Ask a Law Question, Get an Answer ASAP!
Thanks for your question. Please kindly RATE my answer when you are satisfied
Did the solicitor withold this money without your consent please?
Who is the solicitor witholding the money from - the seller?
I will be offline until just after 9am but will reply as soon as possible if thats ok.
The solicitor took the money from me and with-held it from the seller. He with-held it with my consent, but is now saying he must keep it with held until the required document from planning service is produced. I do not believe there is such a document
I am very sorry for the delay in reverting to you. I am available for the rest of the day now save for a short appointment early afternoon.
From what you say your solicitor likely negotiated a retention to be held on exchange of contracts. If he did then the money is retained according to the term(s) in the contract he negotiated on your behalf. If there is no date provided for as to when the seller must produce the document in question then the retention must be held until the contracts limitation period expires which is 6 years from the date of the contract.
Your solicitor is responsible to you for any money he holds in his client account on your behalf. You can ask that he pays you interest on the money and ask him to confirm the date he intends to return it to you. If he claims he must hold it indefinitely you may mention the Limitation Act and ask him to advise why he believes that the money needs to be held for more than 6 years.
If you are unsatisfied with his responses then you can advise him that you intend to make a formal complaint to get to the bottom of the matter whereby a partner in the firm will independently look at the matter for you.
Ultimately if you are unsatisfied with the firms response to your complaint you can refer the matter to the Legal Ombudsman for an independent decision.
Is there anything above I can clarify for you?