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Matt Jones
Matt Jones, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 671
Experience:  I am a qualified and practising Solicitor with over 7 years post qualification experience
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we are trying to sell our property (a flat within a block)

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we are trying to sell our property (a flat within a block) and we have been using an allocated parking space for the last 8-years and paying service charge costs to the management agent towards its upkeep. But now the management are saying that although they do have records of us paying for the carpark, they cannot find any documents that says we own it and can sell it along with the flat. They are suggesting we ask the new potential buyer to PAY for the creation of a new carpark lease as an additional cost to the already agreed sale price. Is this right/fair?? Can we sue for damages against the freeholder since it is unlikely that any buyer would pay extra for something they assumed was already attached to the property and is being used by the current owners? What options are open for our predicament?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 2 years ago.
Hello,
I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.
I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.
Thank you!
Nicola
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

We will continue to wait for an epert reply for now...

Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 2 years ago.
Hello,
We will continue to look for a Professional to assist you.
Thank you for your patience,
Nicola
Expert:  Matt Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hi there I will try and help
a couple of questions
1) Have you checked in your lease if you have a "right to park" anywhere described?
2) what do your records show from the report by the conveyancers when you bought the property in relation to the car park ?
3) how to others have the right to use the car parks? are they on "car park leases"?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

1.

The lease makes one reference to carpark being part of the demise of property. But does not expand on what individual carpark relates to what individual flat.

2.

The original conveyance went bust/bankrupt years ago and we don't have those documents.

3.

Only a small group of flats have use of the carpark spaces due to the limited number of parking available. Some flats have had individual registered carpark titles. and others appear not to have that. Although they have still been allocated a space which they've been using and paying service charge for.

Expert:  Matt Jones replied 2 years ago.
Its sounds to me more like an error in the drafting of the lease at the point of the original lease.
This responsibility should really lie with your solicitors at the time, and they should be tasked with rectifying the error.
its doesn't sound like a big issue to resolve however. The facts are in evidence that there is a car park mentioned in the lease and so it was clearly always intended that you should have one, you have used said car park, and have paid an additional amount toward the upkeep. A simple deed of variation showing the car park as now included should suffice. I would suggest speaking to your original Solicitors and, if necessary complaining to their senior partner.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks for your response,

As previously mentioned.......The original solicitors no longer exist. They went bust/bankrupt. The current conveyancer we are using to sell the property said that solicitors usually only keep documents for 6years, so the original solicitor may not have the documents even if they were still operational. Is there a way round that issue??

Expert:  Matt Jones replied 2 years ago.
HI there,
thanks for the reply. As to your solicitors going bust, the insurance cover they had at the time you employed them will still be valid and so it may be worth having your conveyancers write to them make a claim (if they are willing to do that - if not you may have to seek an alternative solicitor to take a claim on or do it yourself). The Solicitors Regulation Authority will have a record of the insurance company in question.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The buyer wants to complete in a week.......can we sell without clarity of the carpark issue (as in, sell the property without parking included) And then claim that back from the Solicitor & Freeholder in order that we can dispose of it at a later date...???

Expert:  Matt Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
This is a difficult point to answer. You have a couple of hurdles to cross. Although i haven't seen your title paperwork you must have a good title to sell, albeit with a discrepancy (as far as the freeholders are saying anyway).
Therefore you could potentially sell to the buyer but they are obviously buying with the flaw, or at the very least they are taking on the argument with the Freeholders. The questions are, are they prepared to do this and equally importantly if they are taking a mortgage are they prepared to take on the issue as well? These issue for your conveyancer.
One thing you could consider is giving the Buyer a "retention" from the purchase price until the the matter is sorted once and for all. Once it is and if there were some loss you to you could explore the issue of making a claim.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Many Thanks again for your response....

But what I was trying to get across was that can we (the sellers) claim back the loss or sue to retain the carpark for ourselves as a separate entity....AFTER the sale?

We have already dropped the price to accommodate the buyer who wants to proceed on the basis that they will not get parking space.

URGENT!!!

Expert:  Matt Jones replied 2 years ago.
I see what you are saying. In principle if the Freeholders and Buyers are both willing to allow you to negotiate a lease of the car park space after the sale of the flat then I don't see why you couldn't do that.
In practice however it may be more difficult to arrange. It is difficult to assess the way the lease is set up without seeing it. As I understand it, and as I have advised, the lease indicates that car parking may be included, it is just not properly defined. In addition you have paid ground rent and/or service charge toward the car parking.
The issue with retaining the car park is that, once you have disposed do the flat, you are in the position as anyone else would be in trying to negotiate a car park lease. Usually one would expect the lease to contained a provision that only owner of a flat can hold a car park lease. You could imagine the problems and consternation it would cause of a member general of the public were able to own a car park without also owning a flat.
I think ultimately if the buyers are buying, and they have had a reduction on the price already, they should be left to sort the car park lease out themselves after completion. this it seems to me is the simplest solution.
Matt Jones, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 671
Experience: I am a qualified and practising Solicitor with over 7 years post qualification experience
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