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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Could you please advise on the presenting

Resolved Question:

Hi
My name is Cesar
Could you please advise on the presenting case:
-Me and my girlfriend signed an agreement to purchase (exchange agreement) an off-plan property and paid a £ 2000 deposit.
- Unfortunately, my girlfriend was unaware of a 35% of Russian tax if sell her 2 flats in Russia meaning that we would not have enough funds to purchase the property.
- We have contact our solicitor as soon as we found this but we were told that we are tight with the contract to purchase, but this wasn’t told to us when we sign the contract. We tough that the exchange will take place when the deposits founds were released. We are both foreigners and feel that the terms of the contract were not well explained to us, and we weren’t told that we would be locked with this purchase. This contract was signed at 18:53 on Sunday 28 of February and it was done very quickly.
- as soon as we realize this situation we contact the sales team of this developments to explain that we are not in a situation to buy this property so it can be released to the market again.
- this was accepted by the developer but we lost our £2000 deposit.
- our solicitor also wants £1,410.00 representing their legal costs to date and also including the Seller’s solicitor’s legal costs ( £250) for dealing with the rescission agreement.
- we fell that this charges are unfair and that we never been well represented by our solicitor who was recommend by the seller when this off-plan property was launched.
Is this charges acceptable and reasonable in your expert view?
Kind regards
Cesar
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
our solicitor also wants £1,410.00 representing their legal costs to date and also including the Seller’s solicitor’s legal costs ( £250) for dealing with the rescission agreement. He wants this amount prior to deal with the rescission agreement.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.Are you wondering about the £2000 deposit or £1410 legal costs please?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Both,
Should the lost deposit be covering the legal costs?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Did the agreement say the £2000 fee was not refundable?Did you sign terms and conditions of business with the Solicitors?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Did the agreement say the £2000 fee was not refundable? - yes
Did you sign terms and conditions of business with the Solicitors? - yes, but the sell will not finalize. Can I request an invoice with the break-down of the work done and the amount charged?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Our purchase has been cancelled which has been approved and agreed by the Seller. We thought that those £2000 reservation fees, which has been retained, supposed to cover all the administration fees and Seller’s solicitor fees.According to Lauriston Saggar LLP Client Care Letter , we supposed to pay £925 plus VAT (£1,110) in case if we proceed with the purchase and paid 1st 10% deposit (Stage 1 Deposit). Our purchase has been cancelled and we don’t really understand why we have to pay £1,110 legal fees for the purchase if the purchase that has been cancelled.
Also, our Solicitor asked us to pay extra £250 Plus VAT (£50) = £300 for the Seller's solicitors service.That means that we already lost £2000 in reservation fees. Now our solicitor say that we have to pay £1,110 plus £300 (£1,410) for solicitors fees for the purchase that has been cancelled.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Sadly you can't get the £2000 back because the deposit is non refundable. But you are entitled to ask for a breakdown of work done and itemised. This is your right.If you still dont agree with it, then you can ask the Court to assess those costs.The matter would be set down for a hearing and a Judge will decide whether the costs are reasonable.If the Court DOES find they are then you would be liable for the Solicitor costs of attending this hearing.Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks Alex
In your view do you believe the solicitor fees are reasonable for the car presented?
Don't have experience in this field.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Given what you have said - no
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Does that clarify?Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes Alex very helpful. If you permit me, can I ask you a few more questions regarding this case:
When I asked my solicitor to break-down is legal charges he replayed to me: "Our legal fees are the agreed fees for taking you through to exchange and the immediate post exchange work as per our engagement letter and terms and conditions. We are entitled to charge for work done to date, including the work done for releasing you from your obligations. As a gesture of goodwill given your situation, I have only charged you for the works that were undertaken to exchange and the immediate post exchange work, as per the engagement letter.
The sooner this is completed the sooner you are released from your contract. As stated below, until this is concluded, you are technically liable and so I would recommend that we deal with this as quickly as possible"
My questions are:
-Does this charges make sense to you?
-Can my solicitor impose me to pay him first as a condition to him to proceed with the rescission agreement?
-If I pay him can I steel go to court if I find his charges unreasonable?
-Is there any costs if I decide go to court? Whats the best way of doing this if so?
Much appreciated for your time and help.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry
Another one:
Does the replay from my solicitor makes sense to you, sorry again, I have no experience in this field.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
-Does this charges make sense to you?Its right that unless you have agreed fixed fees you are liable until the matter is concluded, same like a taxi meter.-Can my solicitor impose me to pay him first as a condition to him to proceed with the rescission agreement? No-If I pay him can I steel go to court if I find his charges unreasonable?Yes, you can still go to Court.-Is there any costs if I decide go to court? Whats the best way of doing this if so?Yes there are. You could also consider going to the Legal Ombudsman to complain about their conduct. They are free, independent and can examine a complaint at: www.legalombudsman.org.uk/
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Does that clarify?Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes,
More clarified now.
Just need to ask my girlfriend if she as any other question regarding this matter before I give you positive feedback.
Once again
Many thanks for the clarification.
Cesar
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Ok Cesar, good luck and have a good week. Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks Alex
One last question
Can an exchange take place without the founds being released be the buyer?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Once you have exchanged you are committed to the deal - you cant back out. So you can exchange but its on completion funds are transferred
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Does that clarify?Alex
Ash and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Understood
Many thanks.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. Alex