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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71048
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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i have recently sold my house and my solicitor rang me to say

Customer Question

i have recently sold my house and my solicitor rang me to say my buyer had phoned him and wanted to exchange contracts i said my property had fallen through so i had no where to go to with my daughter. My solicitor suggested we put the end of the month down as he needed to put in a completion date i agreed to this but said he must make it clear i may need to alter it at a later date that was 2 weeks ago, meanwhile i ran around and found a new property but i cant get the keys until the 8th nov a week past the completion date. To make matters worse my solicitor was not in the office all last week because of illness and this week i cant contact him as he is on annual leave. I have left constant messages and e-mails and finally another solicitor in the firm got back to me and said if i refuse to move on the completion date i am in breach of contract and my buyer will serve papers on me, this is so stressful as i am only asking for a week any advice please.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your question. My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

What would you like to know about this please?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Can he serve papers on me to complete on the date given, i still hold the TRI documentation it is signed but not dated , i am happy to complete but i cant move out until the 8th november its all been so quick as my buyer is a first time buyer and is very young and eager but i have a daughter to consider and we will be homeless for a week and i will need storage its all so stressful.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
Has the solicitor exchanged contracts now with the proposed completion date?

What completion date is in the contract? Is it the date at the end of October?

Have you actually spoken to the buyer about this?

Is the buyer insisting on completion at the end of the month?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

For Jo C

He put 31st Oct on the original contract and exchanged after conversation with me saying we have no-where to go just yet i made need to alter this date at that point he seemed to give me the impression i could change the date later then he went sick and then on annual leave, so i am now dealing with a new solicitor who said i have to honour the 31st Oct so i said No please ask the buyer if he could wait a week but no joy he rang me at work yesterday saying i would be served today i am very nervous i just feel sick ! I left it like that last night as i was too upset and worried as i now unsure if i need to move on thursday and no one has rung me and its now midday , thank you Jo

linda lee

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
Thank you.

If you have exchanged contracts and there is a completion date in the contract then you are bound by that completion date.

However both you and the buyer can agree as you wish between you and if the buyer tells their solicitor they are happy to complete on the eighth and you tell your solicitor at the same, the two solicitors can speak to each other and end the contract now, even after an exchange. It would be worthwhile speaking to the buyer. They may just not be bothered for the sake of a week.

If you simply refuse to move out on proposed completion date then the buyer can serve you with a notice to complete which requires you to complete within 10 days and the buyer can also sue you for damages on a daily basis for every day that you are late.

If they have to get alternative accommodation in a hotel for example or pay for storage or have any other costs then you would be liable for that.

If the buyer steadfastly refuses to agree to change the completion date it is going to be cheaper and less stressful for you to put all your furniture into storage and to stay in a hotel for a week than it is to deal with any potential litigation. I appreciate there may be practical difficulties but legally, that is going to be the cheapest.

Please remember that you and the buyer can agree what you like between you

Can I clarify anything for you?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

ok thank you Jo i understand , the buyer lives with his parents up the road and has not got any furniture i know this as he wanted me to leave items that i did not need but i refused when he started talking cash in brown envelopes , i honestly feel he may just be annoyed with me, he is buying my 5 bedroomed house and as i understand it has not got any further funds. Ok well if he serves me that still gives me plenty of time and weeks ago he sent me a tex asking if he could buy a lot of my furniture which i saved so he will not need storage or a hotel so i think i will sleep on it .

Thanks though Jo its been really helpful to speak to you.

Linda Lee.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
That is probably a good idea but it would certainly be worthwhile speaking to the buyer.

No problem and all the best.

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