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tdlawyer
tdlawyer, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 1096
Experience:  Lawyer with 9 years experience of advising on property issues.
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Hello Sir/Madam, We bought a student accommodation unit

Resolved Question:

Hello Sir/Madam,

We bought a student accommodation unit in Bradford/UK and we signed the contract with Daniel Johns in October 2013 but they didn't sign the contract, and we paid the full price in Jan 2014 but so far the unit is not under our name, can we sue seller (Daniel Johns) and get our money back? Please advise. Thanks.

Reema
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  tdlawyer replied 3 years ago.

tdlawyer :

HI thanks for your question. My name isXXXXX can assist with this.

tdlawyer :

Do you know why the seller has not signed as yet or permitted the transfer of the property to you?

Customer:

No, we don't know.

tdlawyer :

Okay. Had he not instructed a solicitor, did the solicitor not ensure that their client has a signautre on the agreemement and why did you pay your money without?

Customer:

Yes he has a solicitor (Ramsdens Solicitors), and a representative of his solicitor came to Singapore where we live and asked us to sign the contract but they didn't sign at the same time. At that time which was in October 2013 we paid 5,500 which is the reservation fee, and in Jan 2014 we paid the rest of the amount to our solicitor (J H Hart) as they requested it to complete the exchange/completion of the deal, and it was agreed that the rental will start on Feb then it was delayed to March and then its delayed to 1st of April and God know if it will happen. On last Thursday the representative came to Singapore and we signed the Leasing agreement and the Rental agreement on the basis that the rental will start in April if the completion was done till the end of this month.

tdlawyer :

I see. OKay, you could argue that the agreement has taken effect already on your signing and paying the deposit. However,what usually happens is that you all agree to "exchange" contracts, when you all have signed versions, and this is done by solicitors normally. If you have a binding agreement, then you would be entitled to ask the seller to proceed and let you have the property in return for you offering to pay the purchase balance monies.

tdlawyer :

If there is no agreement, then you would be entitled to your deposit back if they're not going to proceed.

Customer:

we agreed to exchange contract through our lawyer on Feb 2014 although it should have happened in Jan because we asked our lawyer to go on with the exchange but it wasn't done in Jan and I think the seller is not truthful about why he is delaying the deal to go on, so on Feb 13 our lawyer said that they have exchanged contracts and he sent us a copy of the contract but it was signed from the seller and not singed by both of us and he paid the full deposit of the unit to the seller, and so far there is no completion and we don't know why and our lawyer doesn't know too, its like dealing with kids, or people who don't know what are they doing, there is lack of communication from the seller. We asked the seller to proceed through our lawyer and we don't know if he will finish it at the end of this month because he doesn't promise anything very clearly. What do u mean with binding agreement?

tdlawyer :

once you exchange, you have a legally binding/enforceable agreement.

tdlawyer :

You should speak with your solicitor about enforcing the contract.

tdlawyer :

You should be able to force the seller to transfer the property over to you.

Customer:

yes when they exchanged agreements (we weren't there when they did that of course because we live in Singapore) , our lawyer said that they exchanged and she send us a copy which was only signed by the seller and there is no signature of us.

Customer:

the problem that our solicitor has been chosen by the seller and that was a mistake, we asked him to complete the deal with the seller but she said that the completion should come from the seller first. I think they are useless.

Customer:

how can we force him to do so especially that we are far away, and if we don't have a good lawyer then he can do whatever he likes and takes his time.

tdlawyer :

You get your solicitor in England to threaten to do it, and if necessary, to do it for you.

tdlawyer :

Make sure you have a lawyer you have confidence in.

Customer:

Is an agreement legal if it every version signed by one party?

tdlawyer :

Yes, it can be.

Customer:

so we can't argue on this point.

tdlawyer :

Yes, you absolutely can/.

Customer:

u confuse me here, if it is not legal then for sure we can argue about it but if it was legal of course we can't argue about it.

tdlawyer :

It will be legal if you have exchanged contracts.

Customer:

ok, but I have no confidence in our lawyer, should we use another one if they don't complete the deal by the end of this month?

tdlawyer :

Then I would always advise somebody to get another lawyer - it's a case often of seeking to use bigger firms where youre more likely to get a better lawyer.

Customer:

ok, then you have to assist me to get someone good. In the agreement there is a clause that says:

Customer:

In the agreement there is a clause that says: " If the Condition Precedent shall not have been discharged by 30th March 2014 then the agreement shall automatically cease and the company shall return the deposit to the purchaser without interest". should we wait till the end of this month before we see another lawyer?

tdlawyer : No, it's always sensible to see another lawyer immediately when you lose confidence. That clause is just part of a bigger picture you see.
Customer:

can u advise me of a lawyer who is trustworthy?

tdlawyer :

You have your pick of lawyers as it makes no difference where they are to you as you're abroad. You might want to speak to some firms like Eversheds, Shoosmiths, DWF (try their websites: www.eversheds.com www.shoosmiths.co.uk and www.dwf.co.uk)

tdlawyer :

Is there anything else you would like me to help you with about this?

tdlawyer and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you

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