding by any mere mortal.

Expert:  UKSolicitorJA replied 3 years ago.
Hello,
I am afraid as the seller of the property, I do not see you having any claim against Nationwide or the tree Surveyor. Nationwide cannot be forced to give the buyer a mortgage and the surveyor will have been appointed by Nationwide to give it the report for the purposes of making a decision.
The buyer may go to a different mortgage provider or you may put the property back on the market and look for another buyer e.g. A cash buyer who will not have to go through the hoops with banks, reports etc.
May I help further?
UKSolicitorJA, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 4312
Experience: English solicitor with over 12 years experience
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No further help required

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

no further help required.

Expert:  UKSolicitorJA replied 3 years ago.
Thank you. Please leave a review of my answer.