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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 12076
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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Hi, i bought a property in scotland in Dec 2006. It had an

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Hi, i bought a property in scotland in Dec 2006. It had an outstanding repair bill from the council which the seller told us had been or would be paid by the previous seller of the property. However to make sure this would be done our solicitor withheld payment of £5000 which she told us would be held in the joint virtual account of both conveyancing solicitors. We never got a bill from the council and it has now been over 5 years which we were told to wait before reclaiming our £5000. Because the seller hadnt reclaimed it either. My solicitor is now saying that we cannot get the money back even if the seller has not claimed it back. She also said she has tried to contact sellers solicitor but he has gone bankrupt and cant find the seller. Who gets the money in this situation? Are we not entitled to get it back? If so how do we go about it as we think our solicitor is beating us around the bush!
Thank you for your question.

Your solicitor should contact the council to see what the status of the repair bill is in the event that the council haven't been able to trace the person who sold to you either, especially if the solicitor no longer exists in business. It is possible that the council have placed or at least could place a Charging Order on the property and simply wait until you resell the property, claiming the monies due to them, and interest, at that stage. For that reason it is important to find out what the council's position is.

If monies are still due to the council these should be repaid to the council from the £5000. If there are no monies due or if there is a balance left over after payment to the council is made, then as it is part of the purchase price the norm would be that this would be payable to the seller. However the missives you entered into might have something different to the effect that the money would come to you after a particular period of time. Your lawyer should be able to advise you of what the agreement was at the time.

Happy to discuss further.

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