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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3840
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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My leasehold restaurant was due and the landlord

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My leasehold restaurant was due for renewal and the landlord did not want to renew. It was a renewable lease and due to them wishing to redevelop I was advised to take a compensation offer of £10,000.
The landlord has been very difficult and we always felt that he would try to get out of paying any settlement.
On hand over of the premises and keys he agreed to my surveyor that he was satisfied and that the funds would be forwarded to my solicitors.
Later that day after completing the hand over his solicitors sent a letter stating that there were breaches to the agreement and no money would be coming.
After taking more councils opinion, it was stated that as there was no certificate of satifactory handover, it would be my surveyors word against theirs. as such council feels that I would not be able to get my compensation.
I feel that there should have been a completion certificate drawn up for the landlord to sign and this should have been advised, especially given the hostile nature of the landlord.
Please can you give me your thoughts and if I would be able to challenge the solicitors advise.
I have already paid over £4000 in legal costs and still owe a further £3000
Thank you for your question and welcome.
My name is ***** ***** I will assist you.
Are you saying that your solicitor negligently advised you?
Kind regards
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I am saying that surly it is negligent of my solicitor not to have issued me or advised me to get a signed completion certificate given the fact he new and even mentioned that the landlord would try to get out of paying.

Thank you.
I absolutely agree - I also would have thought that the solicitor should have obtained the funds in his client account before advising you to give up possession.
Under the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 there is an implied term that services should be provided with reasonable care and skill (s.13) - a breach of this section gives the injured party the right to claim damages for reasonably foreseeable loss.
The solicitor not only has been potentially negligent but has not carried out the service with reasonable care and skill.
What I suggest you do is:
1. Check the retainer letter from the solicitor - they are obliged to provide you with details of someone you can complain to;
2. Make a formal written complaint to the solicitor about the standard of service they have provided and ask them to explain why they did not request the monies in their client account from the landlords solicitor or advise you to get the signed certificate before giving up possession;
3. If they do not provide a satisfactory response you can make a complaint to their regulator and the Legal Ombudsman
I look forward to hearing from you.
Kind regards
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