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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 34234
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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There, We have exchanged the contract to buy a flat recently,

Resolved Question:

Hi There,
We have exchanged the contract to buy a flat recently, and we were supposed to complete on 4th may. We now have a problem with the vendor changing the deal. Originally, I was told that the legal fees would be covered by the seller, as long as we use the nominated solicitors, and the fees will be deducted from the completion statement. We have this confirmed in writing. However, after we exchanged, we see the legal fees not being deducted from the completion statement. the vendor's agent said they'd have to confirm with the vendor again!
I am wondering if we could pull out at the stage because of the issues with the legal fees now.
Thanks,
Zoe
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your questionMy name is ***** ***** do my best to help you but I need some further information firstHow was this agreement made - verbally or in writing?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Clare,Thank you. Do you mean the agreement re the legal fees?We were approached by the sales person from an estate agent selling a newly developed flat. I was told over the phone that the deal is including legal fees if nominated solicitors were used, and we will get 3% off the original price if the completion date was after April due to the increase of the stamp duty. I then had an email from this person to confirm all this.We had a bit of problem with the valuation when we applying for the mortgage, and the vendor told us that it was their fault, and they would like to give us 4% discount as a compensation for the inconvenience, and they were confident that the completion will be before April. However, due to the delay of the utility supplier, the vendor was not able to complete before April. We end up paying an extra £7600 for the stamp duty. I asked for the 3% discount originally agreed, they said it was included in the 4% they gave already, and as a gesture of goodwill, they gave us an extra £4000 towards the extra stamp duty. We accepted it and exchanged the contract. No one has ever mentioned anything about the legal fees during this time. Now we received the completion statement and the legal fees were not deducted. They said they'd have to discuss about it and have never come back to me.This is the situation. My understanding is that free legal is part of the deal, which should apply to all buyers, and has nothing to do with whatever discount we received afterwards. There is no need to discuss it at all.I would like to know where we stand in this case, can we pull out? Or whatever happens, we have to complete?Thanks,
Zoe
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
So the email confirms both legal fees AND the discount?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
yes. the original discount was 3% to cover the increase of stamp duty, but 4% was given for a different reason, and an extra £4000 was given for stamp duty. all these were in writing, but when 4% and £4000 was given, there was no mentioning of the legal fees.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
How much is involved?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
£834
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Actually, after looking through the emails, I found that the solicitors fees and 3% discount was confirmed in one email, and the solicitors fees were confirmed again separately in a different email.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Excellent news.Did your Conveyancer have a copy of the email?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
yes, I have forwarded a copy to her. However, as they were the nominated solicitors by the vendor. I am not sure if they are totally independent on this case. that's why I would like to have a second opinion about my situation and my legal right. Thanks
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
OkI am afraid that this is not sufficient for you to rescind the Contract at this stage - so no you cannot pull out of the transaction at this stage.However there is clear evidence that you were induced to purchase the property partly as a result of this offer and accordingly if you have to pay that sum to complete the purchase you can then sue the Sellers for the money using the Moneyclaim online service.I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks. So there is nothing I can do to make the agent keep their words and pay for the legal fees then?
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
My apologies - for "Seller" read "agent"
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